Forex FOREX PRO WEEKLY, April 08 - 12, 2024

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA

Excluding political background, the hot spot of this week was an NFP report that keep shocking the imagination. Just recently Phil Fed Bank has released the analysis, showing of artificial boost of NFP data for ~1.8 Mln jobs, and here is again - we've got 300+K new jobs, almost 100K higher than expected. Let's mention briefly here that jobless claims has jumped to record levels this week as well... Yes this is not the same data, of course, but still... All eyes this week are on Middle East conflict, so some economical news were on a backseat. But there some interesting information that is worthy to be commented.

Market overview

The dollar hit a two-week low on Thursday as economic data supported expectations for quick interest rate cuts in the U.S., and fell against the battered yen.
An unexpected slowdown in U.S. services growth, supporting the idea of bringing interest rates down, had pushed the dollar lower on Wednesday. Still, the U.S. currency was able to pare some earlier losses after Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said rate cuts might not be required this year if inflation continues to stall.
Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin said on Thursday that inflation data at the start of this year "has been a little less encouraging," and raises the question of "whether we are seeing a real shift in the economic outlook, or merely a bump along the way."
"Powell seems to still be targeting a June rate cut and that's why I think that this labor report, the reaction could be amplified, particularly if we see non-farm payrolls coming in on the lower side of expectations or below expectations," said Paresh Upadhyaya, director of fixed income and currency strategy at Amundi US.

The rates picture, with U.S. 10-year yields at more than 4% and Japan's still close to zero, is keeping big Japanese investors' cash abroad, where it can earn better returns, depriving the yen of support from repatriation flows. Japanese authorities will likely intervene in the currency market if the yen breaks out of a range it has been in for years and weakens well beyond 152 per dollar, former top Japanese currency official Tatsuo Yamazaki said on Thursday.
"I'm not sure they'll draw the line right at 152, but I think that somewhere near 152 they have to jump in there," said Steve Englander, head of global G10 FX research and North America macro strategy at Standard Chartered Bank in New York.

While markets may be focusing on whether the dollar will rise above 152 yen, Japanese authorities likely won't see any break above that level alone as a strong enough reason to intervene, former top currency diplomat Hiroshi Watanabe told Reuters in an interview.
Japanese authorities likely won't intervene in the currency market unless the yen plunges below 155 to the dollar, former top currency diplomat Hiroshi Watanabe said on Thursday. At current levels, I don't think authorities will intervene. They probably won't step in unless the yen makes a sudden plunge below 155 to the dollar," said Watanabe who, as vice finance minister for international affairs oversaw Japan's currency policy from 2004 to 2007. The 155 line would be a psychologically important level and a break above it would draw a lot of media attention, thereby heightening the chance of intervention especially if the yen's declines are big, Watanabe said. The dollar/yen is likely to move in a range of 145-155 for the time being," partly because the interest-rate gap between the United States and Japan will remain wide, he said. Even if Japan's economy improves, that won't necessarily lead to a strong yen," Watanabe added.

Analysts said the further drop in Swiss inflation in March reinforced the view that the Swiss National Bank would cut rates by an additional 50 basis points this year.

The dollar strengthened on Friday but was still set for a weekly loss after data showed U.S. employers hired far more workers than expected in March, potentially delaying anticipated interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve this year. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 303,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said in its closely watched employment report on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 200,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 150,000 to 250,000.

U.S. interest rate futures pared back the odds of a rate cut in June to 54.5% after the release of the jobs report, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.
"It's really encouraging the market to get more and more comfortable with this fact that we know rates have to come down, but do they really need to come down quickly? And do they need to come down as much?" said Amo Sahota, director at Klarity FX in San Francisco.
"That should continue to underpin dollar strength on a broad basis," said Brad Bechtel, global head of FX at Jeffries.

But economic strength and higher prices of commodities, including oil, copper, coffee and cocoa, is complicating the inflation picture. U.S. bond giant PIMCO has trimmed its expectations for interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve this year to two after data on Friday showing the U.S. economy created more jobs than expected last month, said a portfolio manager.
"We did have two to three cuts this year and our base case now is most likely two cuts this year," Mike Cudzil, a managing director and generalist portfolio manager at the asset management firm, told Reuters. "Directionally this means a little bit less out of the Fed, and that's a good thing, the economy is proving for now that it can handle higher rates," Cudzil said. I think it makes sense to get closer to neutral and if anything we're looking potentially at when we should get overweight on duration," he said.

Others in the market on Friday continued to stick to previous calls of three rate cuts this year because they anticipate inflation will moderate despite strong job growth.
"While exceptionally strong, the employment report is consistent with the Fed starting to ease this year in June," analysts at BofA Securities said in a note. "A jump in labor supply can allow for stronger growth without overheating effects," they said.

Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s chief investment officer of global fixed income, said an expansion of the workforce was positive for the economy as long as it kept wages contained. Still, he said, Friday's jobs report put more emphasis on inflation readings over the next few months to assess the path of interest rates this year.
"Expectations have got to be somewhere between two to three cuts, and I think that today's data moves the needle ever so slightly towards two," he said.


The equity risk premium - which compares the S&P 500 earnings yield against the 10-year Treasury yield - turned negative in the first quarter for the first time since 2002, said Keith Lerner, co-chief investment officer at Truist Advisory Services.
"Bonds offer some real competition," said Ed Clissold, chief U.S. market strategist at Ned Davis Research. "So if we were to see the 10-year Treasury yield spike back towards 5% like it did last fall, stocks would probably reflect that and equity valuations would need to come down."
If yields are rising "because growth has been a lot stronger than expected, then investors will be OK with that," said Damian McIntyre, head of multi-asset solutions at Federated Hermes. "But if growth starts to slow and inflation is climbing then that will start to weigh on investors' minds."
"Stocks can weather a lot if the earnings are there," said Carlson of Horizon Investment Services. "But if earnings don't continue to beat expectations and you've got rates now going to four-month highs, that is going to be a problem for the market."

Data showing a cooling U.S. services sector and comments this week from Fed Chair Jerome Powell had reinforced the view that rate cuts were likely to commence in 2024. The year-over-year change in the average hourly earnings cooled and will restore confidence that wage increases are normalizing, said Dec Mullarkey, managing director of investment strategy and asset allocation at SLC Management in Boston.
"Right now, this gives the Fed more reason to stay patient and slightly changes the odds of rate cuts this year from three to two," he said.

Small business surveys show demand for workers is headed lower and wages are just above the run rate of the Fed's 2% inflation target, said Roosevelt Bowman, senior investment strategist at Bernstein Private Wealth Management in New York.
"The hiring intentions and muted wage growth is encouraging for the Fed and saying, 'Hey, we're adding jobs without necessarily adding inflationary pressures'."

Next week's consumer price index (CPI), which is expected to show core inflation slowing to 3.7% in March from 3.8% the prior month, is likely to shape near-term Fed policy.
The U.S. dollar will remain strong over the coming months as financial markets continue to push back on expectations for the timing and magnitude of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, according to foreign exchange strategists polled by Reuters. A strong U.S. economy and sticky inflation has forced financial markets to rethink their bets on the timing of the first Fed rate cut. None of the major currencies were expected to recoup their year-to-date losses against the dollar, at least in the coming three months, according to currency strategists in the March 28-April 3 Reuters poll.
"Markets are gradually learning that this is not a 'cut-no-matter-what' environment, but rather one where there is 'no rush to adjust' ... That should continue to put a floor under the dollar, at least until inflation relief comes into clearer view," strategists at Goldman Sachs noted.

Recent appreciations of the dollar and gold are "anomalies" and the greenback should not be so strong due to the U.S. deficit, Co-Chief Investment Officer at Bridgewater Associates Karen Karniol-Tambour said on Wednesday. Geopolitical fears could explain the metal's price high prices, she added. But gold should only follow the appreciation of the dollar, not go up more than the greenback shot, Karniol-Tambour also said during comments at the Sohn Conference in New York.

The euro , trading around $1.08 on Wednesday, was expected to gain about 1.0% to $1.09 by the end of June, making small inroads into a 2.3% loss so far this year. It was then forecast to strengthen another 1.0% to $1.10 in six months, according to median forecasts from 90 foreign exchange analysts. The European Central Bank is increasingly confident that inflation is heading back to its 2% target and the case for easing borrowing costs from record highs is strengthening, the accounts of the bank's March 6-7 meeting showed on Thursday.
"Members expressed increased confidence that inflation was on track to decline sustainably to the 2% inflation target in a timely manner," the ECB said in the accounts of the meeting. "While it was wise to await incoming data and evidence, the case for considering rate cuts was strengthening," the ECB said.

Markets are looking for confirmation from the European Central Bank that a June rate cut is really coming, though oil is on the rise again, clouding the inflation picture. The European Central Bank meets on Thursday in what is likely the final hurdle before it starts cutting interest rates. Traders see a nearly 100% chance of a 25 basis-point cut in June, so a green light is crucial to uphold market sentiment.

A flurry of policymakers have explicitly signalled June as the date of a first move. Even Austria's uber-hawk governor Robert Holzmann is not opposed. Data showing inflation falling unexpectedly to 2.4% in March should give the ECB further confidence. So the ECB is very likely to signal rate cuts are coming. The question is how explicit policymakers will be about June, given they want to review first-quarter wage growth figures that will be released in May.

The amazing job report again...

So market sentiment from above section is clear - rate cut is postponed, economy is growing, stock market will get more and more pressure. Job report was amazing again. But let's have a look. First is - somehow everybody forget about illegal (or even legal) immigrants. The pace of immigration is reached unbelievable levels during J. Biden presidency. Yes, obviously it follows mostly a political target - get more voices (with accelerated legalization and citizenship providing) to overcome domestic voters. But now we're interested with another issue:

So, on average we could acknowledge ~ 200K of monthly inflow, started since 2021. But, in 2023 it was even higher level. According to a recent report from John Burns Research and Consulting, the United States will experience the largest annual population growth in history in 2023 (+3.8 million people ~316K per month), largely due to illegal immigration. So the Biden admin and Democrat open-border policies are facilitating the largest invasion in the country’s history. Now, let's carefully look at those 303K of NFP, and in general on NFP. I provide you with a few charts below:

At the same time, while average work week has ticked up a bit, we do not see solid decrease in wide U-6 unemployment rate and lay-offs announcements. If take a look at recent NFP components, than we will see that government jobs, education and Health bring 50% of all new jobs created. Including hospitality and leisure brings another ~13%:

As a result - literally every new job in March was part-time while full-time jobs dropped again and are at a 14-month low. Average wage growth stands above 4% for 33 months in a row:


And just a conclusion another chart here. The gap between actual jobs and the pre-covid job trend narrowed again in March, but is still at a -3.9 million deficit. Explains the continued strength in the labor market and the 2.4 million spread between the of job openings (8.8 million) & of unemployed (6.4 million).

Should I explain or you will make the conclusion by yourself? Job market is not improving it is under restructuring. Sharp rise in cost of real estate and outstanding rally on stock market significantly boosted the wealth of US citizens (not migrants). Chart above shows acceleration in early retirements of baby-boomers generation. As a result, the level of lay-offs announcements remains at high levels. This might be one of the components. At the same time wide U-6 unemployment measure remains stubbornly stable, because it also includes those persons who either despear to find the job or remains unemployed longer than few months that stand beyond common unemployment measure (which is 3.8% now). Finally only part-time jobs are raising, full time jobs are falling or stagnating.

Taking it together with immigration statistics, you see that ~ 200K of illegal migrants arrives every month. If even half of them get part-time job - you get ~100-150K NFP surplus every month, because this is report based on companies' survey, not based on individuals. Other words speaking, you should not have the green card to get the job and appear in NFP numbers. Lay-offs could even raise, because migrants are ready to work for lower wages, it lets keep hourly earnings inflation stable or even to decrease it. It could work fine until crisis hurts the prosperity of the citizens and mass lay-offs start because of economy conditions and drop on stock market.

The post-Covid normalization of economic activity levels was mainly driven by immigration. At the same time, the number of pensioners continues to remain in trend.
The bottom line is that even with around 1 million people have died from Covid, around 5 million local workers are "missing in action". These 5 million workers are the reason the labor market is tight and why wage inflation is likely to remain high - even with migrants agreement to work for lower money, the gap is too high to push wages lower. This explains why hourly earnings are stubbornly high at 4%. And it needs years (that the US do not have) to recover this situation.

The recovery is very fragment across the country. The president is campaigning for an industrial renaissance, but the number of jobs has not reached the states that are critical to his re-election. ️In Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, manufacturing jobs have not recovered to 2019 levels.

Besides, the Phil Fed report that points on manipulations with 1.8 Mln jobs by BLS is not cancelled. So, our conclusion that market is totally wrong, when it based its expectations on this job data. Until it holds, nobody recognizes the fake, but when situation will start to change, this plan will fall apart like sand castle. This data is bad foundation for long term investing strategy. Stay with Gold and you will be safe.

At the same time, it makes direct impact on EUR/USD balance. We have the picture of prosperity, saft landing and economy growth, making ECB to act ahead of the Fed. They do not have so good numbers. PIMCO things the same.

Why Inflation will not drop
Last week we've considered L. Summers article that has turned public this week. And not only his article has been published. WSJ has joined this startup and has shown real consumer goods inflation in his report. As you understand, such events never happen occasionally. I do not believe in miracle surprises. It is attempt of direct impact on public opinion changing, showing that situation in the future will worsen. This might be the reason why gold has accelerated this week. Those who understand such a hints have taken some action.

As we've mentioned in Telegram, for the sixth month in a row, short-term super-core PCE performance has outpaced last year's performance. An undeniable sign that inflation is accelerating again, as well as its expectations.
In fact, the big rally on commodities across the board, rally of stock market by our view is a hidden indicator of dollar inflation. Because all commodities are raising, not only cocoa due bad harvest or coffee, but even based materials, copper, textile raw materials etc. What is also interesting that JP Morgan alone expects S&P drop to 4200. All other banks forecast rally. This JPM forecast wonderfully coincides with their expectations to see Crude Oil price at 100$ level. Other worlds speaking, they expect massive capital redistribution out from stock market into commodities ETF or other assets due to raising of inflationary expectations.

Finally, if we are talking about job market today - why nobody considers inflation from immigration point of view. There are only talks about QT and how strong the Fed cuts its balance. But how much the US government spend on illegal migrants? At the end these money is indirect QE - you print it and distribute. Either directly in a way of cash or indirectly by providing social programmes of healthcare, insurance, house rents etc. There are different expert opinions on this subject, starting with ~2200$ per month, i.e. ~ 100-150 Bln per year, suggesting ~ 3.8 Mln of inflows. But with taking in consideration non-cash spendings, support could reach up to 6000-7000K per month. Zero Hedge concludes that one could argue that, at the low end, immigrants receive (per capita) about 70 to 75 cents for every welfare dollar that goes to natives. That's not exactly "good news" given that overall federal spending on social benefits amounts to about half of the annual $6.3 trillion budget and is clearly out of control.

We're not interested with the US immigration problems, here we have purely pragmatic interest - how much cash comes in the system under cover of different social programmes to migrants, which is also might be the hidden source of inflation. And here is we come to the dead way - Medicine for unemployed migrants devoured the greatest State in the history.

The main problem with the US budget and debt crisis is that the budget has become socialistic. Two-thirds of the budget are irreducible social expenses (benefits, medical programs, insurance, veterans) - protected items. It is they who make the US federal budget a black hole, sucking in more and more resources to maintain socialism for several tens of millions of citizens.

Of the remaining part - a third - is the cost of interest on loans - an even more important item. An expense item that could theoretically be reduced is spending on defense and intelligence services. That is, it’s also impossible.

Everyone understands that the US is heading towards a budget and debt crisis. However, nothing can be done now. Taking benefits away from unemployed African Americans and migrants and handing them over to creditors is a recipe for civil war. It is impossible not to pay the bonds: this will lead to default with all that it entails. Taking money away from the military means losing hegemony....


Long term chart brings nothing new by far. Nominal trend remains bullish, but price stands under the Pivot and flat in recent 3 months. April range is very small. So, the only valuable pattern right now is a big bearish grabber on quarterly chart of the EUR.


Trend here remains bearish, we still have uncompleted bearish grabber, while DXY already has completed its own one. Now price stands around trendline support but here we also do not have any other patterns and hints where market could go. Thus, we take only general bearish context on weekly chart, that in general agrees with fundamental background:


Here we have most confusing situation at least as the first glance. Daily trend has turned bullish, but we still have directional bearish grabber pattern. It corresponds to the same one on DXY. At the same time, CME EUR futures shows that we have no grabbers at all, but trend there remains bearish. Using just common sense tells that we have at least bearish trend on EUR. Or stronger bearish context with the grabber on the back:


Although with some thrilling due to NFP release but upside bounce from 3/8 support is started. EUR has formed nicely looking bullish engulfing pattern. Still, NFP data stands in favor of USD. Besides, as we've said above - daily picture still remains bearish and grabber is still valid. That's why we still keep our view that upside bounce could have short life and suggest that local 4H H&S has chances to fail. If you have bought EUR - move stops to breakeven at least or maybe think about result booking:

For now it is obvious the H&S shape on 1H chart, but OP stands above the top, suggesting that daily grabber should be erased. From the existed picture it is impossible to foresee the whole picture. Here are some thoughts. First is - we have not grabber on EUR, while DXY performance definitely will be a bit different. So, if EUR even will touch OP, the grabber on DXY could stay valid.

Second is, on Monday EUR could drop slightly to start upside action from lower levels. Thus OP might move lower and top remains untouched, we will see. But anyway, if you have long position - watch it carefully, especially when EUR will come closer to the previous top. As Fundamental as technical picture now doesn't suggest extended action with 4H H&S pattern.
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Sive, thank you very much for your insightful and most useful reports and analysis.
My personal thoughts:
EUR strength will be curbed by the almost foregone conclusion that the ECB will cut rates before the FED.
For JPY, the rise of US$ will be curbed by the ever presence of intervention of the BOJ near or at the levels. However, some Analysts have stated that might happen only at the 153-155 levels. Personally, I think the BOJ might intervene only when the price of oil is passed the US$100 pb as that will be rather painful for Japan's imports with weak a Yen.
So, my trading plan for the next few weeks is to go short on EUR/USD and USD/JPY on any meaningful rises with a mixed of short-term scalp and, if I like what see on the screen, day trades.
Cheers and all the best!
Maybe statistics need to be screwed, so that masses think there is no big inflation no recession. Thus if it is looking soo good, it is easier for J.P. to cut rates, so J.Y. Can pay less interest on debt?
Hi Peter, I'm tending to idea of some political background of these manipulations. Previously the US was many times in recession but more or less fair data was provided. What has changed now? Either politics, as I said, or situation so awful that they are scaring to show it.
Morning everybody,

So far so good - EUR accurately follows the plan, completing intraday bullish setup, Friday's B&B "Buy". Now the major question is what to do next. Our initial setup was, as you remember - "if we get daily grabber, we do not make a bet on further upside continuation and watching for 4H H&S pattern failure."

So, grabber stands in place. Additionally I would add few moments. First is coming US CPI report, ECB meeting where already July cut will be under question and possible Iran response after 10th of April. Potentially these factors also might be bearish for EUR:

So, as bulls as bears have to decide what to do next. Bulls have relatively more simple scenario because positions already are taken and they are in good point. The only question is to either book or hold. B&B Buy is done on 4H chart, even a bit better:

On 1H chart reverse H&S is working still and take a look - "C" point indeed has been formed slightly lower (actually here we have nice "222' Buy), as we've suggested. Now, market could as complete upside OP as keep bearish grabber valid:

Thus, bears in turn have to decide where to enter. First option is right now, near the top of the grabber. The adv. is very small potential loss, as market is already near. Second option is more conservative - wait for failure of 4H H&S pattern and drop to 1.08 lows again.
Morning everybody,

Market stands a bit nervous, preparing for the bulk of important events - US CPI, ECB and Iran. This explains why we see now contradictive signals. Whatever position you take today it will have big part of gambling, because next move obviously will come due either CPI or ECB data.

Meantime, on daily chart upside bounce from the neckline is not good sign, although pattern is still valid and grabber is still valid, despite that the top was challenged yesterday:

On 4H chart recent performance is not good for reverse H&S as well. We've got bearish reversal candle and great bearish engulfing pattern on top, divergence here as well.

It means that on 1H chart we've got W&R action around grabber's top, was rather tricky, but it is also bearish, suggesting that the grabber is not erased.

For now, if we keep possible results of CPI and ECB aside, we see only this bearish setup that is ready for trading. Next bearish setup will be formed if EUR will drop under 1.08 lows and 4H H&S will fail.

For the bulls, theoretically you could consider long entry if you're sure with weak CPI and hawkish ECB, but entry point is not very attractive technically - stop has to be placed too far.

As a bottom line, if you're not ready to bet on CPI and ECB - it would be better to wait. For the bulls we do not see good new entry points, while you could keep existed long position if you still have it and expect supportive data for EUR. It means that for now it is the only one potentially interesting setup, based on 4H engulfing pattern, and it is bearish.
Morning everybody,

Market stands a bit nervous, preparing for the bulk of important events - US CPI, ECB and Iran. This explains why we see now contradictive signals. Whatever position you take today it will have big part of gambling, because next move obviously will come due either CPI or ECB data.

Meantime, on daily chart upside bounce from the neckline is not good sign, although pattern is still valid and grabber is still valid, despite that the top was challenged yesterday:
View attachment 91398

On 4H chart recent performance is not good for reverse H&S as well. We've got bearish reversal candle and great bearish engulfing pattern on top, divergence here as well.
View attachment 91399

It means that on 1H chart we've got W&R action around grabber's top, was rather tricky, but it is also bearish, suggesting that the grabber is not erased.
View attachment 91400

For now, if we keep possible results of CPI and ECB aside, we see only this bearish setup that is ready for trading. Next bearish setup will be formed if EUR will drop under 1.08 lows and 4H H&S will fail.

For the bulls, theoretically you could consider long entry if you're sure with weak CPI and hawkish ECB, but entry point is not very attractive technically - stop has to be placed too far.

As a bottom line, if you're not ready to bet on CPI and ECB - it would be better to wait. For the bulls we do not see good new entry points, while you could keep existed long position if you still have it and expect supportive data for EUR. It means that for now it is the only one potentially interesting setup, based on 4H engulfing pattern, and it is bearish.
Perfect set-up for me on EUR/USD just before release of CPI as I took "bets" on some shorts on EUR/USD which triggered all TP. This does not happen very often and it's an exhilarating feeling :D
Morning everybody,

So, everything has happened just great. Congratulation of those who have sold yesterday at 1st entry point that we've mentioned. Others - do not upset as we're going to the next step of the plan of "conservative entry point'.

In fact, yesterday was not just CPI. There were other two events that have made not less impact. They are Fed minutes and poor 10-year auction. As a result yield has flied to ~4.5+%. Now we see our long-term view in action. As we've said - market is totally wrong with interest rates anticipation and inflation level. And now we see painful process of revision.

On daily chart I slightly change the picture. Recent drop confirms validity of bearish scenario. Weekly grabber still is not completed yet, so in nearest few days we probably should see 1.07 area. Next downside target is around 1.0520 - major OP that could be finalized by big butterfly pattern. On DXY we could get reversal week this time with potential strong move later on.

On 4H chart we see the H&S in process of failure. So, this trading plan is mostly completed accurately. Yes, it was tricky moment yesterday with a bit higher pullback, but we explained it. In general everything has worked good - daily grabber, then upside B&B on 4H then H&S failure. Here is price still stands above the head lows, so it should be fixed shortly

Now about 2nd entry. We consider 1.08 area as potentially interesting for this. First is, this is previous "A" point lows. Second - market is not at oversold, so there should not be too strong retracement. Especially if ECB today will tell nothing interesting. And in general - we care only for recent downside swing but nothing else. Bearish market has to keep it intact.