Forex FOREX PRO WEEKLY, March 21 - 25, 2022

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA

As geopolitical tensions and military news are becoming routine, the financial events again come on the first stage. No doubts, this week everybody was watching for Fed rate decision and other important statistics, such as Retail Sales. But, based on the market reaction, it seems that not everybody understand it correctly.

Market overview

It was exactly two years ago on March 15 2020 that the U.S. Federal Reserve, in the words of its boss Jerome Powell, "crossed a lot of red lines that had not been crossed before." In the face of a pandemic that threatened recession on a scale not seen since the 1930s, Powell cut interest rates to zero, announced huge asset purchases to deflect bond market stress and opened dollar supply lines for other central banks.

Now, the Fed is about to throw its pandemic emergency measures into reverse. Later on Tuesday, it starts a two-day meeting that should deliver a 25 basis-point rate rise and could signal how far and fast policy tightening might go. The challenges, while less monumental than in 2020, are nonetheless daunting. A war is raging, sending food and fuel prices soaring. That could exacerbate inflation, already more than three times the Fed's target. A sharp rise in Treasury yields and futures reflect expectations of aggressive policy-tightening ahead, yet stamping on inflation rather than economic growth will be no easy task.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised interest rates for the first time since 2018 and laid out an aggressive plan to push borrowing costs to restrictive levels next year in a pivot from battling the coronavirus pandemic to countering the economic risks posed by excessive inflation and the war in Ukraine. The U.S. central bank's Federal Open Market Committee kicked off the move to tighten monetary policy with a quarter-percentage-point increase in the target federal funds rate, lifting that key benchmark from the current near-zero level in a step that will ripple through a variety of other rates charged to consumers and businesses.

But more notably, new Fed projections showed policymakers ready to shift their inflation fight into high gear, with one policymaker, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, dissenting in favor of an even more aggressive approach. Most policymakers now see the federal funds rate rising to a range between 1.75% and 2% by the end of 2022, the equivalent of a quarter-percentage-point rate increase at each of the Fed's six remaining policy meetings this year. They project it will climb to 2.8% next year - above the 2.4% level that officials now feel would work to slow the economy.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell, speaking after the end of the latest two-day policy meeting, said the economy is strong enough to weather the rate hikes and maintain its current strong hiring and wage growth, and that the Fed needed to now focus on limiting the impact of price increases on American families. Even with Wednesday's actions, inflation is expected to remain above the Fed's 2% target through 2024, and Powell said officials would not shy from raising rates more aggressively if they don't see improvement.

"The way we're thinking about this is that every meeting is a live meeting" for a rate hike, Powell said in a news conference, emphasizing that the Fed could add the equivalent of more rate increases by also paring its massive bond holdings. "We're going to be looking at evolving conditions, and if we do conclude that it would be appropriate to move more quickly to remove accommodation, then we'll do so."

Rate increases work to slow inflation by curbing demand for big-ticket items like houses, automobiles or home improvement projects that become more expensive to finance, which can also slow economic growth and potentially increase unemployment. The economy may already be slowing for other reasons. Fed policymakers marked down their gross domestic product growth estimate for 2022 to 2.8%, from the 4% projected in December, as they began to analyze the new risks facing the global economy.

"That is just an early assessment of the effects of spillovers from the war in Eastern Europe, which will hit our economy through a number of channels," Powell said. "You are looking at higher oil prices, higher commodity prices. That will weigh on GDP to some extent. Over time, Fed policy itself would begin curbing economic activity, Powell said.

The Fed is playing catch-up and clearly recognizes the need to get back in front of the inflation situation," said Seema Shah, chief strategist with Principal Global Investors. It won't be easy - rarely has the Fed safely landed the U.S. economy from such inflation heights without triggering an economic crash. Furthermore, the conflict ... has the potential to disrupt the Fed's path. But for now, the Fed's priority has to be price stability."

The Fed's preferred measure of inflation is currently increasing at a 6% annual rate. The policy statement, which dropped a longstanding reference to the coronavirus as the most direct economic risk facing the country, marked the end of the Fed's full-on battle against the pandemic. After two years focused largely on ensuring families and firms had access to credit, the Fed now pledges "ongoing increases" in borrowing costs to curb the highest inflation rates in 40 years.

The interest rate path shown in new quarterly projections by policymakers is tougher than expected, reflecting Fed concern about inflation that has moved faster and threatened to become more persistent than expected, and put at risk the central bank's hope for an easy shift out of the emergency policies used to fight the fallout from the pandemic.

Two-year Treasury note yields rose to 2.002% while benchmark 10-year Treasury yields reached 2.246%, both the highest levels since May 2019, before falling back to 1.948% and 2.188%, respectively. The dollar traded lower against a basket of currencies.

Even with the tougher rate increases now projected, the Fed expects inflation to remain at 4.3% this year, dropping to 2.7% in 2023 and to 2.3% in 2024. The unemployment rate is seen dropping to 3.5% this year and remaining at that level next year, but is projected to rise slightly to 3.6% in 2024.

The new statement said the Fed expects to begin reducing its nearly $9 trillion balance sheet "at a coming meeting." Powell told reporters that policymakers had made "excellent progress on that front and could finalize details at their next policy meeting in May. The central bank's holdings of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities ballooned after the start of the pandemic in 2020 when it began making massive monthly asset purchases to bolster the economy.

The effect of announced "Fed new policy" comes faster than ti might seemed.

U.S. retail sales increased moderately in February as more expensive gasoline and food forced households to cut back spending on other goods like furniture, electronics and appliances, which could restrain economic growth this quarter. The rebound in sales in January was much stronger than initially estimated. Record gasoline and high food prices are hitting lower-income households the hardest. Overall, consumers are being cushioned by at least $2.5 trillion in excess savings accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Though cooling after January's splurge, American consumers appear reasonably well positioned to keep spending, supported by recent massive job gains and high household savings," said Sal Guatieri, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto."This assumes, of course, no further major blows to fuel and food costs, confidence, and financial conditions stemming from the Russia-Ukraine war."

Retail sales increased 0.3% last month. Data for January was revised sharply higher to show sales surging 4.9% instead of 3.8% as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales growth slowing to 0.4%, with estimates ranging from as low as a 0.7% fall to as high as a 1.7% rise. Retail sales increased 17.6% from a year ago. Economists also viewed the pull back in monthly sales last month as pay back after January's surge, which was the largest gain in 10 months.


Economists at Morgan Stanley raised their consumer spending growth estimate to a 4.3% annualized rate from a 2.7% pace. That lifted their GDP growth forecast for the first quarter to a 3.7% rate from a 2.5% pace. Morgan Stanley's GDP growth estimates are on the upper end of the range, with some forecasts below a 1% pace. The economy grew at a robust 7.0% rate in the fourth quarter.

"Today's report continues to reflect strong consumer demand in the first quarter, despite the headwinds of elevated inflation," said Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley in New York. "Upside in food services spending also indicates that we should see more upside in services spending this month, which will be reflecting in the personal spending report in two weeks."

U.S. home sales fell by the most in a year in February as a perennial shortage of houses and double-digit price growth continued to squeeze first-time buyers out of the market. With mortgage rates rising above 4% for the first time in nearly three years, sales are likely to slow this year, though that would do little to curb house price inflation. Contracts to buy previously owned houses, a leading indicator of home sales, fell for three straight months through January.

"It will take a sharper drop in sales to bring the market back into balance and allow prices to increase at a more modest pace," said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide in Columbus, Ohio.

Existing home sales dropped 7.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.02 million units last month, the largest decrease since February 2021, the National Association of Realtors said on Friday. Sales fell in all four U.S. regions. Home resales account for the bulk of U.S. home sales. They dropped 2.4% on a year-on-year basis in February.

Mortgage rates surged in February, with the 30-year fixed rate approaching a three-year high, according to data from mortgage finance agency Freddie Mac. It averaged 4.16% in the week ending March 17, breaking above 4.0% for the first time since May 2019. Still low by historical standards, mortgage rates are set to increase further after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its policy interest rate by 25 basis points, the first hike in more than three years, and laid out an aggressive plan to push borrowing costs to restrictive levels by 2023.

"Home buyers have likely missed their opportunity to lock in ultra-low mortgage rates," said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina. But Vitner also noted that the 30-year conventional mortgage has been higher than its current level for more than 90% of the time over the past 30 years, which he said was "an important reminder that home sales should remain fairly strong even if mortgage rates rise a bit further."

The median existing house price increased 15% from a year earlier to $357,300 in February. House prices have increased on a year-on-year basis for a record 120 straight months. Bank of America Securities expects strong house price growth will continue this year and into 2023 because of tight supply. According to the NAR, the typical monthly mortgage payment has surged 28% from a year ago, a huge burden for first-time buyers, who accounted for only 29% of sales last month. Economists and realtors say a 40% share of first-time buyers is needed for a robust housing market.

One generally accepted, forward-looking indicator for a recession has been the 10-two Treasury yield spread. When this figure becomes inverted, market participants are no longer incentivized to invest in longer-dated securities since short-term issues provide the same yield and similar risk. The 10-two Treasury yield has fallen 59.5% so far this year and is currently hovering at 0.31%. As we approach zero, the wider market will prepare for a market contraction that normally takes place about three years afterward.


The euro zone's trade balance was in deficit for the third consecutive month in January as surging energy prices led to a sharp increase in the value of imports. Eurostat said the non-adjusted trade deficit of the 19 countries sharing the euro was 27.2 billion euros ($30.1 billion) compared with a 10.7 billion euro surplus a year earlier in January 2021. Payments for imports jumped by 44.3% year-on-year, while revenues from exports grew by only 18.9%. Euro zone trade is rarely in deficit, but this was the third consecutive month of shortfall, and a substantially larger figure than in the previous two months.

Investors are more concerned about the outlook for global growth than at any time since the financial crisis in 2008, and they have ramped up their cash holdings to a two-year high, according to a monthly fund manager survey by BofA. The majority of investors managing about $1 trillion in assets polled between March 4 and 10 now expect an equity bear market in 2022 and allocations to global equities have dropped to their lowest levels since May 2020.

Cash levels among investors rose to nearly 6% while allocations to commodities soared to a record 33%. Hedge funds net exposure to stock markets is at its lowest level since April 2020, according to the survey.

The European edition of the monthly fund manager survey made for grim reading with investors slashing their growth outlook for Europe in response to the war in Ukraine. A net 69% of respondents expect the European economy to weaken over the coming year, the highest share since 2011. The 81 percentage point swing from February's net 12% who still expected to see growth marks the biggest month-on-month drop since BoFA's records began in 1994.

Investors pulled money out of European equities for a fifth week in a row and flocked to U.S. equities as the war in Ukraine weighed on the continent's bourses, BofA wrote on Friday in its weekly report based on EPFR data. Flows out of European equity funds amounted to 3.2 billion dollars while $32 billion went into U.S. equities, the largest amount in five weeks, the U.S. investment bank said.

'Inflation shock not over, 'rates shock' not over, 'recession shock' likely second half of 2022", the bank's analysts wrote in a weekly note.

Strategists at Wells Fargo Securities called the Fed comments "very hawkish," in a note to clients and said it should be good for the dollar going forward.The decline in the dollar index was surprising and could reflect disappointment that the Fed rhetoric was not more hawkish, they said.

The U.S. dollar fell on Thursday and hit its lowest in a week as investors digested the Federal Reserve's monetary policy outlook a day after the U.S. central bank's expected rate hike, while the euro rose as investors kept an eye on Russia-West talks.

"The strongest message yesterday was that the Fed was going to hike and it was primarily concerned with elevated inflation pressures," Bipan Rai, North American head of foreign exchange strategy at CIBC Capital Markets in Toronto, said."The market is kind of taking the bet that the Fed has this view now but that could shift in the coming quarters, and there's a lot already priced in to the short-term interest rate markets for the Fed this year. Some of that is being pulled back, and that's one of the reasons why the dollar has come under pressure."

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who dissented on this week's action in favor of a half-point increase, said on Friday that officials should raise the Fed's overnight lending rate to more than 3% this year.

COT Report

This week CFTC data shows miserable plunge in EUR sentiment. Open interest has dropped for 10%, which is around 73K contracts with drastic contraction of bullish exposure. As speculators as hedgers were closing positions in favor of the EUR. As a result, net long position has dropped sharply.



Next week investors will be watching for PMI/ZEW indexes. It's flash PMI week. The forward-looking gauge of economic activity for March will be a litmus test of sorts of the impact from the war in Ukraine. Generally, PMIs have held above the 50-mark that divides contraction from expansion. But after the ZEW index showed a record slump in German investor morale in March, a recession in Europe's biggest economy cannot be ruled out. The ZEW hardly registered with markets, more focused on central banks' efforts to stamp on inflation.But as soaring energy costs squeeze real incomes and consumption, a seriously downbeat batch of PMIs might set the recession warning bells a-ringing.

Ten-year Treasury yields have risen nearly 70 basis points this year, while 2-year yields have jumped 120 bps. If the gap between the two segments, currently around 20 bps, turns negative, it could mean an economic recession is coming. After the Fed laid out a steeper rate-hike trajectory than many expected, markets will watch upcoming data - besides PMIs, consumer sentiment, new home sales and durable goods are due. They may indicate whether the S&P 500 can claw back a year-to-date 8% loss.


Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
As a bottom line:

First of all, tactically, we could say that recent upward action on EUR has very fragile background. It was looking suspicious last week, as we've said, on a background of rising interest rates. And even more now, when CFTC data shows big drop of bullish positions. News explain bounce with supposed Russia-Ukraine negotiations, but those who has even minor understanding of politics tell you that these negotiations have no real background and made just for news agencies and to show the picture that some negotiations are going on. So, bounce on the EUR definitely is temporal and should start loosing pace very soon.

Now about a bit longer term perspective, that is based on new Fed policy. We agree with the Wells Fargo comments that it is very hawkish. Weak reaction mostly stands because of missing expectations of more aggressive rate change that partially was priced-in already. But, extension of rate hiking cycle until 2024, with the terminal rate around 2.8% and cutting GDP forecast from 4% to 2.8%. GDP forecast cut means that Fed policy makes impact on consumption, as Retail sales is 70% of GDP. It means that Fed suggests that its policy should make depress effect on household wealth, either directly by making money more expensive and increasing expenses to serve personal loans, mortgages etc., as because of longer lasting inflationary effect and money devaluation. We suggest that Fed suggestion that inflation drops to 4% by the end of 2022 are too optimistic. Commodity prices have jumped for 25-30% this year. While the US intends to hold sanctions, there is no way to push prices lower in foreseeable future. Even from this point of view, you can't expect inflation drop.

The trade war with China and artificial sabotage of supply, breaking logistics chains and rising price for chinese goods because of expensive delivery is another factor that becomes a barrier for the inflation normalization in the US.

Just the first rate change has pushed mortage interest above 4%. Coming decreasing demand for houses means drop demand for all - furniture, electronics, repairing services etc. Fed expects rate hike cycle to last for 2-3 years. With the 2-10 year yield stand around zero and near inversion, the recession might start earlier. Historically, since the starting of interest rates rising cycle, economy turns to recession within 3 years. Other words speaking we worry that the US economy could turn to feasible slowdown in growth before the counter-inflation rate cycle will be over.

And the last but not least. When the Russia-US confrontation starts in the Ukraine, we warned that it leads to bad geopolitical consequences for the US as this is treated as sign of weakness on geopolitical arena. And now we could see first fruits of this process. This is just a beginning. Just take a look at the headlines, showing below and ask yourself - could you expect something of this kind to happen 2-3 years ago?

- US Officials Reportedly Make Scant Progress Gauging Venezuela as Alternative Oil Supply (here is Zero Hedge link for some case);
- Saudi Arabia and UAE leaders ‘decline calls with Biden’ amid fears of oil price spike;
- The U.S. must bust up the new China-Russia-Saudi Axis of Oil;
- Saudi Arabia Considers Accepting Yuan Instead of Dollars for Chinese Oil Sales;
- Xi says improper handling of Taiwan issues will hit China-U.S. ties;
- Iranian missiles strike secret Mossad bases in Iraq's Erbil (it was not strike on the US embassy as it was suggested initially);
- US secret biological weapon laboratories probes in the UN security council. (Tucker Carlson: Nuland Literally Confirmed Russian Data on US Biolabs Is 'Totally & Completely True')

We suppose that China makes an attempt (which we suppose to be successful) and return control over Taiwan in nearest time. Geopolitical situation shows that the US are loosing control which makes more difficult to normalize situation inside the country as well. In fact, in the Middle Asia in a relatively small territory lives 4 Bln people, including Pakistan, China and India. Afghanistan, that is very important from the logistics point of view in this region, is lost for the US as well, and soon starts drifting to the Russia-China alliance. Russia also has good relation with Syria that is key territory for Qatar potential alternative gas pipe to the EU and now it is impossible to build without Russia agreement. Also I will not surprise if after the UN probes on the US secret biological laboratories, they will be accused in the CV19 invention and spreading and forced to pay reparations. By the overall rhetoric, China hints particularly on this subject. All these moments together makes us to have serious doubts that Fed alone will be able to normalize economy conditions with just rising its interest rates.

Russia doesn't impose mutual commodities sanctions over EU just because it doesn't need ruined Europe as a neighbour. EU could make an energy suicide if it denies from russian energy consumption, but this is not in the interests of the Russia. Sooner or later but EU will be built in united logistics and economy space with Russia and Middle Asia, although uncertainty stands when it will happen. For now, investors definitely will try to set well-known economical cliche that they are in habit to use every time. If somewhere rates are rising, it is good for national currency and it should start rising. We suggest that this logic should work in 2022 and maybe 1st half of 2023, but later it will be obvious of negative effect and structural problems in the US economy. It means that in foreseeable future, we keep our view that the US dollar should keep going higher.


Monthly chart brings no surprises, at least from technical point of view. As we've suggested previously, 1.09 should provide support to the price as it includes YPS1 and long-term support line. Now price shows reasonable bounce out from this area. Still, the shape of AB-CD pattern shows CD leg acceleration and trend remains bearish. With the fundamental background that we've discussed above - we treat current action only as temporal pullback and keep valid the major target here around 1.04-1.0450 area.



Initially we thought that it might be huge Morning star pattern, but Friday's action shows weakness, as price was not able to move out from High wave pattern, that we've discussed last week. Potentially, unclosed gap might be used as upside target, but price has failed to keep going higher. It means that High wave rage keeps its importance as possible directional pattern. As major events have happened this week, EUR could spend the next one in the same range, as here, on weekly chart we do not have clear patterns, except reaction on oversold area:


Trend here stands bullish and in general, upward swings look nice. Now market stands Agreement resistance and Overbought, which suggests technical downside bounce. OP around 1.1230 might be considered as upside target as it coincides with unfilled gap as well. But first we need to get answer where market goes there or not. And this, in turn, depends on price reaction on intraday support levels. Thus in the beginning of the week, we intend to watch for intraday support areas and whether market will be able to hold them:


Although OP stands around 1.0930-1.0940 and makes Agreement with 5/8 FIb support, the COP seems more important as it agrees with 1.0990-1.10 area and this is primary level to keep an eye on. Normally, the bullish market should show proper reaction here, and restart upward action. In a case of downside breakout, OP is the second chance, but background becomes weaker.


Saw this chart today, it's looking pretty bad.


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Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
Saw this chart today, it's looking pretty bad.

Yep, I also wonder what statistics data we get in May-June as in EU as in the US. Something tells me that it might be stunning surprises. For instance, when this wholesale prices comes to final consumers...

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
Morning guys,

So, EUR shows weak action on the intraday charts. Daily trend still stands bullish and theoretical setup is still on the table, but intraday performance that it has small chances to happen, as 10-year UST yields hits new top at 2.35%:

As we've decided in weekly report - we need to keep an eye on how market responses on major support areas. This gives us clear view on whether upward continuation happens or not. By far, we see no proper response on our 1st strong support area of K-area and COP Agreement:

Current environment stands really tricky guys. It doesn't mean that you can't take long positions, you could. But, we call you to not buy EUR blindly just it stands at some strong level. Currently the corresponding bullish reversal pattern is absolutely needed for long entry. For instance, on 1H chart above, market stands at support, but no patterns are formed yet. Besides, 1H trend is bearish still. To take position we need to get upside action, bullish trend and bullish reversal pattern. Following this simple rules should safe a lot of your money.
Next level to watch is OP Agreement. If EUR fails there - be prepared for drop below 1.08 and moving to next monthly 1.05 target.

anthony egbiwe

Private, 1st Class
Please master sive give me clue on GJ pair I am locked up there if you can.
I know you are very busy but help, I want to know if it is OB or can still continue upward, Please
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Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
Please master sive give me clue on GJ pair I am locked up there if you can.
I know you are very busy but help, I want to know if it is OB or can still continue upward, Please
Hi Anthony,

well, the momentum is very strong to upside, March is becoming bullish reversal one. Currently price stands at resistance, completed 1.27 butterfly. But the stop highly likely is temporal. Chances that price could reach ~164 area seems high.

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
Morning everybody,

EUR was able to start the bounce up from our 1st support area. Thus, although perspectives look blur, theoretically, until EUR holds recent lows, it keeps bullish setup valid:

On 4H chart we have negative surprise (for the bulls) - minor bearish grabber that puts under question existence of current bullish setup:

On 1H chart, the "Minesweeper" DiNapoli entry tactics, that we've mentioned recently works nice, in general. Once 1H trend has turned bullish, minor H&S pattern has been formed, providing suitable combination for long entry. Now, the OP target is reached:

Those, who entered long there, now could move stops to b/e and/or book some result. Concerning the new entry - it is a bit tricky question. We see only two ways now. First is to use minor butterfly but 4H grabber pattern makes it a bit risky. Second - wait for larger reversal pattern, H&S, if price hits xop target and the neckline. Taking everything in consideration, and the fact that yields has jumped to 2.4% - we suggest that second scenario is a bit more reliable...

anthony egbiwe

Private, 1st Class
Hi Anthony,

well, the momentum is very strong to upside, March is becoming bullish reversal one. Currently price stands at resistance, completed 1.27 butterfly. But the stop highly likely is temporal. Chances that price could reach ~164 area seems high.
Thanks for being here for us. I got it now. But if retracement starts on resistance now where could it end?