The Euro fell to fresh one-year lows against the Dollar as key support levels gave way Wednesday. Weak business confidence data from Germany added fuel to the latest drop in the Eurozone currency and now focus turns to Friday’s U.S. Gross Domestic Product report as the next potential catalyst for the greenback.
Euro bulls have had little to cheer about lately. After losing 4.5% to the Dollar in 2018, the currency is again facing losses in the early parts of 2019. In fact, the 2% drop in the first quarter was its worst in four years. EUR/USD is now facing an important test heading into the next European Central Bank meeting this Wednesday, April 10.
Will this be the impetus leading EUR/USD on it's next leg lower?
The dollar rally faces a test as the first week of April brings a flood of economic data. Take a look at some (certainly not all) of the key statistics due out Monday through Friday:
- Monday: Retail Sales, Manufacturing
- Tuesday: Durable Goods
- Wednesday: ADP jobs
- Thursday: Jobless Claims
- Friday: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS
With the U.S. Dollar posting its best monthly gain of 2019 in March, surprises or disappointments in the data will help traders determine whether the rally has legs.
Did you see that move in EUR/USD yesterday?
Since hitting a low in early March, EUR/USD has been on a tear, gaining eight out of 11 trading days. Heading into yesterday's Federal Reserve meeting, that put the price pushing up towards some critical resistance.
To make things more interesting, the FOMC went ultra-dovish in their statement, backing away from any interest rate increases in 2019, downgrading the outlook for growth and setting an end date for its quantitative tightening. That hit the U.S. Dollar hard and has EUR/USD threatening to reverse a year-long downtrend. Let's take a closer look.
Imagine being in one trade over four days, watching your P&L go up $1,000 to even, back to up $1,000 to even as the market gyrates 40-50 pips over hours. Your long bias is still valid, so you sit in the trade, waiting for things to play out.
To compound matters, add that the last time the market did this, it was a false breakout that caused you to lose some money.
That's the scenario that Gabriele T. from Italy found himself in last week when he was long EUR/USD after it broke out above 1.1650. Yet Gabriele was able to be patient and let the trade work out, a decision that ultimately helped him profit $2,700.
In this week's The Trade, we break down the market setup and what Gabriele did so right.
“The EU is in an existential crisis. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.” - George Soros, May 29, 2018
Populism and anti-EU sentiment. Trade wars. Brexit looming. The global fundamentals underlying every major currency pair is on shifting sand — all the while interest rates are normalizing.
But in this environment, the U.S. Dollar caught a bid. Since highs above 1.25, the pair shed 6%, briefly breaking below a long-term trend line that supported price during the 2017 rally (red line). Right now, the pair is consolidating between the August/September 2017 high near 1.21 and the October low, at 1.1550 (black lines).
While I tend to believe the EUR/USD bounce appears temporary, with expectations that the market will head down towards 1.13, I think it’s always important to look at the opposite case.
For the U.S. Dollar bulls out there, here are the three biggest risks to continued Dollar strength.
EUR/USD was in a strong uptrend throughout all of 2017, rising more than 14%. The Euro, in general, was the best performing major currency of 2017. What made the move so impressive was that it was somewhat unexpected. As discussed, the U.S. Dollar came into the year on a strong note. However, fears of political instability subsided, Eurozone growth surged, and the European Central Bank (ECB) was forced to begin withdrawing its stimulus.
Those three factors turned the market around.
As the chart below shows, the first major breakout in EUR/USD came mid-April on the weekend of the French presidential elections (April 23) when it became clear that Emmanuel Macron would defeat Marine Le Pen. The market feared Le Pen would ride in on a global wave of populism and might pull an upset – potentially leading the French to exit the EU. That did not happen, and the EUR/USD surged.
The U.S. Dollar's rout continued in the past week, where it was impacted by political jawboning. This time, it was the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who seemingly reversed a 25-year-old strong Dollar policy.
Mnuchin's statement was contradicted 24 hours later by U.S. President Donald Trump, who said that he would expect the U.S. Dollar to get "stronger and stronger" during an interview on CNBC. But that didn't help the Dollar recover much — and it fell to a fresh 3-year low.
This week, eyes will turn back to the fundamentals driving the global economy: Tuesday's German CPI data, Wednesday's FOMC statement, and Friday's U.S. employment report. Here's why.