Forex FOREX PRO WEEKLY, August 16 - 20, 2021

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA

This week EUR shows quiet action, we even have turned to some other currencies to fill the emptiness, as nothing new was to talk about EUR. Later in the week some activity returns, mostly because US statistics release. Sentiment mostly remains the same with no big shifts in the mood as all investors watch for the end of the month and September Fed meeting. This is the reason why so big attention pays now to multiple speculation around Fed policy and tapering.

Market overview

The U.S. dollar touched a its highest level in more than four months against the euro on Tuesday, as investors speculated further over whether recent strong jobs data could be enough to push the Federal Reserve to soon start tapering its bond-buying program. The U.S. dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was up for a third straight session, at its highest level in about three weeks.

"A combination of hawkish comments from several Federal Reserve officials and the second monthly increase of more than 900,000 jobs has reaffirmed what the market has suspected, and that is for a tapering decision to be made shortly."

U.S. job openings hit a record high in June while hiring also increased, the Labor Department said in a monthly survey on Monday.

Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic said on Monday the U.S. economy is improving faster than expected, with the time when the Fed could start slowing its bond purchases nearing quickly.

Investors are looking for signals from the Federal Reserve at the annual Jackson Hole conference of central bankers this month.

Germany's ZEW survey found investor sentiment deteriorated for a third month in a row in August, due to fears that rising COVID-19 infections could hold back the recovery in Europe's largest economy.

U.S. worker productivity growth slowed in the second quarter and labor costs were far weaker than previously estimated in the first quarter, the Labor Department said on Tuesday.

Nonfarm productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, increased at a 2.3% annualized rate last quarter. Data for the first quarter was revised lower to show productivity rising at a 4.3% rate instead of the previously reported 5.4% pace.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected productivity to rise at a 3.5% rate. Productivity jumped early in the pandemic before slumping in the final three months of 2020, and has since rebounded. The see-sawing has been partly attributed to the cratering of lower-wage industries, like leisure and hospitality, which have been reopening over the past few months at an increasingly brisk pace.

Compared to the second quarter of 2020, productivity rose at a 1.9% pace. Hours worked increased at a 5.5% rate last quarter, accelerating from a revised 4.0% growth pace in the January-March period. Overall output is now 1.2% above pre-pandemic levels but hours worked remain 2.8% below it, the report also showed.

U.S. consumer prices increases slowed in July even as they remained at a 13-year high on a yearly basis and there were tentative signs inflation has peaked as supply-chain disruptions caused by the pandemic work their way through the economy. The consumer price index increased 0.5% last month after climbing 0.9% in June, the Labor Department said on Wednesday. In the 12 months through July, the CPI advanced 5.4%. The drop in the month-to-month inflation rate was the largest in 15 months. The core CPI rose 4.3% on a year-on-year basis after advancing 4.5% in June.

The Fed's preferred inflation measure, the core personal consumption expenditures price index, jumped 3.5% in June, the largest gain since December 1991.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast overall CPI would rise 0.5% and core CPI 0.4%.

While prices are still rising, the Fed has said it expects inflationary pressures to moderate over time as supply catches up with demand following months of COVID-19 lockdowns.

"The CPI report was enough to cause a bit of profit taking for the U.S. dollar, but at the end of the day, it's not a game changer for the Fed," said Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management. "They're still going to be announcing taper,” likely within the next six weeks.

The greenback had enjoyed a lift from last week's better-than-expected U.S. jobs data, as well as from remarks by Fed officials about tapering bond purchases and, eventually, raising rates, sooner than policymakers elsewhere.

Looking forward, the Fed will depend on data when it comes to the timing of the dialing back of its asset purchases, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

"It's all going to be all about next month's employment report and if that does not impress, tapering, as far September goes, might even get pushed out towards the end of the year," he said.

In Europe, investor sentiment has declined, with a survey showing a third straight month of deterioration in Germany as rising global COVID-19 cases keep markets on edge.

"Investors have to take on board the possibility of news on Fed tapering at a time when COVID is still very apparent in various parts of the world," said Rabobank analyst Jane Foley. The consequence of this is likely to be a firmer dollar," she added, especially if the euro breaches its 2021 low.

The U.S. dollar advanced against a basket of currencies on Thursday, after data showed producer prices posted their largest annual increase in more than a decade in the 12 months through July, suggesting inflation pressures remain strong. U.S. producer prices increased more than expected in July, a Labor Department report showed on Thursday, suggesting inflation could remain high as strong demand fuelled by the recovery continues to hurt supply chains.

The producer price index (PPI) for final demand increased 1.0% last month after rising 1.0% in June. In the 12 months through July, the PPI jumped 7.8%, a record high since the measure was introduced just over a decade ago.

Separately, data showed the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits fell again last week as the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continued.

Investors remain vigilant for any signs of inflation running too hot since it could potentially spur the Federal Reserve to pull forward its timing on tapering of asset purchases as well as interest rate hikes.

Thursday's data helped the greenback shake off some of the weakness from the prior session when data showed U.S. consumer price increases slowed in July, easing concerns the Federal Reserve will imminently signal a scaling back of bond purchases.

"Today's huge upside PPI surprise follows yesterday's solid but moderating CPI gains, leaving a mix that will keep inflation concerns alive even as economists will continue to expect a slowing in monthly price gains into year-end," Action Economics' Mike Englund and Kim Rupert said in a note.

While the data comes a day after consumer price data that indicated inflation may be peaking, analysts said producer price data helps the case for removing some of the Fed’s stimulus.

“With producer prices feeding into consumer prices, this suggests that the CPIs may have not hit a ceiling yet, and may have increased again bets on a potential tapering announcement by the Fed in September,” said Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD Group.

The Fed will announce a plan to taper its asset purchases in September, according to a solid majority of economists polled by Reuters.

Several Fed officials this week came out in support of tapering bond buying in coming months, setting themselves apart from other, more dovish major central banks such as the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan.

U.S. consumer sentiment dropped sharply in early August to its lowest level in a decade, in a worrying sign for the economy as Americans gave faltering outlooks on everything from personal finances to inflation and employment, a survey showed on Friday.

The unexpected reading could give Federal Reserve policymakers pause if it translates in the months ahead to a dent in economic activity. The central bank has been getting closer to a decision on when to begin pulling back the extraordinary stimulus it put in place to shield the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of Michigan said its preliminary consumer sentiment index fell to 70.2 in the first half of this month from a final reading of 81.2 in July. That was the lowest level since 2011, and there have been only two larger declines in the index over the past 50 years. Those were at the depths of the 2007-2009 recession and during the first wave of shutdowns in April 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic.

The losses were widespread across income, age, and education subgroups and spanned all regions. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index would remain unchanged at 81.2.

U.S. stock market indexes slipped immediately after the report was released, while the price of gold gained ground. U.S. Treasury bond yields hit session lows.

Economic growth is still expected to grow this year at its fastest pace in four decades after falling into a brief recession in 2020 caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But the recovery is showing some indication of cooling off.

COVID-19 cases have doubled in the past two weeks to reach a six-month peak as the more transmissible Delta variant spreads rapidly across the country. Labor shortages across the service sector also persist while supply chain disruptions have continued.

"The pandemic's resurgence due to the Delta variant has been met with a mixture of reason and emotion...mainly from dashed hopes that the pandemic would soon end," Richard Curtin, the survey director, said in a statement.

The survey's gauge of current economic conditions also declined to a reading of 77.9 from 84.5 in July while its measure of consumer expectations slid to 65.2 from 79.0 in July.

The survey also showed consumers raising their expectations for medium term inflation, another measure the central bank is closely monitoring to ensure that inflation expectations remain anchored.

The survey's one-year inflation expectation edged lower to 4.6%, down from 4.7%, but its five-year inflation outlook ticked up to 3.0% from 2.8% in July.

Data on Wednesday hinted that U.S. inflation may have peaked, reassuring investors that the Federal Reserve will not feel obligated to hasten plans to rein in emergency-level support of the economy, but they remained worried that rising prices could continue to weigh on everything from bond prices to corporate margins.

Some investors said the data bolstered the Fed's assertion that jumps in inflation will be relatively fleeting, partly reflecting supply chain bottlenecks that will ease with time. But they added that inflation remains elevated, which can sap profit margins and erode the value of bonds.

Other concerns: corporate earnings growth appeared to be hitting a peak; rising coronavirus cases could threaten the economy; and stocks are generally trading at historically high valuations.

The inflation data would help the Fed feel a "a little bit more confident that they can let inflation run a little bit hotter in the near term without having to worry about overshooting," said Gennadiy Goldberg, senior U.S. rate strategist at TD Securities. "Markets are reacting with a bit of relief, which I think makes a lot of sense," Goldberg added.

The question of when and at what pace it expects to taper those purchases looms large over markets.

"The concern has been how soon and how quickly will the Fed begin to taper its bond purchases and this lends some credence to the argument that the inflation pressures we are seeing are transitory,” Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors, said after the inflation data.

In a research note, Morgan Stanley economists said Wednesday’s CPI data “supports the view that the last few months likely marked the peak rates of inflation.

Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood, whose Ark Innovation ETF was the top performing U.S. equity fund last year, made the case in a webinar Tuesday that falling lumber and oil prices signal that inflation has peaked.

The inflation discussion is especially complex and it has come on fast. As Evans noted, officials expected they'd be fighting to nurse inflation higher, and were prepared to leave policy loose for a long time to do so - all the while allowing job gains to accumulate and press the boundaries of "maximum employment" in a way that benefits workers. He acknowledged the discussion has gotten more complex.

"There is no sugar-coating the pain" of the price increases, Evans said. "The question is more what the inflation outlook is going to be into 2022 and 2023. Some of these prices will turn around."

The Federal Reserve will announce a plan to taper its asset purchases in September, according to a solid majority of economists polled by Reuters who also said the U.S. jobless rate would remain above its pre-pandemic level for at least a year.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents, 28 of 43, said the Fed is likely to announce a taper of its asset purchases - currently set at $80 billion of Treasuries and $40 billion of MBS per month - at its September meeting. But while that timing has become more likely in the minds of many Fed watchers over the past month, it is by no means a done deal for all of them.

"I know some Fed officials are pushing for it to happen at the September meeting, but that is very unlikely," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. macro strategist at TD Securities. "November is possible if the next two employment reports are strong enough, but the odds favor December as the time of the formal announcement."

More than one-third of respondents in the poll said the FOMC will wait until November or December. None of the respondents said it would be announced at the Fed's central banking conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this month, compared with the more than one-quarter who said in a June poll that it would.

Nearly 60% of respondents, 26 of 43, said they expected the Fed to start the reductions of its asset purchases in the first quarter of next year. Nearly all the rest said it would happen in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The poll concluded the Fed will start with monthly reductions of $10 billion in its purchases of Treasuries and $5 billion in those of MBS. Some responses were as high as $20 billion for both Treasuries and MBS. More than 80% of respondents, 24 of 29, said they expect the Fed to stop purchasing assets by the end of next year.

U.S. inflation data for July, which was released this week, suggested to many that price pressures may have already peaked in the world's biggest economy.

Still, the core personal consumption expenditure price index was predicted to average 3.1%, 2.5% and 2.1% in 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively, above the central bank's target of 2%. But the unemployment rate is likely to remain above its pre-pandemic level of 3.5% for at least a year, according to 32 of 37 economists who replied to a separate question.

"We suspect recovering half of the job losses is sufficient for many on the FOMC to begin tapering, particularly in light of the Committee's view about upside risks to the inflation outlook," said Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays.

Still, the Fed was expected to keep its key interest rate unchanged at near zero at least until 2023.

"Relative to the performance of its economy, the U.S. central bank is the most dovish in the world and is likely to start its hiking cycle a year or so later than normal. Moreover, if growth falters the Fed will simply delay even longer," said Ethan Harris, global economist at Bank of America Securities.

Buoyed by around a trillion dollars of fiscal stimulus, ultra-easy monetary policy and a rapid COVID-19 vaccination drive, the U.S. economy surpassed its pre-pandemic level with an annualized 6.5% expansion in gross domestic product last quarter - the fastest recovery in the nation's history. But economic growth is expected to average 6.2% in 2021, a significant downgrade from the 6.6% predicted a month ago, according to the poll, as the rapidly spreading Delta variant has pushed the number of new coronavirus cases to more than a six-month high.

The poll showed GDP growth slowing to 4.2% in 2022 and 2.4% in 2023 despite the Senate's passage of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Tuesday and the start of a debate on a separate $3.5 trillion spending blueprint.

US GDP surpassed its pre-COVID-19 level in Q2 and with policy extraordinarily easy and inflation currently very elevated. Fathom believes the FOMC is at risk of being increasingly behind the curve in its policy tightening.

COT Report

This week again we miss important reaction on sentiment data on Friday, but we get NFP impact. On EUR CFTC data shows rising interest to the market as Open interest jumped 23K contracts, but speculators have added approximately equal amount of positions and it leads to minor changes in the net one. At the same time, take a look that hedgers increase position against EUR drop. This view is supportive to US Dollar and bearish to the EUR.



Charting by

Next week to watch

China Economy statistics on Monday

The Delta variant is close to breaching Asia's COVID-zero fortresses, with outbreaks and lockdowns looming over what once appeared the world's most promising regional rebound. Save for Taiwan and New Zealand, where strict border controls appear to have kept the variant at bay, cities from Sydney to Seoul are finding it hard to contain infections.

In China, Delta has been detected in over a dozen cities, bearing down on a faltering economy, forcing economists to cut growth forecasts. We will get a snapshot of how the economy fared in July as local activity and flight curbs bit - retail sales, industrial output and house price numbers are all due on Monday.


US Retail Sales release

The U.S. economy is growing robustly and the labour market is rebounding. However, COVID-19 remains a headwind and coming days should bring a fresh perspective on how consumers are faring. U.S. retail sales likely fell 0.2% in July, after an unexpected rise in June, data on Tuesday is expected to show. Fed policymakers, assessing when to start unwinding stimulus, will be watching.

NZD Central Bank meeting

New Zealand's central bank meets on Wednesday and looks set to become the first major economy to lift interest rates since COVID-19 hit.
Super-strong jobs data have cemented expectations of a hike, which would be New Zealand's first since mid-2014. What a contrast with 2020, when rates were slashed 75 bps to 0.25% and a move below zero became a real possibility.

Norway's central bank, meeting on Thursday meanwhile, could reiterate it will increase rates in September.

Investors, focused on prospects for Fed tapering as labour conditions improve, have boosted the dollar. New Zealand and Norway are a reminder that the greenback is not the only currency standing to benefit from the monetary policy shift under way in the G10.

Sometimes it happens that anemic week from trading point of view provides reach fundamental background and now we have a lot of things to think about. The major practical issue that we've got now is market stands aimed on coming employment report in September that will shed the light on Fed activity. This report stands for August numbers, the summer month that potentially could be weaker than the others. This week we've got decrease in consumers activity and some ceiling in price level.

Reuters poll is also very informative, suggesting that sentiment becomes less dollar supportive and investors do not expect rush from the Fed. Nobody waits already tapering announcement in Wyoming and focus turns on November-December. Inflation forecasts stand around Fed target for 2022-2023 - 2.5 and 2.1% respectively. But as FOMC member, Evans said - it's (Fed policy) not a question of current inflation spike but what inflation will be in 2022-2023 years.
At the same time there is no big optimism as in employment as in GDP which was revised down. From this standpoint, we see some sense in BofA and TD Securities suggestions of later action from the Fed than it is widely anticipated by markets.
Finally, take a look at suggested tapering volume - 15 Bln per month sounds kidding for 23 Trn. 10 year US treasuries market excluding huge MBS market. It's like a pie for elephant. Effect here will be mostly psychological, because financially, it makes no difference for the market.

All these thoughts, recent comments from big banks, statistics lead to better understanding of current situation and explains why sentiment on the market is changing. Maybe this was the reason of big rally recently on Gold and EUR, although Michigan data not as important. Anyway, for our long-term scenario, this new turn in fundamental background could give a clue to old riddle - how DXY completes 87.8 major monthly target. Combination of minor negative effects could lead to big Fed shifts and if we suggest slightly worse August NFP ceiling in Inflation data and other statistics, consumer performance - tapering could be postponed to the end of the year and this open door for bullish performance of dollar rivals, including EUR. Especially if others - NZ and Norway to name some, appear to be ahead of Fed in rate tightening process.

So, this is a big topic and long journey ahead. But right now, for coming week and nearest time we could say that sentiment becomes softer, releasing pressure on EUR. Now our primary object to watch for is August NFP in the beginning of September and Fed meeting later in the month. These two events should set the background till the end of the year.

Technical analysis in the post below.

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA

Despite important shifts in sentiment and fundamental background, we do not have any of this kind on a technical side. Monthly chart stands bearish, price returns back in triangle, but August is not closed yet.

It is difficult to say at what degree sentiment shift impacts the price action here, but it seems that it is too early to deny bearish context and EUR chances to reach Yearly Pivot.

In general technical vital points provide big range to act for bullish context. While market stands above 1.06 low it keeps chances for bullish action. Drop below 1.09 YPS1 will be the strong sign, but right now, a bit deeper retracement doesn't mean yet that everything is over.



Trend here also stands bearish, market is not at oversold. Recent sharp reversal due Friday's data keeps butterfly alive for awhile. The question is for how long. Because on a week before we've got bearish engulfing pattern - and it is still valid. Recent pullback here looks like minor retracement by far. Although action was rather strong on intraday charts.

So it doesn't need to be a prophet to say that it mostly depends on the lows. Downside breakout erases butterfly, triggers stops under the lows and lead price to major OP around 1.1625. With recently formed bearish engulfing here it is more confidence needed to start thinking about long entry. EUR at least should erase bearish pattern here. Our previously mentioned area of K-support @ 1.1620-1.17 that also includes YPP and weekly oversold area looks like best area to consider long entry for now.


Here bounce looks nice, but at the same time it is too small to make far-going conclusions. Bearish tendency is still valid here, as price is forming lower tops and bottoms. We have the divergence, but it is formed in 'free" space and has no background from some strong support or target levels, nor from oversold. Right at the beginning of the next week EUR meets MACDP line, that potentially could form bearish grabber if reaction on Michigan's data appears to be short-term. Overbought level stands around 1.1860, setting the potential ceil for this week.

So, we suggest it would be better to not hurry with decision of bullish breakout and watch on how EUR response to intraday resistance levels and daily MACDP. OP target here still looks stronger and more important than this recent pullback.


So, acceleration was rather strong and our K-area has been broken here. Now price stands at XOP Agreement resistance and has 5/8 resistance cluster around 1.1825-1.1830 area as well. In general, if price fails to move above these levels - it would mean that pullback is passed without any consequences for major tendency. EUR probably just turns down again. Otherwise, if 1.1830 will be broken - we should be ready for more extended action, because more extended pattern could appear, such as reverse 1.27 H&S.

On 1H chart we do not see something special. Currently only scalpers could try to consider thrust here and possible DiNapoli B&B or DRPO setups around it, because EUR stands at Agreement resistance and some pullback is logical to suggest. From this standpoint K-support area looks interesting for both setups. For B&B as an area for stop order hiding, for DRPO - as a target.

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
Morning everybody,

So everything would be nice if it not to be very bad. I'm talking about Afghanistan events. Although situation there has no relation to the markets by far, but big banks, as you know, like to use any political sensation to shake the boat and bring chaos for bargain hunting. The first sign that this process is underway - gold is rising together with US Dollar. Stock market is falling.

This new political issue could overshadow for some time the positive shift in sentiment that we've discussed in weekend. So, if you plan some intraday long trades on EUR - think twice and be careful with them. Try to use strong levels to start the trade.

With this new risk factor, appearing of bearish grabber on daily chart has special mean, and makes us to keep 1.1620 support area as preferable one to consider Long positions on daily chart. Ignoring by far intraday support areas for position taking.

On 4H chart market shows the pullback out from Agreement resistance, as we've suggested. As we've said - price has to break 5/8 resistance levels cluster to let us thing about more extended upward action on daily chart. Right now it is too early to do, especially with the grabber on the daily time frame:

On 1H chart we have few moments to consider. First is our DRPO "Sell" has reached minimum target and mostly is completed. Now, if you hold short position - you need to decide either to close it or to keep it with daily grabber.
Second - if you plan to buy EUR - technical background stands in place. EUR is coming to K-area and Agreement around 1.1758, completing OP and forming "222" Buy. So, if you decide to buy here - move stops to breakeven as soon as possible.
Still the political factor could break the game, despite that technical picture looks nice... I just hope that it will not become the dominant factor for market performance and we could escape the bumpy ride here.

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
Morning everybody,

So, it seems that our worry yesterday on bearish background was not in vain. Daily grabber is completed now and price is coiling near the bottom. It means that on daily chart we repeat the same - for long entry we could consider 1.1620 strong weekly support and Agreement.

In general, action here is very interesting and intriguing - why market just hits the lows for 2nd time without attempt to break it? Now we have strong sell-off on the back and since this is free space till OP, the downside breakout should happen sooner rather than later:

On intraday charts after sell-off we do not see anything special by far. 1H thrust down is good and we could even get DRPO, for example. But, it will be tricky to trade it when market is not at support and after strong downside action. Market is still forming it...

Additionally, since we've talked about it recently, on CAD we have "222" Sell intraday setup. So, maybe indeed, we get some bounce on EUR as well....

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
Morning everybody,

Not too many things to comment today. EUR comfortably stands below the lows and shows now signs of fake breakout by far. As we have no oversold and support areas until 1.1620 - it is a question of time when EUR reaches it.
Obviously there is no sense to search setups for long entry right now, as 1.1620 OP target and weekly K-area should provide excellent background for this. Here is we also have minor AB-CD pattern with approximately the same target area.


On 1H chart we see no interesting patterns yet. In a case of upward pullback, hardly it will be higher than 1.1710 K-area.

Finally, on NZD daily setup that is very similar to EUR one also is coming to the final point:

So, next week, we should get finally the change to consider long position taking.

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
Morning everybody,

Today we briefly take a look at different currencies, because on EUR we do not have something really new to discuss. Besides, on other currencies some moments exist that might provide interesting trading background next week.

On EUR everything mostly stands the same and we're watching for major 1.1620 target on daily chart. It is not necessary to show the chart here as it is the same as yesterday.

On GBP our worrying concerning reverse H&S pattern has come true and it has failed. It means that GBP should proceed lower but in near term it potential is limited by near standing K-support, daily OS level and COP target:

This also should make impact on EUR/GBP and weekly DRPO pattern that we've discussed previously could be confirmed today.

On NZD we have very similar setup to EUR but its OP is almost completed. Thus, on next week, combination of K-area and OP could provide background for short-term bullish trade:

Finally on AUD daily H&S is completed, as price is reached XOP target. But in a longer term action to 0.68 area is still possible as we consider huge reverse H&S pattern: