Greenback Gains as Market’s Optimism Fades

The European single currency came crashing on Tuesday after data showed the Euro-Zone economy recorded its deepest ever quarterly fall in the 4-quarter of 2008. As a result, the currency market moved back to the U.S currency after optimism regarding the European economy faded. The USD which is seen as a safer bet than others currencies in times of market stress will likely keep drawing demand as investors stay away from riskier assets.

Economic News

USD – USD Regains Lost Momentum from Under-Performing Stock Market

The USD has begun a moderate rally these past two days, starting from as high as 1.3575 against the EUR, the greenback is now trading near the 1.3175 price level. An even sharper price rally began this morning during the early trading hours when the release of poor stock data emerged from Wall Street. The negative economic outlook for first quarter stock performance has many traders returning to their safe-haven investments – namely, the U.S. Dollar.

After witnessing a sharp 70 point drop, the EUR/USD began to stabilize while maintaining its downward posture. Against the GBP, the greenback made similar gains, rising from 1.4950 yesterday to as high as 1.4682 in today’s early hours. Surprisingly, the USD saw no significant change in value versus the Japanese Yen, which may lend strength to the notion that the JPY is also being picked up as a potential safe-haven. So long as stocks and other equities continue to under-perform, due to the weakening global economy and rising metal prices, the USD may regain its recently diminished safe-haven status and return to levels not seen in over two weeks, perhaps to the 1.3000 price by the day’s end.

Looking over the economic calendar may lend some insight into how the USD will perform through the second half of this week. The ever-increasingly important report on Crude Oil Inventories is due to be released later today. If inventories continue growing it could signal a further lack of real growth in the economy and continue to push the USD higher throughout its pairs and crosses. On Thursday, of course, we will also see two highly important data releases: the US Trade Balance report and unemployment figures. Both are due to be released tomorrow at 12:30 GMT and will likely carry a heavy impact on the value of the Dollar.

EUR – EUR’s Recent Depreciation May Not End This Week

The EUR has apparently taken a hit from the recent rally in the U.S. Dollar, and not just against the USD. Dropping against all of its major currency rivals, the EUR is poised to suffer a significant loss through the rest of the trading week. Trading as high as 1.3575 against the USD this week, the EUR is currently losing momentum and may continue to drop from its current location to as low as 1.3000. The 16-nation currency is witnessing similar losses to the GBP and JPY as well.

Many analysts claim that the Euro-Zone’s primary currency is losing strength not because of an inherent weakness, but because the recent price rally was dependent on a resurgent stock market. As stocks and various other equities have experienced a sharp depreciation this week, the EUR’s rally has begun to implode in on itself. Unless stocks begin to rebound once more, the EUR will likely continue its depreciation as other currencies, such as the USD and JPY, regain their safe-haven trading status.

As negative data continues to emanate from the Euro-Zone’s regional economy, this consequential weakness for the EUR is apparently going to continue growing as well. The rest of this week’s economic news doesn’t appear to be offering any significant level of support either. With very few economic indicators being released during the second half of this week, there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of stopping this downward momentum in the various EUR trading pairs.

JPY – JPY Pares Losses and Stabilizes as it Regains Trader Confidence

Somewhat surprising for the market this week is a sudden resurgence of support for the JPY. While continuously losing ground to all of its currency rivals in recent days, the Yen now appears to be regaining a portion of its previous safe-haven strength. As world stock markets released poor 1st quarter data, the USD witnessed a sharp appreciation against all of its currency rivals, except for the JPY. Two of the possible explanations are either that the JPY was unaffected by a rallying USD, which seems unlikely, or the Yen also received a small boost from the search for safe-haven investments.

The island currency experienced a roughly 50 point increase against all of its major pairs and crosses, save the USD, which is currently trading at 99.70. With very little information being released regarding the Japanese economy this week, the news events surrounding world stock markets as well as the U.S. Dollar are likely going to lead the market through Friday and into next week. Because of the deterioration of world stock markets, there is a distinct possibility that low-yielding, safe-haven currencies, such as the USD and JPY, are going to begin regaining some of their recent losses through next week.

OIL – Demand for Crude Oil Continues to Fall; As Does its Price

It appears that the recent steps taken by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase the price of Crude Oil have begun to lose their momentum. After 4 consecutive days of losing value, the price of Crude Oil currently sits just below $48 a barrel and could retain this downward momentum. As economic growth continues to provide data which indicates a further slump in demand, and as the USD rallies from poor stock market data, Crude Oil may devalue even further through to next week.

As U.S. Crude Oil inventories have illustrated these past weeks, demand for this commodity has witnessed a solid deterioration. This inventories report, which is due to be released at 14:30 GMT today, may indeed indicate that demand has continued to fall and traders could be seeing a decreasing price of Crude Oil through Friday and into next week. A price of $46 may be seen by the week’s end.

Technical News

There is a very distinct bearish channel forming on the hourly chart, as the pair is now floating in its lower section. In addition, all oscillators on the 4-hour chart are pointing down, suggesting that the downtrend might extend. Going short might be the right strategy today
It seems that the Cable has limited its bullish correction after peaking at the 1.4941 level. And now, a bearish cross on the daily chart’s Slow Stochastic indicates that the general downtrend might extend. Going short seems to be the preferable choice today
The daily chart shows that the pair is currently range-trading within a restricted price range. However, as the RSI on the daily chart has dropped beneath the 70 line, it appears that bearish momentum might be arising. Going short with tight stops could be the right choice today.
Ever since bottoming at the 1.1253 level, the pair has entered a very strong bullish trend and is currently traded around the 1.1490 level. And now, a flag formation on the 4-hour chart suggests that the bullish move has more room to go.

The Wild Card

Gold prices are in the midst of a very strong downtrend, and an ounce of gold is currently traded for about $887. The daily chart shows that the current price has dropped beneath the Bollinger Bands’ lower border, indicating that the bearish move is still quite strong. This might be a good opportunity for forex traders to join a very popular trend

Written by: