Search ForexCrunch
  • EUR/USD is up on Wednesday as a result of the weaker USD and is back above 1.2100.
  • US and Eurozone data largely went under the radar and the pair is trading broadly as a function of USD sentiment.

EUR/USD has seen a gradual grind to the upside for the majority of Thursday, with the gains accelerating shortly before the US cash open amid an extension of US dollar weakness. The pair now trades comfortably above the 1.2100 level again and in the 1.2120s, up from lows of the day around 1.2080 set just prior to the EU cash open. Gains on the day have for now been capped at the 1.2140 mark.

As of right now, the pair trades with gains on the day of around 0.1% or nearly 20 pips and is roughly in the middle of the last two week’s trading range; to the upside, price action has been constrained in the upper 1.2100s while to the downside, the 1.2060 area has offered support.

Driving the day

USD weakness as a result of a broad improvement in the market’s appetite for risk is behind the gradual higher in EUR/USD on Thursday; no specific theme can be pointed to as to why risk appetite has improved, though some are suggesting that efforts by retail brokerages to restrict trading on highly hedge fund shorted stocks, thus reversing a large portion of their recent gains, is helping, given that it is alleviating the pressure on affected hedge funds that had been forced into selling profitable long positions in large-cap stocks on Wednesday. Meanwhile, stimulus jawboning from the Democrats regarding how they will push for US President Joe Biden’s $1.9T rescue package and go it alone if the Republicans disagree might also be helping.

On the data docket

Tier one data releases from both the Eurozone and US have had minimal impact on the price action on Thursday. For reference, starting with the US; the first estimate of Q4 GDP growth was released at 13:30GMT and showed the rate of US economic growth decelerating to an annualised 4.0% (meaning if the US economy were to continue growing at the pace it did in Q4 for an entire year, it would grow 4.0%). This was bang in line with expectations. As ever, the first estimate could face large revisions over the coming weeks. Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims numbers were released and were broadly better than expected; initial jobless claims came in at 847K (versus forecasts for 875K) while continued jobless claims dropped to 4.771M (versus expectations to remain steady at 5.054M).

Meanwhile, the main data of note out of the Eurozone on Thursday was the preliminary estimate of German Consumer Price Inflation in January; the headline YoY rate of inflation jumped to 1.0% from -0.3% in December, more than the expected rise to 0.7%. Meanwhile, Germany’s core inflation metric, HICP, surprised by rising to 1.4% YoY from 0.6% in December versus expectations for a drop to 0.3%. The surge was mainly as a result of the reversal of a VAT tax cut in 2020.

ING suggest that Thursday’s “inflation number is just the beginning of a period of significantly higher headline inflation in Germany… the full impact of higher energy prices compared with last year will show in the coming months”. However, before people get too worried about the incoming wave of inflation, the bank notes that “the economy will not reach its pre-crisis level before early-2022, unemployment and insolvencies are bound to increase and a further euro appreciation will be rather deflationary, putting a lid on any inflationary pressure”.