Euro: Downward Bias to Continue, Support in Danger

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After failing at the 1.3300, the EUR has traded overnight on a 1.3100 handle, testing support at the 1.3120 level before bouncing back to the mid 1.31 area currently trading around 1.3160.  As expected, now that the fiscal cliff concerns are behind us, traders are focusing on concerns over Eurozone economic growth.

Yesterday’s release of business sentiments throughout the Eurozone showed that the economy’s were still in recession during the fourth quarter of 2012 and that this would likely continue into 2013.  While this news is nothing new for countries like Spain, Italy, and Greece, the fact that this recession has now finally hit Germany and France is raising concern amongst traders.

EUR USD Downward Bias January 3 2013

EUR USD Downward Bias – Click image to enlarge

If the ECB is forced to enact additional easing measures in an attempt to jump start economic growth the EUR would remain under pressure.  There was a bright spot this morning for the Eurozone as German unemployment remained unchanged at 6.9%.  Unemployment also rose less than expected at 3,000.  It was expected to rise by 10,000.This helped raise the EUR from its overnight lows to its present trading levels.

USD/JPY remained in a tight trading range above the 87.00 level as markets await further actions from Prime Minister Abe as he has promised to add additional easing and weaken the JPY.  Japan is still on a banking holiday until tomorrow, so trading volume has been lower than normal.  The market is facing resistance at the 87.40 level, with support at 86.90.

As for the EUR, the mood has changed rather quickly as the break of 1.3210 yesterday sent technical trading systems into a selling mode.  This break does make it possible for a further decline if the 1.3120 support level is broken.  A break would target 1.3000 on a longer term basis.

All is not rosy here in the US.  Now that the fiscal cliff is behind us, we should start hearing talk on raising the “debt ceiling” in the coming weeks.  As we get closer to that deadline we will start to hear comments about the government shutting down and this is likely to trigger some USD selling.  Once again we will have John Boehner vs. Barack Obama, but that is a story for another day.  What we do have immediately in front of us is tomorrow’s release of December US Non Farm Payroll and Unemployment.  The consensus number for NFP is up 150,000, with unemployment remaining at 7.7%.  As always, this number is always difficult to predict and the actual number is sometimes no wheres near the consensus.

The decline of the EUR yesterday did not effect the AUD and CAD as they remained strong against the USD.  AUD is supported at 1.0475, and USD/CAD is not expected to break above the .9875 level.

As for the EUR, expect range trading today with a downward bias.  The overnight high of 1.3190 should provide resistance topside, and a test of the 1.3120 support area is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Further reading: 5 Most Predictable Currency Pairs – Q1 2013

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About Author

Matthew Lifson is a Foreign Exchange Trader and a Market Analyst. with Cambridge Mercantile Group.