(Dow Jones via eFXnews) EUR/USD - to range-trade. Undermined by surprise drop in euro-zone February composite PMI to contractionary 49.7 in February from 50.4 in January (vs forecast for rise to 50.8); skepticism about Greece's ability to carry out harsh belt-tightening measures demanded by official creditors to secure EUR130 billion funding package; fears that payouts on Greek sovereign CDS will be triggered, with repercussions on other peripheral euro-zone debt when Greek government imposes a "collective action clause" to force remaining resisting bondholders to accept 53.5% write-down of privately-held Greek sovereign debt; concerns that Portugal may have to restructure its debts. But EUR sentiment soothed by higher-than-expected 1.9% on-month rise in euro-zone December new industrial orders (vs +0.7% foreast). EUR/USD losses also tempered by sovereign demand for euro; EUR demand on buoyant EUR/JPY cross.
Data focus: 0900 GMT German February Ifo business climate index.
WEEKLY Forex Economic Calendar: 24 Feb Fri
13:30 CA- CPI
15:00 US- New Homes Sales
15:00 US- final Univ of Mich Survey
13 Feb Mon
No Major Data 27 Feb Mon
13:30 US- Durable Goods 28 Feb Tues
07:00 DE- Retail Sales
10:00 EZ- flash HICP
13:30 US- GDP
15:00 US- CB Consumer Confidence
15:30 US- EIA Crude 1 Mar Wed
All Day- final Mfg PMIs
08:55 DE- Jobless
13:30 US- PCE Deflator
15:00 CA- Bank of Canada Decision
15:30 US- EIA Crude
19:00 US- Beige Book 2 Mar Thu
13:30 US- Weekly Jobless
23:30 JP- CPI 3 Mar Fri
All-Day SVC PMIs
In response to the latest Fed policy Minutes yesterday, some are pushing the date for the next rate hike back to May. I don't see this sentiment shift in Fed Funds futures. In respnse to this chatter, the EURUSD is trading well of its Tuesday lows. I still feel the Fed hikes in March barring a significantly weaker than expected February jobs report on March 10. The FOMC Minutes left open the door to the RISK of a Rate hike as early as the March 15 FOMC ("very soon"). However, no clear signal was sent.
The Fed appears to want to embark on a policy "normalization" soon. Traders have trouble believing the Fed has the courage to go through with a rate hike. For Yellen build any market credibility, she should hike rates soon.
Fed Funds futures odds for a March Fed rate hike are only 38% (34%), suggesting they are skeptical. Markets now place the odds for rate hikes by June at 112% (116%). That is 100% for one hike (March?) plus 12% for a second move, or possibly something in-between.
On top of the Fed muddle, investors have begun to worry about the risk from key leadership elections in Europe over the rest of the year. Many worry about the possibility of a swing to right as has been seen in the U.K. (Brexit) and U.S. (Trump). Such could be a challenge to the status quo in the EU.
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