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August 21, 2021

EUR/USD: Fed Needs Strong Dollar, ECB Needs Weak Euro

Forex and Cryptocurrencies Forecast for August 23 - 27, 20211

  • A previous review named the publication of the US Fed's FOMC meeting minutes on Wednesday 18 August as the most important event of the past week.  This document was supposed to clarify the situation regarding the timing of the curtailment of the monetary stimulus (QE) program. Of course, 100% clarity never came out. Some Fed executives still believe that it is necessary to start winding down stimulus at the earliest in spring 2022. However, there is also the opposite view that a parting with QE should happen before the end of this year. And it was this view that led to another decline in investor risk appetites and a further strengthening of the dollar.

     Stock indexes - the Dow Jones, S&P500, Nasdaq Composite, have been falling since the start of the week, with the release of the minutes pushing them further down. And while a certain wave of purchases could be observed after each pullback, the trend still remains downward: the market gets rid of stocks, preferring dollars. The DXY index, which tracks the USD against a basket of 6 major currencies, heaped nearly 1.3 per cent over the week, rising from 92.500 to 93.700.

     In addition to anticipating the early start of QE, the new strain of Delta coronavirus is also pressing the stock and commodity markets. In anticipation of new lockdowns, investors fear for the fate of both the global economy as a whole and its locomotive, the US economy. According to the Ministry of Health, the number of new infections totaled more than 268,000 in one day on August 17 alone, which compares with the peaks of the beginning of the year.

    That being said, the US job market feels pretty good at all. At least for now. Thus, the number of initial applications for unemployment benefits decreased from 377 thousand to 348 thousand for the week, which is much better than the forecast of 363 thousand. This has been the best indicator since the beginning and has benefited the dollar.

    Another source of support for the USD was the widening spreads between the yields of US and foreign bonds. Foreign investors support and will support the demand for dollars in order to then purchase American Treasuries.

     Because of the above factors, the result of the past week was the strengthening of the dollar against the euro by 130 points. having started Monday from 1.1795, EUR/USD groped the local bottom at 1.1665 by the end of the week and finished five days in 1.1700.

     A strong dollar is needed by the Fed to reassure investors about unmanageable inflation. Therefore, new, clearer signals regarding the folding of QE can be expected from this regulator. But the ECB is not at all opposed to further weakening of the euro, which has been repeatedly stated by the head of the bank Christine Lagarde. So, according to many experts, the downtrend of the EUR/USD pair will continue in the medium term.

    The pair has now fallen below the low of April 01, 2021, 1.1704, and if this breakdown is confirmed, the next targets will be the lows of last autumn in the 1.1600-1.1610 zone. If it is able to overcome this barrier, it will open a road to targets in zones 1.1450 and 1.1240. A 300-400 point path is likely to take a month or two to overcome. But if the Fed announces the completion of QE, the pair will fly that distance in a matter of days. This development is supported by 65% of experts.

    The remaining 35% believe that the dollar may take a pause in its growth and the EUR/USD pair will return to the 1.1700-1.1900 range for a while. The nearest targets here are 1.1750 and 1.1830.

    In terms of technical analysis, D1 has 100% of the trend indicators and 75% of the oscillators painted red. The remaining 25% oscillators give signals that the pair is oversold.

    In the coming week, we should note the publication of Markit's German and Eurozone PMI on Monday 23 August, as well as of capital orders goods and durable goods in the US on Wednesday 25 August. On Thursday, we'll find out preliminary US GDP figures. In addition, the annual symposium will be held in Jackson Hole from August 26 to 28, where Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will speak on Friday.

GBP/USD: Escape from the Pound

  • If the pound could still struggle with the dollar two weeks ago, it surrendered all its positions last week. Investors rushed to secure assets due to the rapid spread of the Delta strain and its impact on the global economic recovery. Plus, the possible winding down of QE in the USA. And then the Gfk UK Consumer Confidence Index fell from minus 7 in July to minus 8 in August, the worst performance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, GBP/USD falls almost 270 points to mid-term support in the 1.3600 zone and finishes at 1.3622.

     We would like to remind that in the previous forecast, the specialists of the German Commerzbank designated the July 20 low at 1.3571 as the target for the pair. Given the slight backlash, this forecast proved correct. And now they say that in its fall, the pair may test the 200-week moving average at 1.3146. The strongest support along the way is located in the 1.3480 and 1.3200 zones.

     South is also indicated by 100% of trend indicators and 65% of oscillators on D1. However, only 30 per cent of experts agree with them among analysts. The remaining 70% believe that the British currency's potential for resistance is far from exhausted, especially if the Bank of England takes a more active position. 35% of oscillators in the oversold zone talk of a possible reversal to the north as well. The nearest resistance is at 1.3725, the nearest target is the return of GBP/USD to the 1.3800-1.3875 zone. The nearest resistance levels are 1.3910 and 1.3960.

     Of the most significant macro statistics to be released next week, the publication of Markit's UK services business index on Monday 23 August can be singled out.

USD/JPY: Yen Is Not Afraid of Dollar

  • Against the backdrop of investors” defection from risk, unlike the rest of the currencies, the yen, as a quiet haven, successfully resists the dollar's gaining strength. Since past March, USD/JPY has been moving along the 110.00 horizon, making rare attempts to get outside the 108.30-111.00 trading channel. This time, starting the week from 109.55 mark, it finished it almost there, at 109.80, and the range of fluctuations barely exceeded 110 points: from 109.10 at the low to 110.22 at the high.

     This behavior of the pair forces both experts and indicators to make very contradictory forecasts. Among the first, 45% side with the bulls, 35% side with the bears and 20% take a neutral position. Among the oscillators on D1, 35% are colored red, 15% - green, 50% - neutral gray. Among trend indicators, the ratio is 60% to 40% in favor of green.

     Support levels are 109.10, 108.70 and 108.30. The bears' dream is to retest the April low of 107.45. The nearest resistance levels are the 110.00, 110.55, 110.80, 111.00 and 111.65 zones.  The ultimate goal of the bulls is still the same: to get to the cherished height of 112.00.


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