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EUR/USD: The Global Economy Is in Danger Again
- So, EUR/USD broke through the key support level formed in 2016. It fixed a low at 0.9899 on Tuesday, August 23, the low the pair traded 20 years ago, in November-December 2002. The euro lost about 485 points to the dollar lover the past year alone.
Although not officially recognized, in fact the US economy has already plunged into recession, GDP continues to fall, although this movement has slowed down a bit: -0.9% in Q1 2022 and -0.6% in Q2. Quantitative tightening (QT) by the Fed and macroeconomic factors increase the chances of strengthening this process. Thus, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has warned that the country's economy could expect "something worse than a recession", and the probability of this event occurring is 20-30%.
The situation in the Eurozone is even worse, and macroeconomic conditions still do not bode well. According to forecasts, due to the energy crisis caused by anti-Russian sanctions, Europe, and especially Germany, will face a very difficult winter.
“The world economy is in danger again,” said World Bank President David Malpass. “It is facing high inflation and slow growth at the same time. Even if a global recession is averted, the pain of stagflation could linger for several years.” This situation fuels the demand for safe-haven assets, and the US currency is traditionally one of them. The dollar index (DXY) is holding positions near multi-year highs around 108 points and, according to experts, may rise to 110 points.
The key event of the past week was the annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole on August 25-27, which brought together almost the entire US financial elite. The key event at the symposium was to be the speech of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, from whom market participants hoped to receive signals regarding the regulator's future plans. But he did not say anything new and significant, Powell's statements were a little more "hawkish" than before, but generally coincided with market expectations. Perhaps the head of the US Central Bank did not want to shock the markets in any of the directions. He did not name a specific figure by which the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) can raise the interest rate on September 21. Moreover, this decision may still be influenced by the forthcoming September reports on the labor market and consumer price dynamics.
The likelihood of a 50 basis point (bp) or 75 bp rate hike in September is about the same. Recall that the rate is at the level of 2.5% at the moment and the next increase will send it to the maximum level since 2008. And there is no doubt that it will happen, even though the CPI showed signs of slowing in July, falling to 8.5%, and inflation, as measured by the Core Price Index for Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), fell from 0.6% to 0.1% in a month.
At the same time, the ECB may also raise borrowing costs by 50 bp at its meeting on September 8. The minutes of the last, July, meeting of the regulator showed that a very large number of members of the Board of Governors agreed on the advisability of raising the key rate from 0.5% to 1.0%. Moreover, according to Reuters, some ECB leaders, due to the deterioration of the inflation forecast, want to discuss the issue of raising the rate immediately by 0.75%. However, the decrease in the difference between the rates of the Fed and the ECB, although it may slightly support the euro, will not change the situation fundamentally, since the difference between the rates will still remain in favor of the dollar. As a result, the US currency will continue to strengthen, and, according to Wells Fargo analysts, it may peak in Q4 2022. Economists from Nordea expect that EUR/USD may fall to 0.9700 by the end of the year, a number of experts call 0.9600 as well.
Jerome Powell's speech took place on the evening of Friday, August 26, in the middle of the US trading session, when the Asian and European currency markets had already closed. Therefore, the final reaction to the words of the head of the Fed will become clear only on Monday, August 29. As for the last week, although its performance caused some volatility, the pair placed the last chord within the weekly range, slightly below its center at 0.9966.
60% of experts support the fact that it will continue to move south in the near future, while the remaining 40% indicate the opposite direction to it. The readings of the indicators on D1 give much more definite signals. 100% side with the bears both among trend indicators and among oscillators. However, a quarter gives signals of it being oversold among the latter. The nearest bearish targets for EUR/USD are the July 14 low at 0.9950 and August 23 low at 0.9899. Note that the 0.9900-0.9930 area is also a strong 2002 support/resistance zone. For the bulls, the first priority is to rise above the 1.0000 parity level, after which it will be necessary to overcome the resistance of 1.0030, then 1.0090-1.0100, followed by the levels and zones of 1.0120, 1.0150-1.0180, 1.0200 and 1.0250-1.0270.
Statistics on the US consumer market will be released on Tuesday, August 30. We will have a whole series of data from the US labor market on the same day, as well as on Wednesday, August 31, Thursday, September 01 and Friday, September 02, including such important indicators as the unemployment rate and the number of new jobs created outside the agricultural sector (NFP). As for the European economy, data on unemployment in Germany and the consumer market of the Eurozone (CPI) will be received on Wednesday, August 31, and the value of the Business Activity Index in the manufacturing sector (PMI) and retail sales in Germany will become known on September 01.
GBP/USD: Very "Terrible Long-Term Outlook"
- We titled the review for GBP/USD “Gloomy Forecasts for the Pound Continue to Come True” a week ago. But it turns out that the situation does not just look gloomy but inspires real horror for some experts. “The long-term chart of the pair,” economists at Citi Bank believe, “is looking really terrible right now. It can be viewed as a large double top forming as a continuation pattern, which promises a price drawdown to parity and possibly below it. […] There is no significant support now (beyond the March 2020 peak low just above 1.14) until the major lows set in 1985 at 1.0520. […] This month's close below 1.1760, if any, would be a bearish external month.”
- GBP/USD closed last week at 1.1736. The pound continues to be pressured by the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, accompanied by a sex scandal, and rising inflation. British energy regulator Ofgem has announced that average annual household electricity bills will rise by 80% from October and that the new Prime minister will need to take urgent action to deal with such skyrocketing prices.
The median forecast for the coming week looks fairly neutral. 45% of analysts side with the bulls, and 55% support the bearish scenario. The indicator readings on D1 look exactly the same as those of the EUR/USD pair: all 100% are colored red, while 25% of the oscillators signal that the pair is oversold. Immediate support is the August 23 low at 1.1716, followed by 1.1650, 1.1535 and the March 2020 lows in the zone 1.1400-1.1450. As for the bulls, they will meet resistance in the zones and at the levels of 1.1755, 1.1800, 1.1865-1.1900, 1.2000, 1.2050-1.2075, 1.2160-1.2200, 1.2275-1.2325 and 1.2400-1.2430.
With regard to the economic statistics of the United Kingdom, traders should take into account that there is a bank holiday in the country on Monday, August 29. Among the important events, we can note Thursday, September 01, when the August value of the UK Manufacturing PMI will be known.
USD/JPY: BOJ Policy Will Remain the Same
- The USD/JPY pair has been moving in the sideways corridor 135.80-137.70 throughout the week. And if we talk about the results of the five-day period, the bulls won with a slight advantage: having started the week at 136.81, the pair ended it at 137.45. So, the neutral forecast was fully justified. Recall that the majority of experts voted for the movement of the pair to the east last time.
The latest survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg showed that inflation, which reached 3%, is unlikely to force the head of the Bank of Japan (BOJ) Haruhiko Kuroda to tighten monetary policy. While 3% is the highest level since 1991 (excluding years of tax hikes), it is still well below the 8.5% inflation rate in the US. Moreover, according to forecasts, inflation may reach 2.5% in the last three months of 2022, and be at the level of 1% at the end of next year.
As for a possible change in the monetary policy of the BOJ after the expiration of the term of Haruhiko Kuroda in April 2023, one cannot really count on this. And even more so, one should not expect an increase in interest rates at the next meeting of the Japanese regulator on September 22.
Based on the above, the majority of analysts (60%) believe that USD/JPY will again aim to test the July 14 high and take the height of 139.40. 30% of experts expect the yen to strengthen and a downtrend, and 10% give a neutral forecast. The indicators on D1 mirror the readings of the previous pairs: 100% of them point north, while 25% of the oscillators are in the overbought zone. Supports for the pair are located at the levels and in the zones 137.00, 136.70, 136.15-136.30, 135.50, 134.70, 134.00-134.25, 132.85-133.00, 131.75-132.00, 131.00. Resistances are 137.70, 138.40, 138.50-139.00, and finally the July 14 high at 139.38. Bulls' next targets are 140.00 and 142.00.
No significant statistics on the Japanese economy are expected to be released this week.
CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Dark Gray is the Colour
- As of last week, BTC/USD was trading in a tight $20,900-$21,800 range most of the time ahead of Jerome Powell's speech at Jackson Hole. It is in this zone that the cumulative average break-even of all bitcoin holders is located. But risky assets: stock indices (S&P500, Dow Jones, Nasdaq) and quotes of digital currencies flew down on the evening of August 26. At the time of writing, the main cryptocurrency has already begun to react to the hawkish mood of the head of the Fed and recorded a weekly low at $20,534. The total capitalization of the crypto market has fallen below the psychologically important level of $1 trillion and stands at $0.991 trillion ($1.028 trillion a week ago). The Crypto Fear & Greed Index has dropped 6 points in seven days from 33 to 27 and is in the Extreme Fear zone. It is possible that these figures will become even worse on Saturday and Sunday, August 27-28.
The overall picture at the end of summer looks like this. In July, whales (with assets of over 10,000 BTC) and shrimps (less than 1 BTC) have been the main investment force driving bitcoin up. It is known that institutional investors play a leading role in the whale population, highly dependent on what is happening on Wall Street. Institutional operations with digital assets are carried out through cryptocurrency funds. And, judging by the statistics, the inflow of investments into these funds stopped at the beginning of August, and the whales returned to selling their BTC coins in the second week of the month: the outflow amounted to about $21 million.
However, according to Bakkt crypto platform CEO Gavin Michael, despite what is happening, bitcoin will show significant growth in the coming years. Bakkt provides digital assets and futures trading services for institutional investors and, according to Michael, they are closely watching what is happening and their interest in the market is constantly growing.
One of the key signs of future price growth is the increase in network activity and the emergence of new addresses. Bitcoin activity is now at the same level as it was at the end of the 2018-2019 bearish market, according to analytics firm Glassnode. However, despite the signs of the end of the “crypto winter”, network indicators still do not signal a reversal of the macroeconomic trend. The researchers note that the bitcoin network still does not record the presence of demand for cryptocurrency from investors, which is essential for a sustainable uptrend. “Recent price increases failed to attract a significant wave of new active users, which is especially noticeable among retail investors and speculators,” Glassnode notes. The lack of hype is also indicated by the falling fees in the bitcoin network. As noted, its size has fallen below $1. Currently, the average cost of BTC transactions is around $0.825, which is the lowest level since June 13, 2020. Despite this, Glassnode believes that it is at current price levels that bitcoin can try to form a solid foundation for future growth.
CoinShares Chief Strategy Officer Meltem Demirors believes that “BTC does not see catalysts that could contribute to growth until the end of Q3.” But despite this, “we saw a lot of buying on drawdowns in relation to BTC” in summer, which, in her opinion, indicates the presence of capital willing to accumulate this asset.
If Meltem Demirors is cautiously optimistic, analyst Justin Bennett is quite pessimistic and believes that BTC may face another sell-off. Bitcoin has gone below the diagonal support that has kept the bullish vibe for the past few months. According to Bennett, the coin's rate fell by more than 30% the last two times in such situations.
Although the analyst is bearish, he predicts a small short-term rise in BTC to $23,000, which should be retested as resistance. Then a decline to $19,000 is expected. Bitcoin’s reaction at this level should, according to Bennett, determine its behavior until the end of the year: “The question will be whether we see a rebound and higher lows, or get lower lows for the rest of the year.”
As for ethereum, Meltem Demirors believes that investors are ignoring the general situation in the market, amid the hype around the transition of ETH to the PoS mechanism. And that, despite the benefits of the merger for the ethereum network itself, it is not certain that this event will attract significant investment capital: “While there is significant enthusiasm in the crypto community for a merger that can rapidly reduce supply and increase demand, the reality is more prosaic: investors are concerned about rates and macro indicators. I believe that significant amounts of new capital are unlikely to enter ETH. There are certain risks that need to be played out in the market because the merger has been used as an excuse to buy on the rumor and sell on the news. How will these risks be played out? Most likely on the institutional side or through trading, but through options rather than outright purchases of the asset.”
Another well-known strategist, Benjamin Cowen, spoke out about ethereum. In his opinion, if the most negative scenario is implemented, the logarithmic regression band indicates a possible fall in the ETH/USD pair to the $400-$800 area. Cowen calls such a drop an excellent opportunity to replenish Ethereum reserves. At the same time, he does not exclude the possibility of the altcoin moving up: “ETH can demonstrate a rally if the transition to PoS goes without significant problems (you need to be aware that some software updates do not always go smoothly) and the Fed changes its monetary policy.” (As a reminder, the ethereum network upgrade is scheduled for September 15-20. So, it won't take long to wait.)
NordFX Analytical Group
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