Forex FOREX PRO WEEKLY, April 01 - 05, 2024

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA

So, this week is a shorter a bit due Easter Holidays and, for the truth sake, not very intensive in terms of new events. Yes, we've got PCE and J. Powell speech, upside revision of GDP but in general it was either expected or had short lived impact on the market. Although important data releases are always stand in focus, we see some other processes that are spinning up. News over this processes are not focused in media, so it is difficult to take them together and put in the context. But when you do this, you see very interesting background. This is what we will do today.

As a by product of statists releases we see two events that have happened this week, which we see as most important. Although they are not related to data releases or J. Powell comments. We see signs of structural crisis acknowledgement among economical and political US establishment and suggest that this will have political consequences closer to the Fall of 2024. Thus these moments we keep for Gold report tomorrow as it also has tight relation with it. Another reason - just to not overload you with information on Holidays.

Market overview

The dollar gained on the euro on Thursday before key U.S. inflation data due on Friday and as investors squared positions for month- and quarter-end. The dollar rallied earlier on Thursday following comments from Fed Governor Christopher Waller late on Wednesday that recent disappointing inflation data affirms the case for the U.S. central bank holding off on cutting its short-term interest rate target.
Helen Given, FX trader at Monex USA, said that higher than expected inflation so far this year is unlikely to last, which should keep the Fed on pace for three 25 basis points cuts this year. “Waller's comments a little bit outsized and I think its really to do with the fact that there’s just slim flows across the world."

Data on Thursday showed that the U.S. economy grew faster than previously estimated in the fourth quarter, lifted by strong consumer spending and business investment in nonresidential structures such as factories.

J. Powell has not said anything new, the only issue that stands around his speech is a bit delicate situation with report of the Philadelphia reserve Bank that we will consider tomorrow. PCE numbers have brought now big changes. Data has been released in a row with expectations, previous month was slightly revised higher for 0.1%:

U.S. banks with significant lending exposure to some multi-family properties and particularly rent-controlled housing are vulnerable to posting losses this year on rising costs facing landlords, according to Fitch Ratings analysts. Lending by banks to multi-family borrowers grew 32% since 2020 to $613 billion at the end of 2023, according to a March 19 report by Fitch.

But supply has begun to outstrip demand, creating downward pressure on the rents landlords can charge, Fitch noted during Wednesday's call. These landlords also face rising interest rates and insurance premiums, coupled with decreasing apartment values. These factors have weighed on several regional banks with high exposure to the asset class, and in particular those most exposed to rent-controlled multi-family loans, where landlords face a ceiling on rent increases to offset rising costs.
"Especially in the more stringent rent-controlled areas, there is a limited ability to make up that difference," said Brian Thies, senior director at Fitch, on Wednesday's call. "So I would say it can be a concern for loan performance at this point."

Fitch highlighted 10 banks with the greatest multi-family loan exposure as of year-end 2023. Flagstar Bank FBCANK.UL , which merged with New York Community Bancorp in 2022, topped the list with 43.6% of its loan portfolio in multi-family. Other banks with a high proportion of multi-family loans include First Foundation Bank, Dime Community Bank, Pacific Premier Bank, Apple Bank for Savings, according to Fitch. There were 49 banks at the end of 2023 with at least 5% of multi-family loans past due on their payments, the ratings agency noted. Most of these consisted of regional and community banks.

Ratings agency S&P Global on Tuesday downgraded its outlooks for five regional U.S. banks to due to their commercial real estate (CRE) exposures, in a move likely to reignite investor concerns about the health of the sector. The ratings agency downgraded the outlook for First Commonwealth Financial, M&T Bank, Synovus Financial, Trustmark and Valley National Bancorp to "negative" from "stable," it said.
"The negative outlook revisions reflect the possibility that stress in CRE markets may hurt the asset quality and performance of the five banks, which have some of the highest exposures to CRE loans among banks we rate," S&P said.

As of Tuesday, S&P had negative outlooks on nine U.S. banks, or 18% of those it rates, it said, adding most of those ratings "relate, at least in part to sizable CRE exposures."

EU - big problems ahead

Today we take a look at some news and events that are not widely covered by media agencies because they are not "hot", but which have important meaning for our long term view. In fact they give us more confidence on USD dollar relative strength and downside trends on dollar related currency pairs, mostly EUR and GBP. Let's take a look at some "not hot" news in the stream.

Bank lending to euro zone companies and households continued to stagnate last month, with high interest rates likely to have discouraged borrowers as well as lenders, European Central Bank data showed on Thursday. Adjusted loans to households grew by only 0.3% in February, setting 9-year bottom, unchanged from the previous month. Growth in credit to companies accelerated slightly to 0.4% from 0.2% in January.

This is not surprising if people safe money and contract spending. Retail sales are strongly depressed while unemployment is raising as EU companies keep cutting jobs.

As media try to assure us - There is no crisis in Germany, but real wages (minus inflation) in 2022 fell at the highest rate since the Second World War. Nothing like this happened during the oil embargo, the reunification of Germany, the global financial shock of 2008, the European debt crisis. Now there are no analysts (perhaps except for DW) promising a bright future for Germany. Leading agencies agree that the German economy will stagnate until the end of 2025. However, the forecast does not include “black swans”, and they have been happening in Europe every year since 2019.

If (or when) Donald Trump’s comes to power the inevitable trade war between the United States and China will start. The export-oriented German economy that will be the most affected. Exports, consumption, investments will suffer, and over 4 years of confrontation, the Germans will lose another 120-150 billion dollars of GDP. That is, with the end of the conflict in Ukraine, Europe’s problems will not be over but will only begin. There are other economies that strongly depended from the Germany - Poland, the Czech Republic, and a number of smaller countries. A "lost decade" for debt-laden Europe, coupled with regular energy crises, will continue to spur revolts among various social strata, provoking the decline of the EU and the euro project.

The growth trend of the German economy, the locomotive and beneficiary of EU integration, broke down in 2019. Since then there has been no growth. But there is no pronounced decline. This is the effect of budget subsidies to support the economy. However, this model is not sustainable in the long term. The growing debt of the most financially disciplined member of the EU is a road to nowhere and a financial crisis looms on the horizon in a few years.

The financial crisis will be followed by a political one, since the model relying on cheap energy from Russia, cheap labor from Poland and the bottomless Chinese market no longer works. European politicians have no alternative development models. The decline of the euro zone began a decade ago. All attempts to extend it - through the printing press, the war in Ukraine, increasing debts - are playing with time - attempts to delay the inevitable collapse of a united Europe. However, over time, the number of problems does not decrease, but increases. At some point the system will go haywire.

Inflation does not allow the ECB to start cutting rates. At the same time, taxes for industrialists cannot be lowered - deficit budgets must be covered with something.
It is becoming more difficult for Europeans every year to compete with Chinese manufacturers operating on economies of scale, all other things being equal: labor costs, taxes, energy. Without cheap Russian energy, the European garden very quickly turns into a jungle.

The debts of European countries are a bomb under the economy. The ECB has been trying to sweep the crisis under the rug for a decade, preventing the debt pyramids of Greece and Italy from collapsing. France and Belgium are striving to join the club of extreme debtor countries.


Without central bank support, these countries are bankrupt. It is impossible to maintain a debt of 140-160% of GDP at rates of more than 3% per annum. Investors understand this, which is why they periodically exit European bonds. Fires arise and the ECB extinguishes them by pouring out the crisis through various support mechanisms. A side effect of this policy is inflation. At the same time, governments do not attach any importance to debt problems: over a decade, neither Italy, nor Greece, nor France have reduced their debts. Issues of supporting a pyramid are a headache for financiers - bankers and regulators.

But another important thing is that militarization, which the leaders of the EU countries are calling for today, is impossible for most states. War is very expensive, the largest economies in Europe do not have the resources for this, they were consumed in previous years. Now everybody watch only on inflation data and next C. Lagarde comments on what they will do with the rate, but do not consider overall situation in complex.

US meets inflationary pressure instead

Inflation’s salience with voters ranks well behind immigration and the general state of the economy but ahead of foreign policy, climate, taxes, healthcare and crime, according to the latest poll for the Wall Street Journal. Most voters disapprove strongly (50%) or somewhat (10%) of President Joe Biden’s handling of inflation, based on a nationwide survey, opens new tab of more than 1,700 registered voters conducted in late February. Persistent inflation, especially in services, has made the Federal Reserve cautious about cutting interest rates to help the U.S. economy accelerate.

Persistent inflation in the much-larger and more labour-intensive services sector is too important for the central bank to ignore. Services account for almost two-thirds of household spending (roughly one-third on housing, one-third on other services) with merchandise responsible for the rest. Service sector firms employ far more people (110 million) than manufacturers (13 million) and construction businesses (8 million). Service sector production ($16 trillion) is almost double that for goods ($9 trillion) and far above construction ($2 trillion).

Some of the continued increase in service prices during 2023 and 2024 likely represents an attempt to catch up with the higher price level in manufacturing after big increases between mid-2020 and mid-2022. For policymakers, the nightmare scenario is if services firms try to restore their prices relative to manufacturers, and workers whose incomes have fallen relative to inflation try to restore them to pre-pandemic levels.

Despite relative CPI and PCE numbers - inflationary expectations are raising. Rally on stock market, commodities reflect not only some demand but also built-in US Dollar inflation.

China’s effort to boost manufacturing and shore up the economy amid a real estate slump could put “meaningful upward pressure” on US inflation and push back the start of monetary easing, according to new research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Credit flows to China’s factories have accelerated sharply over the past few years, as authorities seek to compensate for diminished lending to the property sector.

The new approach stands a chance of boosting China’s economic growth above the rates of the past two years, at least in the short term, New York Fed economists wrote in a blog post this week. If that scenario plays out, the extra demand from Chinese manufacturers would likely push up prices for commodities and intermediate goods, and result in a weaker dollar, according to the New York Fed team.
That would “persistently tilt the balance of risks for US inflation to the upside,” the economists wrote. “Such an impetus to inflation could potentially delay market expectations for policy easing.”

Vanguard doesn’t expect the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates this year, defying the view from Fed officials that the central bank remains on track to reduce rates three times in 2024. Its base case is no rate cuts by the Federal Reserve in 2024, and Shaan Raithatha, senior economist at Vanguard, said this could have ramifications for central banks — and markets — around the world.
“As you all know, rate cuts have already been priced down from seven rate cuts at the start of the year to three,” Raithatha told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Thursday.“So, it depends on the reason why. … If it is because of the strong economy, especially supply-side driven growth, which is also disinflationary, then perhaps the stock market can continue that rally. But also at Vanguard, what we also believe is that the U.S. equity market is relatively overvalued at this stage.”

Vanguard isn’t alone in raising the possibility of zero rate cuts from the Fed this year. Mark Okada, co-founder and CEO of Sycamore Tree Capital Partners, told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” last week that there’s a “good chance” the central bank doesn’t reduce rates in 2024. "We are in the higher-for-longer camp,” Okada said on March 12.


With regard to when other central banks will start cutting rates, Raithatha said, “there is a bit of cat and mouse going on here. “I would say the key thing for the [European Central Bank] is what happens to the euro. Currently, markets are pricing in a fairly similar path for the Fed and for the ECB. We take a slightly different view to that.”

He said that if the Fed does hold rates steady in 2024, and the ECB does cut, that raises questions as to what happens to the euro.” “The euro may depreciate, we don’t know by how much, but if you get the euro say going towards parity, maybe that’s an extreme assumption, then that clearly raises inflationary concerns further down the line,” Raithatha said. Vanguard’s Raithatha said the asset manager expects the ECB to reduce interest rates between four and six times this year.

Former EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that the best way to think about what central banks will do next is to bet on the path of least resistance. To state the obvious, central bankers are human beings. They like being popular. It is easier to be popular if you’re cutting interest rates than if you are raising them. the natural behavioural bias is for most central banks to set interest rates somewhere a bit lower than they probably “should” be in order to encourage optimal allocation of resources.

Another important USD bullish driving factor here is liquidity. Traders should brace for a global withdrawal of liquidity, which will usher in more market volatility, according to Gavekal Research. Technology stocks, gold and bitcoin are among the assets to have soared lately, even after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, and the rich valuations in stock markets suggests that there’s still plenty of cash available.
“The hard reality of bull markets is that market advances need money to come in from somewhere,” wrote Louis-Vincent Gave of Gavekal Research. “Yet more new drags on global liquidity are going to appear in coming months. From both the demand and supply sides, the broad global liquidity environment seems set to change radically in the coming weeks and months,” Gave wrote in a report. “This should make for greater market volatility and should prove particularly dangerous for today’s various overstretched and richly-valued assets.”

These include a draining of the Fed’s reserve repo facility, more issuance of US Treasuries, the end to a decline in oil inventories and the potential repatriation of cash to Japan by domestic institutions after its central bank raises interest rate.


The risks of a depreciation of the euro have increased, according to pricing in the options market. Hedge funds are tuning in for further weakness although do not expect strong action. Option dealers keep a long gamma at these levels, which means that to hedge their risks, they need to buy the euro when it falls and sell when it rises. An analysis of April maturities shows that the euro needs to break out of the $1.05-$1.10 area in order to reach levels that will force market makers to push the market in any direction.

At about 6.6%, the exchange rate’s volatility is the lowest it’s been since November 2021, having fallen from nearly 11% a year ago and illustrating how becalmed the market has become. This peaceful state may prove transient; given that rate-cutting cycles and recessions tend to hit the weaker side hardest, the euro looks increasingly vulnerable.

According to interbank traders based in Europe, there has been a new round of sales from leveraged investors this month. At the same time, corporate demand has weakened, and purchases by players using only their own money have decreased, which suggests that the market considers the fall of the euro as the path of least resistance.

Although Hedge Funds are positioning for further EUR weakness, they do not expect very strong movement in the future. According to traders, there is still little interest to options strikes below $1.0650 on OTC market. Until the yearly 1.07 lows are convincingly broken, players with leverage prefer to trade in the latest ranges.
The tone will be set by the difference in interest rates.

The common currency, however, can’t defy gravity forever — so a return toward parity with the greenback looks more likely than not over the course of this year. The two main drivers of currency values are relative central bank interest rates and respective growth outlooks Both are fading faster in Europe than stateside. On both measures, the US position looks superior, with the dollar also underpinned by its status as the world’s reserve currency.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp.’s proprietary iFlow system tracks its global custody client holdings which, worth $46 trillion, are the world's biggest. On balance, clients remain overweight in euros. Geoffrey Yu, the bank’s senior strategist expects euro-dollar parity to return, not just due to fundamental economic and monetary reasons but because investors are shifting rapidly from being extremely long of euros.
The relative economic outlooks for the two largest global trading blocs are markedly different as it was mentioned above. Inflation has been in steady decline globally.
But on the growth outlook, there’s no competition. Deutsche Bank AG's monthly client survey has shown a steady shifting away from concern last year about an impending US recession to a large majority now expecting either a soft landing with growth remaining positive — or no landing at all. Fourth-quarter US gross domestic product rose at an annualized 3.2% pace; the euro zone economy stagnated. Moreover, the euro-zone’s future remains bleak. Most worrying is that the bloc’s biggest economy, Germany, is struggling with a collapse in exports and an end to its cheap Russian energy.

It’s likely fallen back into recession at the start of this year from which it doesn't look like suddenly bouncing out of. The rest of the bloc is either in or close to a recession, with a lackluster scenario for the next few years at least; economist are forecasting growth of just 0.5% this year, compared with 2.2% for the US. On interest rates, the European Central Bank is making loud noises about cutting its deposit rate in June. The US economy is still sufficiently vigorous to keep inflation concerns alive. Both central banks may well cut rates in June; but while the futures market puts the odds of a Fed move at 63%, the ECB's likelihood is at 84%. A weaker common currency appears to be the course of least resistance for the foreign exchange market.

Wall Street came into the year betting that virtually every Group-of-10 currency would gain against the dollar on expectations that the Federal Reserve would unleash a series of aggressive interest-rate cuts. Instead, a gauge of the greenback has jumped more than 2% this quarter and the US currency has beaten most of its major peers.
“Unmitigated, aggressive short dollar bets risk being gloriously wrong,” said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank Ltd. “It is unbelievably one dimensional to talk about the Fed’s pivot being a sure-fire short dollar bet. It is likely to be a mercurial beast, not a sanguine one that’s going to roll over and say ‘time’s up.’”

The dollar’s tailwinds also include its yield premium and a still robust US stock market that keeps attracting capital inflows.
“Historically it was the US and the Fed that would be leading this macro narrative, and now the US and the Fed are coming in last” on easing, said Frances Donald, global chief economist at Manulife Investment Management, at an industry conference last month. “It’s very difficult for me to be bearish on the dollar because we just see the Fed and the US having a level of economic resiliency and exceptionalism that far outpaces” peers, she said.
“When as we believe attention shifts to the policy differentials, currency markets can catch up,” said Alex Everett, investment manager of rates management at abrdn plc. “The greenback stands to perform here in the near term, fueled by continued economic strength and the remarkably benign glide path of inflation” lower.

All mentioned above guys is our concern as well. But this is only the half of the story. There are few publications have appeared that point of political background inside the US as well. We will consider it tomorrow. It means that closer to the Fall of 2024, dollar could get support from another source as well.


Here, since summer 2022, when MACD trend has turned bullish, EUR stands in the range. Although it seems wide, but EUR shows no continuation in any direction. As it was mentioned above traders particularly watch for 1.05-1.10 range. Very soon price starts flirting with MACD line, or just trend will break downside. Now price stands under the pivot and gets more and more signs of bearish dynamic pressure, despite that nominal context remains bullish by far.

Also we should keep in mind quarterly bearish grabber that fits perfect to our fundamental view:


Here is we keep going with our plan. Our scenario as well as MACD trend remains bearish as we follow to bearish grabber here. Pattern suggest the challenge of 1.07 lows. But now EUR also comes to support trendline. Together with coming NFP next week it could raise EUR volatility:


On Friday markets were actually closed, so I wouldn't pay too much attention to its performance (actually on futures charts it's totally absent). In general, here we have no issues with bearish performance. Market stands in relatively free space (ex. weekly trendline), trend remains bearish, price action brings to concern by far. Our major pattern here is huge H&S pattern (that we also have on DXY), suggesting the reaching of the neckline as the first target around 1.07 area:


Here I would consider two important patterns. First is - bullish grabbers on 4H of DXY that we do not have on EUR. Second is - the butterfly on DXY. On EUR currency we also do not have it. This butterfly has the target near 5/8 area. In terms of the EUR this is the same 1.07 area and our XOP target. Butterfly on DXY could finalize grabber target as it stands slightly higher. In fact DXY butterfly is based on "BC" swing of the EUR chart below. But on EUR market was not able to form the butterfly shape. Here we have small butterfly instead and bullish divergence.


On 1H chart we have the wedge pattern. Together with the divergence above it could trigger more extended upside bounce in the beginning of the week. Since we have bearish context intact, we will consider it as potential chance for short entry:

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Morning everybody,

On EUR we have almost nothing to comment. Everything goes with the plan. Market has shown strong reaction on recent positive ISM data. I also suggest that demand for USD was boosted by Israel hit on Iran Embassy in Syria, at least based on gold dynamic... Anyway, today we're focused on nearest 1.07 target, which is also support area on daily chart.

DXY already has broken similar level and completed weekly grabber's target, so now is EUR turn:

That's in fact our XOP target on 4H chart:

In general, when H&S is forming, there should be either no upside bounce from neckline or it should be small. Since we have 5/8 support area and near standing daily Oversold, we suggest that pullback has good chances to happen. At the same time, it should not be too high. Thus we will keep an eye on two levels of 1.0775 (preferable one) and the K-area of 1.08. Any action above this level should raise question about bearish context strength.

That's being said, if you keep shorts - think about what you gonna do around 1.07. For those who just want to take short - watch for tactical bounce.
Morning everybody,

Today is just a brief update, not many things to discuss. EUR has started the pullback prior completion of XOP target at 1.0705. This is the major concern right now. While it has no impact on major trading setup, which is still bearish and barely impacts on daily picture, for intraday traders it could be some problem

Here are two points to mention. First is, any untouched target below the market is always the risk factor for bulls. Especially when we have healthy downside tendency recently. That's why if you're sure that EUR should rise and what to make a bullish bet (why it is a separate question), you have two options. First is - hide initial stop below XOP to avoid occasional out. Second - wait when XOP will be completed.

Second is - cross market analysis might be really handy in such situations. While on EUR we see nothing interesting, except our XOP target that is untouched - DXY chart gives us very important detail, which is bullish 4H grabber:

This changes everything. At least until this grabber remains valid. Yesterday we've discussed possible levels that EUR could reach on retracement. Now it stands at the 1st one. Thus, with all these moments in mind, this 1.0775 might become the one from where EUR could keep going lower. Yes, we also do not forget about our vital K-area of 1.0810, but we do not want to see EUR there, but prefer downside continuation with our major H&S daily pattern:

Final moment to mention here is the US Yields. They are moving higher, maybe not too fast, but anyway. And this is also dollar supportive factor. Taking it all together, personally I'm not ready to buy now and would search chances for short entry, at least until bearish grabber and other factors stand valid.
Morning everybody,

So, market just can't let us to relax, every time something is happening. This time - J. Powell yesterday speech has broken bearish sentiment. Now once again we will have to deal with multiple scenarios, because it is still unclear how long lived will be this effect. Besides, tomorrow we will get NFP and in nearest 48 hours escalation between Iran and Israel could start. And we have to deal with all this stuff...

First is the daily chart... Here the question is about bearish grabber, the same is on DXY, where price is just going to MACDP line. Depending on the grabber we could get different scenarios to follow on intraday charts. Thus, this is the first point to keep an eye on:

Second is 4H chart... here is obviously we're getting reverse H&S pattern. And recent upside action is a nice thrust that should be quit handy to us. In fact, our 2nd point - is possible B&B "Buy" around 1.08 area. First is, because it fits to symmetry of the pattern. Second is - this is our broken w/o any respect
K-resistance area. Very often market re-tests it later and it works as support.

On 1H chart market now stands at Agreement of 5/8 level and upside XOP. Supposedly this is an area where the neckline could be formed.

THat's being said the plan as follows. Waiting for B&B "Buy" on 4H chart, take it if we get it. Then watching for daily grabber. No grabber let's us to count on more extended action with H&S, somewhere to 1.0950 probably. If we get the grabber - take just minimum target of B&B and stay prepared for H&S failure with re-establishing of major daily bearish tendency. It is interesting how coming NFP will set to this picture...
Morning everybody,

So, recent EUR action perfectly fits to our plan that we've discussed yesterday. We've got the grabber, that suggests no upside continuation (at least for now) and B&B on 4H is ready to start.

In general yesterday we've signed raising demand fo safe haven assets. You could see what has been done with the yen, US yields also moved slightly higher, dollar rises, stocks fall - so markets stand in expectation of possible Iran response.

The same grabber we've got on DXY, but a bit surprisingly we do not have it on EUR futures. But with the background that we have I'm tending to believe that we do have it.

The grabber is one of the key points in the plan. It suggests that we do not consider higher upside action with 4H H&S pattern. Those who intend to trade B&B "Buy" on 4H chart should be focused on just minimal its target, around 1.0855. Those who trade on daily chart could consider the same level for potential short entry. If, of course we will not get very fast upside action, say, due weak NFP:

Here it seems that B&B is ready to start:

Of course you could take your own trading decisions if you see situation differently. Here we give you just general view and explain patterns. This is not the truth in last resort. For example, you might be watching for grabber failure and action with reverse H&S on 4H chart. Also we have different view on NFP. Some are trading it, some prefer to skip it.