The Euro broke through its recent low at 1.3440, plunging
sharply lower after Fitchdowngraded Portugalâs
credit rating. Coupled with on-going concerns regarding efforts by Greece to obtain financial aid from either the
European Union or International Monetary Fund, this latest development could
worsen if additional cuts are applied to Spain,
Italy and Ireland.
Overnight Fitch announced it had downgraded Portugal one
level to AA- and warned further cuts would be forthcoming unless the country
takes care of its ailing finances. Additional pressure could be on the Euro if
the other credit rating agencies, the S&P Corp. and Moodyâs, reaffirm
Fitchâs assessment. Furthermore, traders are reacting as if this situation will
spread to other sovereign nations as the European Union continues to drag its
feet amidst the already dire Greek outlook.
After closing Tuesday off its low following the news that France and Germany
were leaning toward accepting a Greece
financial aid package from the IMF, the Euro weakened shortly before the Fitch
news on the notion that financial aid from an outside entity would appear to be
a weak signal from the European Union. This was almost a complete about face
from yesterdayâs late session rally which helped push up demand for higher
yielding assets and currencies.
According to the recent CFTCâs Commitment of Traders data,
short traders continue to control the direction of the Euro. Although efforts
have begun to curb excessive short speculation in the European single currency,
it looks as if bearish speculators are in control and have called the direction
of this currency precisely.
The Dollar is rising across the broad against all major
currencies as investors seek protection from the drop in higher yielding
assets. Fear could spread throughout the markets today if support for the Euro
continues to erode. Investors are showing their support for the Dollar by
selling off equities, gold and crude oil overnight. In addition, the Dollar
Index has soared to a new high for the year.
The GBP USD is trading lower, but has not reacted as badly
as the Euro despite renewed fears that the U.K. faces a similar downgrade and
warning from credit rating agencies. The British Pound also remains vulnerable
to the downside because of the weakening economy and the threat of a âhung
Parliamentâ based on poll survey results ahead of the upcoming election.
Overnight, the USD CHF reached a 50% level at 1.0703. This
completed a retracement of the recent break from 1.0897 to 1.0506. Upside
momentum could take this market to 1.0749. Talk is circulating that the Swiss
National Bank has been actively intervening to prevent its currency from rising
relative to the Euro. This is raising come concerns that the SNB will soon be
listed as a currency manipulator by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Expectations for impending volatility proved to be true for
the USD JPY as this market broke out to the upside through a long-term
downtrending Gann angle at 90.40. In addition, buying pressure helped this
market regain a key 50% level at 90.95 and change the trend to up on the daily
chart on a trade through the last swing top at 91.08. The next minimum upside
target is a .618 level at 91.62.Gains
could be limited if stocks break sharply and traders seek safety in the lower
yielding Japanese Yen.
The USD CAD is trading better and has regained an old bottom
at 1.0205. The current chart formation suggests impending volatility with a
bias to the upside. After confirming a closing price reversal bottom at 1.0060
earlier in the week, this market appears to be building upside momentum which
could send this market soaring to a major 50% level at 1.0369.
The AUD USD is trading lower but has not reacted nearly as
much to the downside as one would have expected following the developments in Europe. The current chart pattern suggests that this
market has room to break to the downside with .8914 a potential target over the
near-term. Investors seem to be taking a âwait and seeâ outlook ahead of the
opening of the U.S.
stock markets. A plunge in U.S.
equity markets in reaction to the weakness in the Euro could send investors
scurrying out of higher yielding currencies.
A similar situation to the one developing in the Aussie
Dollar is taking place in the NZD USD. Traders are shying away from
aggressively shorting this market ahead of the U.S. stock market opening and in
front of a minor retracement zone at .6992 and .6948. A shift in risk sentiment
back toward risk aversion could pressure the New Zealand Dollar.
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