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Wednesday March 3, 2010 - 18:24:00 GMT
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Forex Blog -EURUSD far from Bottom

EURUSD far from Bottom


Kiss of death for me of late – bravado is not the better part of valor.  After calling a USA victory over Canada in Olympic ice hockey final which surely was the reason why the US lost (though salary adjusted, home advantage adjusted and experience adjusted, USA won 3-1), I fear I may be resigning the short euro position to the dustbin of history (in this world that means a 4-8 week bottom).


Nevertheless I will run the risk of being wrong and going against the odds again…


I can’t stand the euro…and selling this rally ahead of 1.3800 should be a winning strategy.


Some of the more successful traders in the market more or less say price leads news…or price makes news.  The failure of the EUR to break under 1.3434, the February 19 low (post Fed d/r hike low) at 1.3435 on Tuesday was a very strong signal that the move down in the EUR was simply too one-way.  Sure it helped that reserve managers conveniently put bids into the market at the low on Tuesday and prompted many to cover (is that not the MO of traders post-2008 near death of capitalism – tight stops, shorter time horizons?).  Surely the news today from Greece of E4.8bln in new taxes and spending cuts is not far from weekend press reports on what the Papandreou government would come up with.  I can’t assign much causality to the EURUSD rally to the credibility of Greece meeting its deficit target based simply on today’s news.  The key to market confidence in Greek debt is an explicit support mechanism from other Euro area states like Germany and France and that has yet to happen.


If there is any fundamental reason for EUR rise today other than the popular one – world feels Greece is back on track to credible fiscal policy and deficit targets – I would say it is a regulatory short squeeze (on top of the technical one above).  There is a witch hunt by regulators in the Euro area and US to find is hedge funds colluded to drive the EUR down while buying naked CDS in Greek debt (no underlying positions in Greek debt that the CDS would hedge).  The FT does a very fine job of explaining this today and rightly recalled that the move (and defensive posture from hedge funds) is not unlike what happened in the stock market when regulators in the US and Europe banned short selling in financials. 


We are nowhere near a bottom in EURUSD and nowhere near an all clear on Greece’s debt crisis or run on weak sovereign credits.  This won’t happen until there is an explicit guarantee of Greek debt by all or some of Euro Zone states…if they wanted to do it before they have to do it we would be reading about what Germany and France have in place to encourage the sale of Greek debt ahead.  I can’t help but think any Greek auction of 10-year bonds in the next two weeks will be a hard sale.  Euro area is moving the goal line – help was conditional on a new and credible austerity plan…now it is dependent on implementation of said plan.  Merkel risks becoming radioactive the minute the German taxpayer is on the line for any support for Greece and the French are no more sympathetic to a bailout for profligate, shadowy (prior government) Greece.  Indeed Sarkozy could face IMF Director Strauss-Kahn in the next presidential election and this surely favors and IMF bailout, from Sarkozy’s point of view, over any Franco-German bailout. 


With economies in the Euro Zone weakening in the last two months, the prospect for any sustained rally in the EUR based on fiscal consolidation and adjustment is highly unlikely.  But even without a fiscal IED going off in the period ahead prompting a run on a weak credit like Greece, Spain or Portugal, the EUR should reflect the implicit/explicit backing of weak credits by strong credits and the end of the day strong credits weaken and the EUR weakens (German and French financing costs and CDS rise). 


David Gilmore


 FT on the regulatory short squeeze here regulatory short squeeze


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