Forex FOREX PRO WEEKLY, May 09 - 13, 2022

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
Messages
16,103
Fundamentals

Obviously there are two moments that have made the weather this week - NFP and Fed. While we've briefly talked about Fed recent statement and found that it was a bit dovish, NFP report is a bit different story and has some tricky moments that we need to clarify. For example, how it is possible the simultaneous rising of vacations and unemployment at all time lows, accompanied with low rising wages... do you think that something is hidden there?

First is, lets focus on the swamp that Fed stands in. The basic results of meeting are as follows:
▪️ The Fed does not consider the rate change by 0.75%
▪️ The neutral rate (according to the Fed) is about 3%
▪ Supposed shedule of rate increasing suggests possible increase by 0.5% at the next two meetings, then by 0.25%, bringing it to 2.75% by the end of 2022. The next meetings are on June 15, July 27, September 21, November 2 and December 14
▪️ Suggestion on balance sheet decreasing - starts with 47.5 billion from June 1, 2022, then 63.5 billion from July 1, 79.5 billion from August 1 and 95 billion from September 1 and thereafter.
▪️ There is no certainty on the timing of the reduction of the balance after September 1. All this can be quickly closed if there are risks to the system. Risks in the Fed's understanding are falling markets, the threat of financial stability (credit spreads, demand for debt instruments, recession in the economy).

According to Spydell finance, the most interesting stuff is absence of exact timing and volume of the reduction of the balance sheet. The Fed tells in comments and press release that the reduction of the balance sheet will be stopped if any risks to the system become evident. The quote "there will be a reduction in the balance sheet until the Committee decides that the remaining reserves are at a sufficient level" is a soft veiled form of refusal to compress the balance sheet. They just plan to start and promise to stop if something goes wrong.

As we've mentioned previously, we expect massive defaults on junk bonds as the first obvious sign of recession as soon as interest rates keep climbing higher. Thus this week the price of a major U.S. junk bond exchange traded fund (ETF) fell to its lowest in over two years this week, as concerns over the impact of a hawkish Federal Reserve on the economy led investors to pull out of riskier assets.

Meanwhile the yield spread on the ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Index , a commonly used benchmark for the junk bond market, rose to 405 basis points on Monday from 393 bps last week, widening to its highest since March 15, when the spread hit a 15-month peak at 421 bp. A widening of the spread of junk bond yields over Treasuries is an indication of risk aversion in financial markets.

This, in turn should lead to collapse of assets and an economic crisis. Therefore, It is low doubt that Fed hardly finishes their work at desirable result. It seems more probable that it capitulates immediately at the first signs of jitter in the financial system. Therefore, between fighting inflation and supporting the market, the Fed has chosen markets. This means that inflation wins.

So, if we filter out regular trash-talk that "economy is strong, demand is strong, supply is recovering, the Fed is strong, markets are strong, everything is stabilizing, all problems should resolve and life once again become fervent and prosperous", then another interesting point is about neutral rate, which Fed suggests now stand around 3%. Actually, the neutral rate should be equal to inflation, at least, which means that now it should be no less than 7-8%.

Fed already has risen the rate to 1%, but it changes nothing. The real fund rate is "-5.5%", real bond rate is "-7.5%". This gives not good signal to the market, suggesting that Fed is loosing control over situation:

1651911414928.png

Source: Spydell Finance

Ultimate negative rates bring a lot of problems. Particularly speaking, they drastically decrease demand for the debt, as investors do not believe to J. Powell on inflation stabilization and that Fed has enough tools to control it. Now their promises confront to the fruits. As a rule, when economy is healthy, the households' cashflows to the stock markets and debt are opposite. Now we have situation when stocks cashflows are at the peak while flows to the bonds at 5 years low, despite rising interest rates. Fed vitally needs to recover cashflows to the bonds. But who will buy bonds now with the yield of "-8%"? This is rhetoric question. Last report we already said that demand for Treasuries and MBS has dropped for ~ 35-40% this year. The net Gov debt issue is amounted just $29 billion in Mar-Apr compares to $290 billion in 2021 and 1.6 trillion in 2020. They same we could say about High-Yield bonds, where demand has dropped 5 times from 150 Bln per month on average to ~30 Bln. The sanctions policy also play negative role as other countries, such as China and S. Arabia start to worry on safety of their currency reserves that they store in the US.
Using 2008 subprime crisis as example, Fed needs to make a big bada-boom crush on stock market to return investors back to the debt financing. As QE is already closed - they do not have any other way.

1651912222512.png

Source: Spydell Finance

As rates will keep rising, the debt servicing expenses will be rising as well which reduces the operating margin (difference between earnings and expenses) of the companies. With a record debt load, this destroys low-margin businesses and "zombie" corporations, which have bred widely on a background of unlimited QE. Energy cost grows, salaries grows because of lack of qualified personnel in the deteriorating labor market. Taxes rise in an attempt to close the budget deficit. All costs rise. What profit can we still talk about?

Just to make you better understand the scale of the problem, lets take a look at dry numbers on the US Debt. Over the past 2 years, the Fed has absorbed more than the half of the total bonds of all national issuers. There were 8.9 trillion bonds were issued by all national resident issuers in Dec 2019 to Dec 2021 period. This 8.9 trillion consists of US Treasuries - 6.26 trillion, MBS and agency securities - 1.23 trillion, corporate securities - 1.32 trillion, and others. During this time, the Fed's balance sheet increased by 4.6 trillion, i.e. the Fed has bought up to almost 52% of the total debt that was issued by residents and 62% of the debts that were bought up in a way of QE (treasuries + MBS)!

In mid-March 2022, the Fed stopped buying assets, sales will begin on June 1, they will sell about 190 billion dollars in the summer and are going to reach sales rates of 95 billion from September 1.

Now a new reality is coming – post-QE syndrome. The current needs of the US economy is the new debt emission about $2.7-3 trillion per year, not including the 9-10 trillion needs to be refinanced annually. Now we meet the situation when on a background of dropping demand for the bond and ultimately negative interest rates market has to absorb no just new emission of debt but Fed's selling from its balance sheet. How it is possible? The pressure now on the debt market is huge and even more with additionally sales from the Fed. It seems that everything goes accurately with our long-term view and there will be a lot of blood and pain in summer. The process is stretched in time, but it seems that degradation is inevitable.

Now we hope that our position on Fed policy and why we think that it is loosing control over situation becomes more clear. ;)

Next topic is employment and why we also see a lot of tricks here. We suspect that it might be another driver for recession, although social. Take a look at what disbalances we have. They are not some special and separate factor but the result of the same uncontrolled QE and pandemic emission. Now we see the situation when vacancies stand at the all-time higher together with the record low employment. This is unprecedented case in the history. How is this possible?

1651914729311.png


The answer is as follows. QE money have accumulated in pockets of households that let them to invest on bubbling stock market, bringing the "investing" welfare and
let them to not search the job. On the background of QE this group of people who relates to working population but do not included in labor force statistics group jumps to 10 Mln although now gradually is decreasing:
1651915241302.png

Source: Spydell Finance

At the same time, the employment in private sector (ADP) stands at record low:

1651915175330.png


It means that we need to add 10 Mln to unemployment amount right now. With simple maths using and 3.6% unemployment stands for ~ 6 Mln people, 16 Mln will be around 9.6% - this is the reality, but it comes to statistics when stock market bubble blows and new "Buffets" loose their "welfare" starts to search the job. As you understand when big boom happens - 9.6% unemployment is just a starting point.

Market overview

Here, guys, just few moments from the market. Signs of fear are already visible on the stock market. The gyrations come as investors are faced with an array of potentially combustible factors, chief among them whether the Federal Reserve will be able to tame surging inflation without driving the economy into recession.
1651917399474.png


"There is a lot of uncertainty with what is going on, with inflation, oil, global macroeconomic events," said Matthew Tym, head of equity derivatives trading at Cantor Fitzgerald. "I think we are in for some volatility going forward, probably for the whole year."

Thursday's selloff was extraordinarily broad with every S&P sector down on the day and more than 95% of the index constituents in the red. The Fed is hardly the only worry facing markets. Prices for oil and many other commodities remain sky high, partially as a result of repercussions from the war in Ukraine. Markets remain focused on inflation, with key U.S. consumer price data coming next week.

"It's pretty awful in the equity markets," said Brenner, saying that the selling was a response to Powell's remarks, as investors viewed him even more "behind the curve" in raising rates.

Ten-year Treasury yields nudged up first thing on Monday after clocking in April the largest gain since 2009, further extending its lead on S&P 500 dividend yields. The dollar also rose against a basket of currencies after scoring its best month since 2015 in April.

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"Our currency, your problem," were the words of a former U.S. Treasury secretary in 1971 to other finance ministers aghast at the dollar's surge. More than 50 years on, relentless dollar strength is again leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The U.S. currency vaulted to two-decade highs this week, and its strength is tightening financial conditions just as the world economy confronts the prospect of a slowdown.

The surge threatens "to damage the broader market environment and expose the economic and financial cracks in the system," said Samy Chaar, chief economist at Lombard Odier. The 8% gain in the dollar index this year may not reverse in the near future. Safe-haven appeal for the greenback is intact, with a dollar financing stress indicator from Barclays near its highest level in seven years. And analysis of past peak-to-trough ranges implies the dollar index could rise another 2% to 3%, Barclays said.

While currency weakness normally benefits export-reliant Europe and Japan, the equation may not hold when inflation is high and rising, as imported food and fuel become costlier as do companies' input costs. Euro zone inflation hit a record 7.5% this month and Japanese lawmakers are fretting that the yen, at 20-year lows, will inflict damage on households. Half of Japanese firms expect higher costs to hurt earnings, a survey found. But growth concerns may prevent central banks, especially in Europe and Japan, from tightening policy in line with the Federal Reserve. Many reckon that could push the euro down to parity with the dollar, a level unseen since 2002.

The Bank of England warning of recession risk and inflation rising above 10% only exacerbated concerns about the growth outlook, sparking the biggest one-day drop since March 2020.

COT Report

While last week we saw net long position drop on the back of decreasing of open interest - this time we see harder combination. Short positions increase by speculators, hedgers increase possession against EUR drop, and all this stuff happens on the back of rising open interest. This suggests strong bearish sentiment on the market, decreasing chances on any meaningful reversal in near term.

1651918767932.png


Actually net position turns bearish:
1651918882971.png

Source: cftc.gov charting by Investing.com


Next week the major data that we need to focus is the US CPI. March CPI came in at 8.5% on an annualized basis, as gasoline costs hit record highs. On a monthly basis, CPI jumped 1.2%, the biggest gain since September 2005. Early forecasts are for a 0.2% monthly rise. The March inflation surge probably sealed the Fed's 50 basis-point rate rise on May 4. The upcoming inflation print could sway expectations for how monetary policy will be adjusted going forward.

Conclusion
That's being said, the recent Fed position and their comments on situation are not necessary reflect the reality. They show no intelligent solutions for current situation. It has not discussed any real problems, all the arguments are quite abstract and impracticable. The situation in the European Union is even worse. At the same time, there is no doubt that, given the Fed's decision on the rate, next week's data will be even worse.
Some analysts suggest that the Fed could try escape discussion of the economy deterioration until the next meeting, and then, by raising the rate by another 0.25% in June, postpone the drastic steps to the summer. But it might just not work, as negative processes are going too fast. Actually, this is the main intrigue of the next two months: whether the awful situation force the US monetary authorities to take at least some additional measures, and which ones.

At the same time we do not exclude the scenario when the US could involve geopolitical steps for economy support. For example, spreading the conflict over Eastern Europe could support dollar for longer. Drop of net US debt purchases makes us think that China reducing investing activity as major buyer of the US debt. This could be the sign that China government expects imposing of the US sanctions due rising activity around Taiwan and Solomon Islands.

Speaking on EUR/USD strategy - currently we do not see any reasons to change our view, at least for 2-3 months perspective. When the US problems become evident - a lot of things depend on EU decisions. If they keep going on the course of the US foreign policy, downside trend on EUR could slow a bit but continues. Conversely, any attempt of EU to step out from the US control and follow with its own national interest definitely supports EUR, leaving the US one-on-one with their problems. But somehow it is difficult to believe that this happens. The Russian military operation terms also could play important role. Thus, if Russia takes the control over Ukraine before the US meets obvious recession signs - this will be in favor of the EUR. But if operation still will be lasting and US will try to wide it, involving Poland, Romania and Baltic countries with Finland as new NATO member - this hurts EUR even stronger.
 

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
Messages
16,103
Technical
Monthly

So, technical picture might be not as exciting as fundamental one, but is still important. Last week we've presented a bit wider picture. It contains few targets of different depth, all of them are realistic, but achievement depends on fundamental factors mentioned above.

So, reaching of OP at 1.0430 brings no questions, as well as possible tactical bounce out from it during the next week.

Further perspective looks different. As we consider only technical factors here, definitely market has to go below OP, because of faster CD leg and acceleration to OP target. Ultimately, we see 0.9 target - because of butterfly extension and XOP (red) target.

Here we also have all-time blue XOP that stands right in the same area. The problem here that price is already passed the OP and stands in extension to XOP. Still, the reaching of 0.9 area is not predefined yet. It might happen in a case of further geopolitical escalation in Europe.

Now it is better to consider the 1.27 butterfly extension as the next possible target around 0.97-0.98 area.
But this is still the long road to go.

In near term, EUR has oversold level around the parity, as well as 1.025 previous lows area. Thus, we expect high volatility in attempt of breakout. On coming week price should keep flirting around 1.0430 target, hopefully it will be hit finally.
EUR_d_09_05_22.png


Weekly/Daily

On weekly chart it is nothing to comment by far as May activity is small, price stands around the same levels. As price is oversold on the weekly chart, it has become the technical barrier to complete monthly target. Trend is bearish.

On a daily chart it is also nothing to add to the grabber pattern that we've discussed on Friday. Overall performance indicates indecision as NFP data was neutral mostly. Market keeps the bearish flag shape and is not at oversold any more. On the dollar index, by the way, Friday candle is a bearish grabber (in EUR terms).
EUR_d_09_05_22.png


Intraday

On 4H chart we clearly see EUR attempts to make a progress on upside performance but all of them have failed. As a result, we have three side by side bearish grabbers, suggesting downside action, which is in a row with our 1.0430 target:

EUR_4h_09_05_22.png


On the 1H chart we've got upside bounce on Friday, but in a bit different way. We do not have any patterns on 1H chart, except, maybe strong upside action during NFP report, but 4H and daily grabbers now seem more important. Besides, interest rates hit 3.13% area on Friday that also should make pressure on the EUR. Thus, minor chances exist that it might be 2-leg AB-CD upside action, but direct downside continuation looks more probable now.
EUR_1h_09_05_22.png
 

RahmanSL

Major
Messages
2,876
Hi Sive, hope you doing well... a lot of very eventful happenings these past years which is destabilizing our planet.

As usual, thank you for the excellent & insightful article which is of great help.

What do you think of the USD/JPY? The weakness of the Yen of course helps with Japanese exports but, with price of essentials imports like oil & gas at all time high, surely they can't hold on too long with costly imports which eats into their foreign reserves. Honestly, I thought the BOJ will intervene (like they have done in the past) but in a limited way to help prop-up their currency, but the BOJ has said they can bear weakness in their Yen even at 132 level. Though I do think they might be able to do that, but for how long? Somehow, I am expecting the BOJ to carry out a limited intervention to temporarily strengthen the Yen for a short time after which, as you have mentioned, either the problems in the U.S.A economy becomes more apparent to weaken the king dollar which will of course helps other currencies, or Europe finally come to their senses and decides to do their own thing and leave the U.S.A to deal with their own sets of problems and politics.

All the best, take care and stay safe.
 

RahmanSL

Major
Messages
2,876
Apart from the U.S.A, their European Allies, UK, Australia, possibly New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore (which is too insignificant to be counted as it's a very tiny nation), the rest of the world does not see Russia as a threat to further expansion. In contrast, the U.S.A and their Allies are carrying out all the expansion into Eastern Europe and, indeed, threatening Russia's security. NATO was formed to counter the threats poised by the USSR which has since disintegrated in late 1991. With around 800 military bases around the world which basically encircled Russia and China, the U.S.A and their Allies is a serious threat to these two nations which they (U.S.A and their Allies) proclaimed as their main adversaries to their continued hegemony.
 

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
Messages
16,103
What do you think of the USD/JPY?

Hi mate, partially we've talked about Japan in our recent Gold fundamental report but in a bit different context - as supplier of capital to US. We said that this flow is drying.
So, fundamentally, yen has low chances to rebound - 80% commodities price run and 20% yen devaluation by this moment, record inflation (that Japan was desiring for the so long time) bring low chances to reasonable change of the trend. Besides, Japan also has taken part in pandemic QE, although at less degree.
Technically, I would watch for 1.33 major target area on weekly chart. I wouldn't surprise if intervention also comes around 133 area...
jpy_w_09_05_22.png

Europe cannot handle their own political security, they NEED to stick to the USA plan or go under like what happened during the Hitler period.
Absolutely. EU is under US occupation after 1947 Marshall's plan with external controlling administration in Brussels. They can't change the policy if even they want to do it.
...the rest of the world does not see Russia as a threat to further expansion. In contrast, the U.S.A and their Allies are carrying out all the expansion into Eastern Europe and, indeed, threatening Russia's security.
Yes, everything goes with the same scenario as years or even decades before, tools and methods are all the same and becomes so predictable. This is like some political machine and everytime repeats the same things. It was Miloshevich, then Saddam, then Quaddaffi, then Asad and now it is Putin. And everywhere lies - white helmets and chemical weapon, provocations here and there, pocket media machine, weapon supply, democracy support etc... It starts looking boring and it is no need to search who stand behind this.
No one shouts "thief!" louder than thieves.
 

Sive Morten

Special Consultant to the FPA
Messages
16,103
Rahman, take a look, here is what I also find today:

The Japanese yen is down over 11.0% against the dollar this year and touched a two-decade low during its latest downward spiral. It was expected to recover only half of those losses to trade around 123 per dollar in the next 12 months.

When asked what was the weakest the currency will fall to this month, 16 analysts who answered the extra question returned a median of 133, over 2.0% lower than where the yen was last trading on Wednesday. Forecasts were in 130-136 range.

Even against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war, the yen was the worst performer among G10 currencies this year, raising questions over its credentials of a safe-haven currency.

Asked if the recent breakdown in its safe-haven status was temporary, a strong majority of analysts, 14 of 21, said yes.

"It has lost some attractiveness as a safe-haven currency, but I wouldn't say this is a complete shift that will last for four years. I think there a lot of temporary factors that are at play at the moment," added ING's Pesole.


So, it seems that we're not too far from Reuters experts ;)
 

RahmanSL

Major
Messages
2,876
Hi mate, partially we've talked about Japan in our recent Gold fundamental report but in a bit different context - as supplier of capital to US. We said that this flow is drying.
So, fundamentally, yen has low chances to rebound - 80% commodities price run and 20% yen devaluation by this moment, record inflation (that Japan was desiring for the so long time) bring low chances to reasonable change of the trend. Besides, Japan also has taken part in pandemic QE, although at less degree.
Technically, I would watch for 1.33 major target area on weekly chart. I wouldn't surprise if intervention also comes around 133 area...
View attachment 76568
Hi Sive, thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my post which is very much appreciated.
Hi Sive, thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my post which is very much appreciated.

"When asked what was the weakest the currency will fall to this month, 16 analysts who answered the extra question returned a median of 133, over 2.0% lower than where the yen was last trading on Wednesday. Forecasts were in 130-136 range."
Yes, you are pretty close to general consensus of 130-136.

Oh well, look very likely that I will probably be sitting on my hands tomorrow or even for the entire week because of my erroneous assumption that the BOJ had started some limited intervention to support their Yen and I pre-empt that expectation with some short USD/JPY positions at the 129.887-130.007 levels. Hopefully I do not have a long wait.
This reminds me of the time some 10 years back when the Euro was down to almost parity at around 1.02-03 and I anticipated the intervention of the EU to prop-up their currencies and took some long positions. However, I got bored waiting for that to happen and, noticing that the EUR/USD was ranging, I started doing some short scalp trades by taking short position on each rise and closing out after it fell. I was making pretty good money for a while there and then an idea came in to take bigger lot sizes to make bigger profits. It worked pretty well for a while but then, without warning, the EUR/USD shot up to the 1.3-1.4 levels which happen just as I took a couple large size short positions. From a very healthy balance, my trading account went into margin call and even with my best attempts to cut losses, my account was left with only a couple thousand US$. After some frantic searches, I learned that 5 bankers had decided to take it upon themselves to "save" the Euro which took everyone by surprised. We can supposed those 5 bankers and their families & cronies make tons of money from their "heroic" action by going long on the Euro.

Well, I am not going for a repeat of that Euro saga with the USD/JPY and shall sit on my hands tomorrow and, if need to, for as long as it takes.

Thank you again and all the best.
 

RahmanSL

Major
Messages
2,876
Hi Sive, thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my post which is very much appreciated.

"When asked what was the weakest the currency will fall to this month, 16 analysts who answered the extra question returned a median of 133, over 2.0% lower than where the yen was last trading on Wednesday. Forecasts were in 130-136 range."
Yes, you are pretty closed to general consensus of 130-136.

Oh well, look very likely that I will probably be sitting on my hands tomorrow or even for the entire week because of my erroneous assumption that the BOJ had started some limited intervention to support their Yen and pre-empt that with some short USD/JPY positions at the 129.887-130.007 levels. Hopefully I do not have a long wait.
This reminds me of the time some 10 years back when the Euro was down to almost parity at around 1.02-03 and I anticipated the intervention of the EU to prop-up their currencies and took some long positions. However, I got bored waiting for that to happen and, noticing that the EUR/USD was ranging, I started doing some short scalp trades by taking short position on each rise and closing out after it fell. I was making pretty good money for a while there and then an idea came in to take bigger lot sizes to make bigger profits. It worked pretty well for a while but then, without warning, the EUR/USD shot up to the 1.3-1.4 levels which happen just as I took a couple large size short positions. From a very healthy balance, my trading account went into margin call and even with my best attempts to cut losses, my account was left with only a couple thousand US$. After some frantic searches, I learned that 5 bankers had decided to take it upon themselves to "save" the Euro which took everyone by surprised. We can supposed those 5 bankers and their families & cronies make tons of money from their "heroic" action by going long on the Euro.

Well, I am not going for a repeat of that Euro saga with the USD/JPY and shall sit on my hands tomorrow and, if need to, for as long as it takes.

Thank you again and all the best.
 

RahmanSL

Major
Messages
2,876
Forgot to add:

Personally, I think the comfort zone for Japan is the 110-125 levels, after which they can still and will bear with their currency weakness. But at and over the 130 levels, Japan will start to feel the heat and need to intervene to bring their currency down to their comfort levels. Essentials imports like oil & gas have to be paid in US$ and with record high prices for these commodities, that draws down Japan's foreign reserves which they cannot sustain over a long period of time. Also, imported goods will become more expensive in Japan.
Hopefully, I am correct in my assessment.
 
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