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Thursday December 31, 2009 - 23:38:27 GMT
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Dollar Finishes Nearly Unchanged Following Volatile Trade

The U.S. Dollar finished nearly unchanged in a volatile trade, highlighted by a choppy two-side market.  Late last night, the Dollar was down sharply against most major currencies on end-of-the-year position squaring.  Throughout the night, however, a support base was built as traders awaited this morning’s U.S. Initial Claims Report.  The Dollar surged to the upside following the release of the better than expected claims report.  Traders reacted positively to the good news as it indicated the economy was still on track for a recovery, and the Fed would have to consider hiking interest rates sooner rather than later.


Next week the Dollar faces potentially volatile conditions as the bigger players return to work after an almost two week absence. Trading could get wicked as traders position themselves ahead of the U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report on January 8th.


This report is likely to set the tone for the Dollar for several months.  Last month’s report showed a surprising drop in the unemployment rate from 10.2% to 10.0%.  Traders will be watching the next report to see if the last report was an aberration or the start of a trend.  The direction of the Dollar for several months will be decided by this report. A better than expected number should put the pressure on the Fed to begin raising interest rates before the start of the third quarter.  A bearish report will mean the Fed will wait until after June.


Technically, the daily chart is indicating the Dollar Index is ripe for a near-term correction.  A trade through 77.33 will turn the main trend to down and set up a correction to 76.31 to 75.80. Thursday’s sell-off stopped just short of testing the bottom at 77.33.


This morning, the daily chart pattern in the EUR USD suggested the minor trend was ready to turn up on a trade through 1.4457, but sellers stepped in after the friendly U.S. initial claims report to pressure the Euro. No actual damage was done to the chart formation so the first upside objective over the short-term remains 1.4680 to 1.4790. Whether traders go after this level will be determined by a slew of U.S. economic reports next week especially the employment report on January 8th.


The GBP USD followed through to the upside after Wednesday’s spectacular turnaround.  The daily chart indicates that this market has room to the upside with 1.6355 to 1.6478 the next objective. The tone was firm today although the Pound closed slightly off its high.


The USD JPY rebounded after a steady to lower opening and surged to the upside following the release of the better than expected initial claims report. This report signaled an improving economy and put the Japanese Yen in a position to weaken further. Minor support is being formed at 91.90.  A break through this level could trigger an acceleration to the downside to 90.50. The main trend on the weekly chart turned up this week when the market crossed the last main top at 92.32.


The USD CHF traded under pressure overnight but managed to take back most of the loss during the New York session as the friendly U.S. initial claims report underpinned the market throughout the day. The daily chart indicates the minor trend will turn down following a break through 1.0278.  The first downside objective is a retracement zone at 1.0212 to 1.0143. Regaining the top end of a retracement zone at 1.0419 will put the Swiss Franc in a weak position.


The USD CAD had an inside day, but closed higher. After a 50% correction of its recent break, the USD CAD felt selling pressure early but turned around after the .618 retracement level at 1.0459 was tested. Short-term resistance is at 1.0555 to 1.0600.  Investors seem content with letting this market remain rangebound albeit under volatile conditions.


The AUD started higher this morning buoyed by higher global equity markets.  The surge to the upside took the Aussie into a retracement zone at .8964 to .9018 where it died when volatility slowed throughout the trading session. A close over .8964 is an indication of strength, but the .618 price at .9018 has to be taken out to accelerate this market to the upside.


The NZD USD surged to the upside after breaking through a downtrending Gann angle from the .7529 top at .7219 on Thursday.  Profit-taking along with the late session sell-off in the U.S. equity markets limited gains and drove the New Zealand Dollar off its high.  Watch for a possible retracement to .7185 to .7144.


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Forex Trading Ideas for 18 Jan 2017

19-Jan Thu
00:30 AU- Employment
12:45 EZ- ECB Decision
13:30 US- Philly Fed
13:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
16:00 US- EIA Crude
20-Jan Fri
01:00 US Yellen Speech
13:30 CA- CPI/ Retail Sales
16:30 US- Trump Inauguration

Forex Trading Outlook

  • The key event Thursday will be the latest ECB policy meeting. At the last meeting, President Draghi announced that the central bank would extend its bond purchase program to the end of 2017. The central bank will continue to purchase bonds at the current monthly pace of EUR 80 billion until the end of March. From April 2017, net asset purchases will continue at a reduced monthly pace of EUR 60 billion until the end of December 2017. One question some have is will the ECB speed up the tapering of its bond purchases later this year. With the ECB still not having even STARTED to taper, it is premature to expect a new announcement as early as this meeting.

  • The rest of this week sees a calendar chock full of potentially market-moving events. See calendar above. On Friday, January 20 starting at 11:00 ET, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as U.S. President. His inaugural address will be carefully combed for any items related to economic policy.

  • The Trump comment that he would use forex as a policy tool would be a new element for the markets. The Trump comments rattled the markets.

  • The Tuesday Brexit speech by U.K. PM May continues to impact trade.on her plans for Brexit. May said she wanted no "half-in or half-out" agreements. Her goal remains complete political independence from the EU. The GBP remains vulnerable.

John M. Bland, MBA


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