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Forex Trading StrategiesCurrency market is still slave to the interest rate view, as US rate reversal pulls the USD stronger again. EUR/USD to test 1.1800?
Lower Australian rate outlook may continue to pressure AUD. CAD to push lower on plummeting energy markets?
MAJOR HEADLINES â€“ PREVIOUS SESSION
â€˘ Japan Current Account totals much higher than expected (ÂĄ1748.4 vs. ÂĄ1593B exp. And ÂĄ2024.6 vs. ÂĄ1617.8B exp.)
â€˘ Chinaâ€™s Exports grew at 28.1% year-on-year rate in Jan. vs. 18.2% exp., Imports grew at 25.9% rate vs. 20.9% exp.
â€˘ China Trade Surplus was $9.49B vs. $6.4B expected
â€˘ Australiaâ€™s Central Bank cut interest rate forecasts to 2.75% through end of 2007
USD reversed sharply stronger late Friday. The Asian session was mostly quiet, with the JPY edging a bit weaker.
THEMES TO WATCH â€“ UPCOMING SESSION
We discussed the idea that the correlations between currencies and short term interest rates was at an all time high in 2005 and that this phenomenon may fade soon as the Fed nears the end of its hiking cycle. Well, Friday underlined that the correlation most certainly holds for now, as the USD move stronger coincided with a big reversal in the interest rate markets which have the long rates close to 18-month highs and the US STIR futures pricing in for further hiking from the Fed. And the very key event for this week for the US rate market is the semi-annual Humphrey Hawkins testimony (when the Fed presents its impression of the state of the US economy to the US Senate and House of Reps) on Thursday, which will see the "grand debut" of Ben Bernanke. It seems there's a growing expectation in the market that Mr. Bernanke will continue to press forward with further rate hikes and hawkish rhetoric. So we should look at Thursday as the important pivot point in the markets this week, and an important "stress-testing" of the US interest rate/USD correlation. In the meantime, we have US Retail Sales up tomorrow and the important Net Foreign Security Purchases (TICs) data on Wednesday.
On a technical basis, it looks like Friday's action opens up for a move toward 1.1800 in EUR/USD.
We continue to see downside risks for the commodity currencies, as the AUD comes under pressure from an RBA report where the future inflation projections were reduced to a mere 2.75% through 2007 and from falling metals prices. And it would seem that the plummeting energy markets put USD/CAD at risk of a break higher through 1.1560 resistance and possible move to 1.1700.
The JPY looks less uniformly strong after USD/JPY stormed a figure higher after posting lows below 117.00 on Friday. This muddles the outlook there, even if the JPY still looks strong in most of the other crosses. The very solid trade data overnight reverses a trend we seemed to be developing of surprisingly small current account surplus numbers in previous weeks.
Note: the support/resistance levels used in the matrixâ€™s of this document are levels derived from yesterday high, low and close. Reference in the text to other support/resistance levels will occur.
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