USD/CHF Outlook March 5-9

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The Swiss franc sagged against the dollar this week, losing almost 200 points, as it closed at the 0.9140 level. The upcoming week has four releases. Here is an outlook for the Swiss events, and an updated technical analysis for USD/CHF.

The franc followed the euro, which slipped badly against the dollar this week. The Spanish downturn and Greek bailout continue to spook investors and traders, and the dollar capitalized on the situation.

Updates: Retails sales were up 4.4% last month, the best reading since August 2011. USD/CHF moved upwards to 0.9180. The markets are awaiting the release of Foreign Currency Reserves. Foreign Currency Reserves dropped to 224.9B, a nine-month low. Swiss CPI rose 0.3%, a five-month high. USD/CHF was down, trading at 0.9100.

USD/CHF daily graph with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge: 

  1. Retail Sales: Monday, 8:15. This indicator is quite volatile, making accurate market predictions a difficult task. The indicator came in last month at a disappointing 0.6%, well below the market forecast of 1.6%. The March forecast calls for a sharp rebound, with an increase of 2.1.% This would be the best reading since September 2011, and could be a signal of an improving retail sector. 
  2. Unemployment Rate: Wednesday, 6:45. Unemployment has been hovering at around 3% since last May. No change is expected this month.
  3. Foreign Currency Reserves: Wednesday, 8:00. This indicator is important for traders, as it provides an indication as to how aggressively the central bank is acting to protect the Swiss franc. The February reading came in at 227.2B, its lowest reading since August 2011.
  4. CPI: Thursday, 8:15. CPI is the main inflation index, and can be a market-mover. The index recorded a decrease of 0.4% last month, indicating weak economic activity. The March forecast calls for a healthier reading of 0.2% increase in inflation.

USD/CHF Technical Analysis

USD/CHF rebounded nicely from last week’s drop. The pair opened at 0.8943, and reached a low of 0.8936. It then rose sharply, breaking the 0.91 level, as it punched through the 0.9120 resistance line (discussed last week) and climbed to a high of 0.9149. USD/CHF closed the week at 0.9139.

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We start with the resistance line at 0.9636. This is followed by 0.9510, which was tested in January and is providing strong resistance. Below, is the line of 0.9412, which acted as support last month, and is now in a resistance role. Next is the resistance line of 0.9306. This is followed by the line of 0.9250, which was last tested in February. Below, 0.9204 is providing resistance, but could fall if USD/CHF continues to move upwards.

The line of 0.9120 continues to be repeatedly tested, and now finds itself providing weak support as the pair broke through the 0.91 level this week. The next line of support is at 0.9050, followed by 0.8924.  Below, is 0.8850, which is providing the pair with strong support since November. Next is the line of 0.8768. The final support level for now is at 0.8710.

I am neutral on USD/CHF.

USD/CHF has shown a lot of votality, as the pair continues to vacillate in both directions. Although the US economy has been showing stronger signs of growth, and the Swiss economy is having trouble, the franc has enjoyed a strong 2012 so far.  

Further reading:

Get the 5 most predictable currency pairs

About Author

Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.

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