EUR/USD dropped sharply late Wednesday, as the pair shed over one cent following the Federal Reserve announcement that it would taper its QE program by $10 billion a month, starting in January. The euro has edged lower on Thursday, trading in the mid-1.36 range in the European session. Taking a look at Thursday’s releases, Eurozone Current Account shot higher, hitting a seven-month high. It’s a busy day in the US, with three key releases – Unemployment Claims, Existing Home Sales and the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index.
Here is a quick update on the technical situation, indicators, and market sentiment that moves euro/dollar.
- EUR/USD showed some movement in both directions during the Asian session and consolidated at 1.3688. The pair has edged lower in the European session.
- Current range: 1.3615 to 1.3675.
- Below: 1.3615, 1.3525, 1.3440, 1.34, 1.3320, 1.3240, 1.3175 and 1.31.
- Above: 1.3675, 1.3710, 1.3800, 1.3832, 1.3940 and 1.4036.
- 1.3675 is under strong pressure on the upside. 1.3710 follows.
- 1.3615 is providing support. 1.3525 is stronger.
- 9:00 Eurozone Current Account. Exp. 14.2B, Actual 21.8B.
- Day 1 – EU Economic Summit.
- Tentative – Spanish 10-year Bond Auction.
- 13:30 US Unemployment Claims. Exp. 336K.
- 15:00 US Existing Home Sales. Exp. 5.04M.
- 15:00 US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Exp. 10.3 points.
- 15:00 US CB Leading Index. Exp. 0.7%.
- 15:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Exp. -260B.
For more events and lines, see the Euro to dollar forecast.
- Fed announces $10 billion taper to QE: There was plenty of drama preceding the Federal Reserve statement on Wednesday, and anyone hoping for exciting news was not left disappointed. The Fed announced that it was tapering its QE program by $10 billion a month, commencing in January. This will reduce the Fed’s asset purchases to $75 billion, comprised of $40 billion in Treasuries and $35 billion in mortgage bonds. The announcement came as somewhat of a surprise, as most analysts had not expected the Fed to take action until early next year. The currency markets reacted sharply to the news, and EUR/USD dropped over one cent.
- Tapering yes, rate hike no: The Federal Reserve was careful to separate tapering expectations from rate hike expectations. Fed chairman Bernard Bernanke stated that interest rates are likely to remain low even after the unemployment rate drops below 6.5%. Previously, the Fed had stated that it would start to consider rate increases when unemployment fell below this level. Bottom line? With the unemployment rate at 7.0%, it could be a while before we see higher rates in the US.
- German data shines: It’s been an excellent week for German releases. PMI data looked solid, as the Service and Manufacturing PMIs pointed to expansion. German ZEW Economic Sentiment, a key indicator which is based on a survey of institutional investors and analysts, jumped to 62.0 points in November, up from 54.6 the previous month. This easily beat the estimate of 55.3. On Wednesday, German Ifo Business Climate looked sharp, coming in at 109.5 points, just shy of the estimate of 109.7 points. This as the index’s best showing since March 2012. Germany is the Eurozone’s largest economy, and if the region is to shake off weak economic growth and high unemployment, it will need the German locomotive to lead the way.
- Mixed PMIs out of Europe: There was plenty of action to start off the new trading week, as the Eurozone released a host of PMI numbers. Eurozone Service and Manufacturing PMIs remained above 50, which is the separator between expansion and contraction. German Flash Manufacturing PMI climbed to 54.2 points, while the Services PMI missed the estimate, but came in at a respectable 54.0 points. French PMIs were weak, with the Manufacturing PMI dropping to 47.1 and the Services PMI coming in at 47.4 points. France, the region’s number two economy, continues to struggle, and the country may be back in a recession.
- Senate passes budget agreement: A two-year, bipartisan budget agreement is moving quickly through Congress. The deal was overwhelmingly approved in the House of Representatives last week and the Senate followed suit on Wednesday, passing the measure by a vote of 64-36. The bill will now go the President Obama for his signature, before becoming law. The agreement sets limits on government spending for two years and reduces the deficit by a modest $23 billion. Democrats and Republicans both had criticism of the proposal, but there is general agreement in Washington that the compromise reached is a positive step which removes the threat of a shutdown which paralyzed the government in October for 16 days.