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EUR/USD is listless on Thursday, as the pair trades  in the mid-1.37 range. In the Eurozone, Services PMIs were mixed. Eurozone Retail Sales posted a gain in February, its third in four releases.  Later  on Thursday, the ECB announces its  new interest  rate, followed by a press conference with ECB head Mario  Draghi.  In the US, there are three  major events on the schedule – Unemployment Claims, Trade Balance  and the ISM Non-manufacturing PMI.

Here is a quick update on the technical situation, indicators, and market sentiment that moves euro/dollar.

Update:  ECB leaves all rates unchanged again – EUR/USD bounces back up

Update:  Live blog of the ECB press conference.

EUR/USD Technical

  • EUR/USD  has been rangebound in the  Asian and European sessions, as  the  pair trades around the 1.3760 line.

Current range: 1.3740 to 1.38.

Further levels in both directions:   EURUSD Daily Forecast Apr.3rd

 

  • Below: 1.3740, 1.37, 1.3650 and 1.3560, 1.3515 and 13450.
  • Above: 1.38, 1.3830, 1.3895, 1.3940, and 1.40
  • 1.3740 is an important support line.  The round number of 1.37 follows.
  • On the upside, 1.38 is a weak line.  1.3830 follows.

EUR/USD Fundamentals

  • 7:15 Spanish Services PMI. Exp. 54.1, actual 54.0 points.
  • 7:45  Italian Services PMI. Exp. 52.3, actual 49.5 points.
  • 8:00  Eurozone Final Services PMI. Exp. 52.4, actual 52.2 points.
  • 8:42 Spanish 10-year Bond Auction. Actual 3.29%.
  • 9:00 Eurozone Retail Sales. Exp. -0.3%, actual 0.4%.
  • 9:02  French 10-year Bond Auction.  Actual 2.15%.
  • 11:30 US Challenger Job Cuts.
  • 11:45 ECB Minimum Bid Rate. Exp. 0.25%.
  • 12:30 ECB Press Conference.
  • 12:30 US Trade Balance. Exp. -38.3B.
  • 12:30 US Unemployment Claims. Exp. 319K.
  • 13:45 US Final Services PMI. Exp. 55.5 points.
  • 14:00 US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI. Exp. 53.5 points.
  • 14:00 ECB President Mario Draghi Speaks.
  • 14:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Exp. -74B.

*All times are GMT For more events and lines, see the  Euro to dollar forecast.

EUR/USD Sentiment

  • Markets eye ECB: With the Eurozone weighed down by with persistently low inflation and the euro continuing to trade at high levels, the ECB is under pressure to take action. Last week, German Bundesbank head Jens Weidmann gave support to negative deposit rates in order to respond to the strong euro. He also raised the possibility of a QE scheme for the ECB, whereby the central bank would purchase loans or other assets in order to fight deflation. International Monetary Fund  chief Christine Lagarde has urged the ECB to urged the central bank to take steps to raise inflation. However, ECB head Mario Draghi has tried to downplay the inflation issue, and any concrete moves by the ECB on Thursday would be a surprise and could move the currency markets. There are several scenarios as to what we could see from the ECB.
  • Spanish employment  numbers surprise markets:  Spanish Unemployment Change is  well-known for its sharp fluctuations, resulting in market forecasts that are often well off the mark. The February release was no exception, as the reading of -16.6 thousand was much better than the estimate of -5.3 thousand. The indicator has rolled off four declines in the past five releases, which points to some improvement in the Spanish economy. Spanish Manufacturing PMI met expectations on Monday, and we’ll get a look at Services PMI on Thursday.
  • German numbers point upwards: German  data continues to look solid.  On Tuesday, Retail Sales  posted a strong gain of 1.3%, cruising past the estimate of -0.5%. February’s German Unemployment Change continues to show improvement, as the indicator dropped to -12 thousand, down from -14 thousand a month earlier. German Consumer Climate and Business Climate also looked sharp in February, pointing to stronger confidence in the German economy, the largest in the Eurozone.
  • Yellen says US economy has long way to go: On Monday, Fed chair Janet Yellen surprised the markets with a dovish outlook  regarding the Fed’s monetary plans. She said that inflation and employment levels  needed to improve considerably, and the Federal Reserve would continue to provide monetary stimulus for some time.  Currently, the Fed is purchasing $55 billion in assets under its QE scheme. There have been three tapers to QE so far, and Yellen plans to wind up the program in the fall, provided that the US economy does not run into any serious turbulence. At the same time, the Federal Reserve has stated that it has no plans to raise interest rates until sometime in 2015.