EUR/USD was steady, despite disappointing German PMI data on Thursday. There was good news out of Greece as a new coalition government was sworn in, just days after the election. The Federal Reserve opted not to implement further QE, but did state that it was extending Operation Twist.There a host of releases out the Euro-zone and the US today, notably US Unemployment Claims and US Existing Home Sales.
Here’s an update on technicals, fundamentals and what’s going on in the markets.
- Asian session: EUR/USD lost some ground, dropping to a low of 1.2644, where the pair consolidated. In the European session, the pair has edged upwards, and was trading at 1.2667.
- Current range: 1.2660 to 1.2760.
- Further levels in both directions: Below: 1.2660, 1.2623, 1.2587, 1.2540, 1.2460, 1.24, and 1.2330.
- Above: 1.2760, 1.2814 and 1.2873, 1.29, 1.2960 and 1.30.
- 1.2660 is fluid, and is currently providing weak support.
- 1.2760 is a strong line of resistance.
Euro/Dollar edges down on weak German data – click on the graph to enlarge.
- 7:00 French Flash Manufacturing PMI. Exp. 44.6 points. Actual 45,3 points.
- 7:00 French Flash Services PMI. Exp. 45.1 points. Actual 47.3 points.
- 7:30 German Flash Manufacturing PMI. Exp. 45.3 points. Actual 44.7 points.
- 7:30 German Flash Services PMI. Exp. 51.6 points. Actual 50.3 points.
- 8:00 Euro-zone Current Account. Exp. 7.3B. Actual 4.6B.
- 8:00 Euro-zone Flash Manufacturing PMI. Exp. 44.9 points. Actual 44.8 points.
- 8:00 Euro-zone Flash Services PMI. Exp. 46.5 points. Actual 46.8 points.
- 12:30 US Unemployment Claims. Exp. 381K. See how to trade this event with USD/JPY.
- 13:00 US Flash Manufacturing PMI. Exp. 53.4 points.
- 14:00 Euro-zone Consumer Confidence. Exp. -20 points.
- 14:00 US Existing Home Sales. Exp. 4.58M.
- 14:00 US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Exp. +0.7 points.
- 14:00 US CB Leading Index. Exp. +0.2%.
- 14:00 US HPI. Exp. +0.5%.
- 14:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Exp. 64B.
- 16:00 ECB President Draghi Speaks.
For more events and lines, see the Euro to dollar forecast
- Fed nixes QE: The Federal Reserve opted for a middle-of the-road approach at its policy meeting yesterday. It decided not to introduce QE, but did announce that it would extend Operation Twist, which involves selling short-term bonds and purchasing longer-term ones. Will this satisfy the markets, which were hoping for more aggressive monetary easing from Bernanke? As expected, the US benchmark interest rate stayed at 0%-0.25%.
- Greeks form a government: After months of political turmoil and deadlock, Greece managed to put together a new government with lightning speed, just three days after the elections. Antonis Samaras, head of the pro-bailout New Democracy party, was sworn in as prime minister on Wednesday. The new coalition is committed to easing the conditions of the bailout, so the EU, particularly Germany, will have to show some flexibility on the bailout terms if it is serious about keeping Greece in the EZ.
- German data disappoints: This week’s recent data has been a major disappointment and is a source of great concern. German ZEW Economic Sentiment and PPI were weak, and Thursday’s PMIs both fell below the market forecast. The once invincible German economy appears to be sputtering, and this could spell disaster for the Euro-zone.
- Bailout funds directly buying bonds?: With the EZ agreeing to lend Spain up to 100 billion euros to rescue its ailing bank sector, discussions have now focused on the mechanism of the loan. Spain would receive the funds from either the ESM or EFSF. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday poured cold water on suggestions that bailout funds be used to buy the bonds of the EZ members facing massive debt problems. We will likely further disagreements between Germany and other zone countries regarding the bailout funds.
- Spanish yields sky-high: Yields on Spanish 10 year bonds remain over 7%, an alarming (and likely unsustainable) level. New reports suggest that 150 billion euros will be discussed. The markets didn’t like the initial 100 billion announcement and quickly found at least 8 holes – including the eventual sum of money, the sources and impacts on other countries, including Greece. Spain is practically begging the ECB to help. So far, the powerful ECB has refused to get involved and provide help. Rating agencies add to trouble by downgrading Spain and its banks, which are intertwined too closely. This toxic mess could lead to Spain being completely shut out of credit markets.
- Dark clouds over Italy: The Euro-zone’s third largest economy is also suffering from dangerously high yields, above 6%. This could spell severe trouble as Italy has a debt larger than its GDP – and the latter is squeezing fast. Italy cannot hide behind Spain for too long. If the economy continues to deteriorate, Italy could be the next EZ member to hop onto the bailout bandwagon.
- New Banking Union for EZ?: At their recent summit, the G20 leaders pledged to consider concrete steps towards a more integrated financial system, including common banking supervision and firm guarantees to repay bank depositors. A European fiscal and banking union would strengthen the euro, bolster the EZ’s anemic growth and lower the high borrowing costs faced by counties with large debts. Such a program could take years to fully implement, but at least the leaders are discussing concrete measures to combat the severe debt crisis.