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EUR/USD  has edged higher in Friday trading, as the pair trades  in the low-1.31 range  early in the European session. The pair showed little reaction to two days of testimony  in  Congress by US Fed chair Bernard Bernanke. Bernanke did not really add anything new in his remarks, saying  that the Fed’s monetary policy would remain accommodative  and QE tapering would depend on how  well the US  economy performs.  Somewhat overshadowed by Bernanke’s testimony were two  excellent  releases out of the US. Unemployment Claims  came in below the estimate,  and the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index  hit  its  highest level in  over two years. On Friday, German PPI beat the  estimate, and the markets are waiting for the release of Spanish HPI. As well, finance ministers and central bankers meet in Moscow for a G20 meeting. In the US, there’s a break in the action, with no releases scheduled on Friday.

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

EUR/USD Technical

  • Asian session: Euro/dollar  moved higher late in the session,  hitting a high of 1.3151, before  consolidating at 1.3133.  The pair is unchanged in  the European session.

Current range: 1.31 to 1.3160.

Further levels in both directions:   EUR USD Daily Forecast July 19th

  • Below: 1.31, 1.3050, 1.30, 1.2940, 1.2890, 1.2840, 1.28, 1.2750, 1.27, 1.2660 and 1.26.
  • Above: 1.3160, 1.32, 1.3255, 1.3350 and  1.34.
  • 1.31 is providing support, but remains weak.  1.3050 is next.
  • 1.3160 is providing resistance. The round number of 1.32 follows.

EUR/USD  steady  as markets shrug off Bernanke testimony  – click on the graph to enlarge.

EUR/USD Fundamentals

  • 6:00  German PPI, exp. -0.2%, actual 0.0%.
  • Tentative –  Spanish HPI.
  • Day 1 of G20 Meeting in Moscow.

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

EUR/USD Sentiment

  • Bernanke fails to make a splash:  The US Federal Reserve  took over center stage this week, as Fed chair  Bernard Bernanke testified before Congress  on Wednesday and Thursday. Instead of fireworks or any dramatic announcements,  Bernanke essentially served the same dish we’ve seen before. Bernanke said that monetary policy would remain accommodative, and that the pace of bond buys is “not on a preset course“. This rather vague statement leaves the Fed plenty of wiggle room to scale down  QE should it choose to do so. Bernanke reiterated that  any decision to taper QE would depend on  economic conditions. He noted that  present  unemployment levels (7.6%)  were “well above” normal levels, and shied away from presenting any time deadlines for scaling down QE. So the markets were left with the message that any tapering will be delayed until the recovery deepens and unemployment falls. There wasn’t much of a reaction from the currency markets, and EUR/USD showed only limited movement. Meanwhile, US releases looked very sharp on Thursday. Unemployment Claims dropped sharply from 360 thousand to 334 thousand, well below the estimate of 344 thousand. The Philly Fed Manufacturing Index surged, rising from 12.5 to 19.8 points. This was its best showing since March 2011, and the key indicator blew past the estimate of 8.5 points.
  • German numbers a mixed bag:  German numbers remain inconsistent, making it difficult to gauge the health of the Eurozone’s largest economy. On Friday, German PPI ended a nasty skid of four consecutive declines, rising to a flat 0.0%. On Tuesday, German ZEW  Economic Sentiment, one of the most important German releases, was a disappointment. The indicator dropped and fell below expectations. Last week, German Trade Balance and Industrial Production both missed their estimates. It’s true that Germany is in better economic shape than its struggling neighbors, but unless there’s substantial improvement in German numbers, the Eurozone economy will have a tough time getting on the road to recovery.
  • Spanish political crisis intensifies: Spain has seen its fair share of political crises, but the government certainly has all it can handle this time around. The ruling PP party find itself  meshed in a  political scandal which has made its way to the very top, potentially implicating Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The ex-treasurer of the ruling PP party has testified that he paid Rajoy and other members  substantial sums from a slush fund that was funded by various companies. The scandal has been in the press for months,  and is intensifying. There have been calls for Rajoy’s resignation, but analysts have noted that top level resignations by Spanish political figures  are rare, as it is not part of the Spanish political culture. Rajoy, who has denied any wrongdoing,  has a strong majority in parliament and  is not expected to step down.
  • ECB says interest rates could go even lower:  The ECB continues to signal that that interest rates, already at record lows,  could remain  at present levels  for a long time, or even move lower.  The door is still open to  negative deposit rates, which would likely hurt  the euro. German ECB members have not hesitated to comment on this topic, and have not always been in agreement. While Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said that low  rates are bad for the euro, his colleague Asmussen said that the extended period of time is more than 12 months. He later backtracked. In any case, the sentiment is dovish regarding rates, and this will continue to weigh on the euro.
  • Recent technical analysis articles:  EUR/USD Could Retest 1.3220 – Elliott Wave Forecast