Euro dollar continues to slide in lower range, in a downtrend channel. The Federal Reserve didn’t change its policy and upped its tone regarding employment and inflation. Bernanke will continue moving markets in a speech later in the day. In Europe, a final seal of approval is expected for Greece’s second bailout program, a few days after the PSI was done and before the deadline to pay bondholders.
Here’s an update on technicals, fundamentals and what’s going on in the markets.
- Asian session: A relaxed session saw the pair struggling with 1.3080. It lost the battle in the European session.
- Current range: 1.30 to 1.3080.
- Further levels in both directions: Below: 1.30, 1.2945, 1.2873, 1.2760, 1.2660 and 1.2620.
- Above: 1.3080, 1.3150, 1.3212, 1.3280, 1.333, 1.3430, 1.3486, 1.3550 and 1.3615.
- A downtrend channel is emerging, as you can see in the graph.
- Note that 1.30 is a psychologically important number, but doesn’t offer much support.
- 1.3280 proved to be strong on the upside once again.
Euro/Dollar low after the Fed – click on the graph to enlarge.
- 10:00 Euro-zone CPI. Exp. +2.7%. Core CPI exp. +1.6%.
- 10:00 Euro-zone Industrial Production. Exp. +0.8%.
- 12:30 US Current Account. Exp. -114 billion.
- 12:30 US Import Prices. Exp. +0.6%.
- 14:00 US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talks.
- 14:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Exp. +2.2 million.
For more events later in the week, see the Euro to dollar forecast
EUR/USD Sentiment – Details of hurdles
- Relatively Bullish Bernanke: The FOMC left policy unchanged, as expected. This strengthened the US dollar. The statement included an acknowledgement of higher oil prices and a more upbeat wording regarding employment, such as “the unemployment rate has declined notably”. The impact of no QE3 or no hints of QE3 isn’t fully felt in the markets.
- Still awaiting final approval: Even though Greece completed the PSI successfully and the new estimation is that Greece will now reach a debt-to-GDP ratio of 117% in 2020, the EU still needs to provide a final green light. This is set for today. Fresh troika reports see Greece missing 2013 targets already, with more austerity needed after the elections. The IMF will decide on its contribution on Thursday. Greece already concentrates on politics towards the upcoming elections.
- Fitch upgrades Greece: This rating agency discontinued coverage of the old bonds, and set a rating of B- to new ones – this is a junk bond rating. Also yields on Greece’s new, swapped, 10 year bonds point to trouble – 19%.
- Worries from China: The economic giant joined its neighbor Japan and posted a huge trade deficit. This weighs on the “risk environment” and helps the US dollar.
- PSI – deadline open for foreign law bonds: Greece completed the PSI for Greek law bonds. The new ones are already trading at a quarter of a euro on the euro, reflecting a high chance of another default. There is a small portion of bonds under international law. The deadline for the PSI on these bonds is March 23rd. Note that there are specific bonds that include a loophole – one that could still cause a delay
- Portugal will struggle to return to the markets: While Portugal is probably successful at implementing the program, it will find it hard to return to the markets, after Greece has defaulted and after the private sector got a haircut, while the official sector didn’t.
- German ministers wants Greece to go: In a passive aggressive move, German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble said that he will respect countries who want to leave. Greece doesn’t want to leave, but there’s a growing notion that it is pushed to declare bankruptcy. This joins the words of Hans-Peter Friedrich that said he would advise Greece to leave the euro-zone and said that Greece should be “made an offer it can’t refuse” to leave.
- Draghi warns about inflation: The ECB left rates unchanged and made no policy changes. In the press conference, Draghi was very satisfied with the LTROs. He also warned about inflation, and said that the ECB has tools to fight it. Today’s CPI will provide more insight.