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EUR/USD  edged downwards as  Fed Chairman Bernanke gave no hint  that the  Fed was prepared to provide any monetary stimulus in the near future. Bernanke will continue his testimony before a Senate Committee today. There are no  key  Euro-zone releases scheduled for today, but the markets will be watching US Building Permits.  

EUR/USD Technicals

  • Asian session: Euro/dollar edged downwards, reaching a low of 1.2267. The pair then consolidated at 1.2280. The pair  has weakened slightly  in the European session.
  • Current range: 1.22 to 1.2280.

 Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.22, 1.2150, 1.20 and 1.1876.
  • Above: 1.2280, 1.2330, 1.2360, 1.24, 1.2440, 1.2520 and 1.2624.
  • 1.2330 is the next strong resistance line.
  • 1.22 is only a minor line before the clear historic separator of 1.2150.

 

Euro/Dollar  down as Fed stands on sidelines  – click on the graph to enlarge.

EUR/USD Fundamentals

  • 12:30 US Building Permits. Exp. 0.77M.
  • 12:30 US Housing Starts. Exp. 0.74M.
  • 14:00 Fed Chairman Bernard Bernanke Testifies.
  • 14:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Exp. 0.5M.
  • 18:00 US Beige Book.

For more events and lines, see the Euro to dollar forecast

EUR/USD Sentiment

  • Fed stays on the sidelines (again):  The markets were hoping that weak US data might cause the Fed to take action, but again, Bernanke disappointed, opting to stand on the sidelines.  In his testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday,  Bernanke acknowledged that the unemployment  was unlikely to improve and that the economic recovery was “fragile”. He  repeated that the Fed was prepared to act, but gave no details.  For the time being, Operation Twist is as far as the Fed is willing to go.
  • US continues to  produce weak  data:  For the second consecutive month,the highly respected UoM Consumer Sentiment dropped, and was also below market expectations. The indicator came in at 72.0 points, disappointing the markets, which had predicted a reading of 73.5 points. Retail Sales, a key consumer indicator, fell by 0.5%.  This figure was well below the market  forecast and was the second straight drop.  Clearly, the US road to recovery continues to be a bumpy one.
  • Germany not immune from Euro-zone contagion: It’s no secret that Germany continues to be the workhorse of the Euro-zone economy, and in return, Berlin often calls the shots regarding financial matters, such as setting the bailout terms for the weaker members. However, there are increasing signs that the troubles plaguing the EZ are hurting the German economy. This includes a host of weak German economic data, diminishing confidence in the economy, and weak global growth. A Germany in decline could spell disaster for the struggling Euro-zone.
  • Italy’s credit rating drops: There was more bad news for Italy’s slumping economy, as Moody’s lowered Italy’s credit rating by two notches to near-junk status late last week. The rating agency cited Italy’s higher borrowing costs, weak growth, and the risk of contagion from Greece and Spain.With soaring debt costs and a contracting GDP, Italy may ask for a bailout sooner rather than later.
  • Dark  clouds over   Spain: Spanish borrowing costs continue to worry the markets. The yield on 10-year bonds currently stands at 6.76%, close to the 7%  level, which analysts consider unsustainable. The country has a staggering 24% unemployment rate, and has just introduced a deeply unpopular austerity program. As well, questions and concerns remain with regard to the Spanish bailout.