EUR/USD: Words Drive Trends
The main drivers of the past week were statements by important ECB and FRS officials. However, the beginning of the five-day period was relatively calm: the Easter weekend had its effect. Unlike the United States, Europe rested not only on Friday April 15, but also on Monday 18. The dollar was slightly supported on Monday by the comments from the representatives of the American regulator. According to Rafael Bostic, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the base interest rate may be about 1.75% by the end of 2022, and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans believes that it will reach 2.25-2.50%. And the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, James Bullard, announced a possible rise in the key rate by 0.75% immediately at the May meeting of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee).
The situation changed dramatically on Tuesday: the EUR/USD pair reversed and, having soared by 175 points, reached the height of 1.0935 on Thursday, April 21. It was not the dollar but the euro that was supported this time by hawkish comments from the members of the European Central Bank Governing Council. Thus, the head of the Central Bank of Latvia, Martins Kazaks, said on Wednesday that an increase in the ECB rate is possible as early as July. His colleague, the head of the National Bank of Belgium, Pierre Wunsch, gave an interview to Bloomberg the next day, in which he noted that interest rates could become positive this year. ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindos confirmed this possibility, according to him the quantitative easing (QE) program may be completed in July, after which the path to raising rates will be open.
An additional impetus to the pair was given by the improvement in risk sentiment and the decline in the yield of American Treasuries. This sent the DXY dollar index down 1% after hitting a two-year high on Tuesday.
The situation changed for the third time on Thursday afternoon. The dollar went on a new offensive, assisted by a rise in the yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds, which rose to 2.974%, the highest level since December 2018. This happened thanks to Jerome Powell. Speaking at a meeting within the framework of the International Monetary Fund spring session, the head of the Fed confirmed the high probability of raising the interest rate by 0.5% at the next FOMC meeting on May 3-4. Such a move is under consideration, Powell said, as the U.S. job market is already "overheated." He did not rule out either that the rate could be increased by another 0.5% in June.
As for the head of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, speaking at the same IMF event, she refused to comment on the likelihood of an increase in the euro rate in July. “This will depend on the economic performance,” Ms. Lagarde said vaguely, after which the EUR/USD pair flew down.
The head of the ECB decided to slightly tighten her position on the last day of the working session, April 22. Ыhe did not deny at this point that the European Central Bank's purchase program could end at the beginning of Q3 and added that interest rates could rise as early as 2022. Her words sounded more hawkish compared to Thursday's, but that didn't help the euro. The pair found its bottom only at 1.0770, after which there was a slight correction to the north and a finish at 1.0800.
The euro was slightly supported by the results of the televised debate between French President Emmanuel Macron and opposition leader Marine Le Pen. As the poll data showed, 56% of respondents considered that the incumbent president was more convincing in the debate than his rival.
The second round of the presidential elections in France will be held on Sunday 24 April. Emmanuel Macron won 27.84% of the vote in the first round. Marine Le Pen, head of the far-right National Rally Party, received 23.15%. Recall that she belongs to the Eurosceptics, and had called for almost the exit of the country from the Eurozone back in 2017. And if this lady comes to power, the EUR/USD pair, according to a number of analysts, may fall to the level of 1.0500, or even lower.
At the time of writing the review, the results of the election are still unknown, so the majority of analysts (50%) did not make any forecasts. 35% believe that the dollar will continue to strengthen. The opposite opinion is shared by only 15%. All trend indicators and oscillators on D1 are colored red, although 15% of the latter give signals that the pair is oversold. The nearest support is located at the level of 1.0770. The next EUR/USD bear target will be the April 14 low at 1.0757. And if they manage to break through this support, they will then aim for the 2020 low of 1.0635 and the 2016 low of 1.0325. Immediate resistance zone is 1.0830-1.0860, followed by 1.0900, the April 21 high of 1.0935 and 1.1000.
As for the release of macro data, the volume of orders for capital goods and durable goods in the US will be known on Tuesday, April 26. Data on GDP and the state of consumer markets in Germany and the Eurozone will be received on Thursday, April 28 and Friday, April 29. In addition, preliminary annual data on US GDP will be released on Thursday.
GBP/USD: The Battle for 1.3000 Is Lost. Will there be a counterattack?
We assumed in the previous review that we are in for the continuation of the battle of bulls and bears, and the front line will pass in the zone of 1.3000. Recall that 1.3000 is a key support/resistance level as it is not only the March 15 low, but also the 2021-2022 low.
And now we must say that the bulls have lost this battle. Having raised the GBP/USD pair to the height of 1.3090, they finally weakened, and it flew down. The local bottom was fixed at 1.2822 on Friday, and the final chord sounded a little higher, in the zone of 1.2830.
The reasons for this collapse of the pound lie on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. On the one hand, this is the hawkish position of the US Federal Reserve and the growth of US Treasury yields. On the other hand, there are cautious comments from the Bank of England (BoE) and weak macro statistics from the UK.
Commenting on the state of the economy on Thursday, the head of the British regulator, Andrew Bailey, said that the inflationary shock in the United Kingdom has more in common with the Eurozone than with the US. "We shouldn't be complacent about inflation expectations," Bailey added, reiterating that they were dealing with "a very tight line between fighting inflation and the impact of a shock on real incomes."
The day after the speech of the head of the Bank of England, the UK Office for National Statistics dealt another blow to the pound. It reported that retail sales fell 1.4% in March. This indicator followed the February decline of 0.5% and turned out to be much worse than the forecast, according to which the fall should have been only 0.3%.
Such a massive failure will most likely send investors into a shock and it will take time to restore their appetite for British currency purchases. The bears will try to build on their success and push the GBP/USD pair further down. 65% of analysts vote for this development, the remaining 35% expect the pair to correct to the north.
There is a total advantage of the red ones among the indicators on D1: 100% both among trend indicators and oscillators. True, as for the latter, a third is in the oversold zone. The immediate goal of the bears is to overcome the support of 1.2800, update the October 2020 lows around 1.2760 and open their way to the September 2020 lows in the zone 1.2685-1.2700. More distant targets for the pair's decline are located at the levels of 1.2400, 1.2250, 1.2085 and 1.2000. As for the bears, they will try to regain the initiative and fight again for 1.3000. However, they will need to overcome the resistances of 1.2860 and 1.2915 on this way. In case of a successful assault on 1.3000, resistance levels 1.3100, 1.3150 and the zone 1.3190-1.3215 will follow.
There are no significant data releases on the UK economy for the coming week. The only thing that can be noted is the release of data on the housing market of this country on Friday, April 29.
USD/JPY: Will the Bank of Japan Stand Its Ground?
The Japanese currency is hitting one anti-record after another, and the expectation that the past week would bring another one proved to be absolutely correct. The USD/JPY pair recorded another high at 129.39 on Wednesday, April 20. The last time it climbed this high was in May 2002, that is, 20 years ago.
The reasons for the fall of the yen are the same: divergence from the monetary policy of the US Federal Reserve. Despite the fact that the majority of the Japanese are against the weak yen, the Bank of Japan still refuses to raise the key rate even to zero and does not want to cut monetary stimulus. The regulator believes that maintaining economic activity is much more important than fighting inflation.
The regular meeting of the Japanese Central Bank will take place next week, on Thursday, April 28. According to strategists of Singapore's UOB Group (United Overseas Bank), the regulator will once again leave the parameters of its monetary policy unchanged. “We are confident,” write UOB economists, “that the BOJ will maintain its current loose monetary policy unchanged throughout 2022, and will also maintain massive stimulus, possibly until fiscal year 2023 at least.”
The yen received some support from reports that Treasury Secretary Shunichi Suzuki discussed the idea of coordinated foreign exchange intervention with his counterpart, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. And it seems that "the American side sounded as if it would positively consider this idea." However, a source from the Japanese Ministry of Finance dampened hopes for a joint effort between the two countries, refusing to comment on the details of the conversation between Suzuki and Yellen.
Having renewed a multi-year high, the pair USD/JPY bounced back a little in the second half of the five-day period and ended it at the level of 128.53. 40% of experts vote for the bulls to storm new heights, 30% have taken the opposite position and 30% adhere to neutrality. Among indicators on D1, 100% of trend indicators look north, among oscillators, these are 90% of them (a third are in the overbought zone), the remaining 10% point south. The nearest support is located at 127.80-128.00, followed by 127.45, 126.30-126.75 zone and levels 126.00 and 125.00. The resistances are located at levels 128.70, 129.10 and 129.39. An attempt to designate the subsequent targets of the bulls will rather be like fortune telling. The only thing we can assume is that they will set a high of January 01, 2002, 135.19, as a distant target. Taking into account the fact that the pair has risen by 1400 points over the past 7 weeks, it can reach this height in a month and a half if this pace is maintained.
Aside from the BOJ meeting and its monetary policy report, there is no other important information on the state of the Japanese economy expected this week.
CRYPTOCURRENCIES: BTC from $30,000 to $200,000
Throughout 2022, bitcoin has been moving along the Pivot Point around $40,000, trying to either reach $50,000 or fall to $30,000. The reason for such fluctuations, of course, is the US Federal Reserve. Investors cannot finally decide how to behave in the face of tightening monetary policy and rising dollar interest rates. As a result, their appetite for risk falls and flares up again. First of all, this applies to the stock market, along with which digital gold fluctuates as well.
We have repeatedly considered the correlation of the BTC/USD pair with the shares of technology companies. So, according to Arcane Research, the correlation between bitcoin and the Nasdaq Composite index reached its high since July 2020. The same indicator between the first cryptocurrency and gold has fallen to a historic low. It is physical gold that has recently been acting as a hedge against inflation, and its price came close to its historical maximum, reaching $2.070 per ounce on March 08 (the maximum price of $2.075 was recorded on August 2, 2020).
Bitcoin-ETP (Exchange Traded Product) shows an outflow of funds. If the current pace is maintained, the historical anti-record of July 2021 will be updated by the end of the month, when investors withdrew 13,849 BTC. The number of active addresses on the bitcoin network has dropped to 15.6 million, about 30% less than the January 2021 high. Many short-term (less than 155 days) holders and speculators have already parted with their BTC holdings, according to Glassnode data.
The market is currently supported by long-term holders (LTH). As we already wrote, there has recently been a trend towards the accumulation of digital gold among them. The volumes of accumulation began to exceed emission many times over. According to Glassnode, the rate of outflow of coins from centralized platforms has increased to 96,200 BTC per month, which is extremely rare in historical retrospect. In addition to the “whales”, the so-called “shrimp” (addresses with a balance of less than 1 BTC) also contributed to the accumulation, bringing their share to 14.26% of the market supply.
At the moment, about 15% of long-term holders are losing, but they not only continue to store coins, but also acquire new ones, counting on their growth in the future. For example, analytics software provider MicroStrategy intends to “strongly pursue” its strategy and continue to build up reserves in bitcoin. This was stated by CEO Michael Saylor in a letter to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. According to Bitcoin Treasuries, MicroStrategy holds 129,218 BTC worth $5.17 billion in reserves. The company's division made its last purchase of $190.5 million in early April. For comparison, Tesla, which is in second place after MicroStrategy, owns 43,200 BTC worth about $1.7 billion.
At the time of this writing, Friday evening, April 22, the total crypto market capitalization is still below the important psychological level of $2 trillion, at $1.850 trillion ($1.880 trillion a week ago). The Crypto Fear & Greed Index slightly improved its readings: it rose from 22 to 26 points and returned from the Extreme Fear zone to the Fear zone.
The BTC/USD pair is trading around $39,700. The chart of the past four months, with its rising highs and lows, gives investors hope for a further rise in price. However, everything will depend on the May Fed meeting and investor risk sentiment. Recall that BitMEX co-founder Arthur Hayes has predicted a drop in bitcoin to $30,000 by the end of the second quarter due to the decline in the Nasdaq index. The same figure of $30,000 is also mentioned by cryptocurrency analyst and trader Michael van de Poppe, although he points to another reason: geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe due to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.
Many other experts do not expect anything good from the BTC/USD pair in the near future either, although they build optimistic forecasts for the medium and long term. So, according to Anthony Trenchev, CEO of the Nexo crypto-landing platform, the price of the first cryptocurrency may rise above $100,000 over the next 12 months. However, he is "worried" about the short-term outlook for bitcoin. In his opinion, the rate may fall along with traditional stock markets as a result of the US Central Bank curtailing the monetary stimulus program.
Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex, predicts similar dynamics of the flagship cryptocurrency. This specialist believes that bitcoin will be “much higher” than $50,000 by the end of 2022. However, he admits a sharp drop in prices in the near future. “At the moment, we are living in conditions of, I would say, global uncertainty in the markets, not only cryptocurrencies, but also stock markets,” Ardoino said.
Cryptocurrency market expert Ali Martinez analyzed the price chart of bitcoin and said that its value could fall to $27,000. It is important for the bulls to stay above the critical support level in order to prevent this from happening. According to the Fibonacci levels, this support is in the $38,530 area. If a breakdown occurs, then the rate of digital gold will fall to $32,853 or even $26,820. Like most analysts, Martinez also believes that one should not focus only on technical analysis and discard the fundamental one, since much depends on the geopolitical situation in the world now.
Cryptocurrency analyst Benjamin Cowen is confident that bitcoin is approaching "the point of choosing the direction of the trend." Cowen elaborates that this has happened before: “In 2013, bitcoin made a low, then a second, then a third, and eventually began to rise. And then in 2018, when there were higher lows, we thought that the same thing would happen as in 2013, but in the end, bitcoin fell to a new low.”
According to the analyst, in order to restore the bullish trend and reduce the likelihood of a bearish one, the BTC/USD pair needs to rise above the 200-day SMA, which is at around $47,440 at the time of writing. “If bitcoin can muster the courage to rise above its 200-day SMA and move to the $50,000 level, then that would look pretty optimistic. But what happens if the market drops to $30,000 and then bitcoin goes up again? There's a good chance we'll get back to $40,000 or maybe $43,000,” said Benjamin Cowen.
Most likely, the prospect of the return of the flagship cryptocurrency from $30,000 back to $40,000 in the current situation will not please investors very much, since the coin is currently trading in the region of $40,000. Therefore, to cheer them up, we will quote another specialist, Nicholas Merten from DataDash, who believes that BTC can set new record highs as early as next year. According to him, the bulls still have not lost control despite the current market fluctuations: “The market is currently far from impressing investors, but this situation is always observed during the beginning of accumulation. This is how the structure of the trend begins to form.”
According to Merten, the fact that bitcoin has begun to make higher lows and higher highs confirms that the bulls are at the helm, no matter how things look at the moment. The analyst believes that since this situation persists, then the BTC rate has every chance of reaching $150,000 and even $200,000 within the next year.
NordFX Analytical Group
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