EUR/USD: It's Getting Worse in the EU, It's Getting Better in the US
EUR/USD updated another 20-year low on September 28, bottoming at 0.9535. This was followed by a correction, and the pair came close to the parity level on Tuesday, October 04, rising to 0.9999. However, the happiness of the bulls was short-lived, followed by another reversal to the south and the finish line at 0.9737.
Judging by the economic macro statistics, the advantage will remain on the side of the bears for a long time to come. According to the latest data, the index of business activity in the services sector (ISM) of the Eurozone fell from 49.8 to 48.8 points. A similar indicator in the US decreased as well, but much less: from 56.9 to 56.7, and at the same time it turned out to be higher than the forecast of 56.0 points.
Things are even worse in Germany: this locomotive of the region's economy, instead of pushing the pan-European train forward, began to pull it back. The service sector activity index sank from 47.7 to 45.0 points, while the Composite Index fell from 46.9 to 45.7 points.
The August data on trade in Germany also indicate serious problems. Imports increased by 3.4%, more than three times the forecast of 1.1%. As a result, the country's trade surplus fell from €3.4 billion to €1.2 billion.
This depressed state of the economy against the background of continuing inflation suggests the threat of stagflation in the Eurozone. The increase in energy prices adds to the negative. And it is likely to continue, as the OPEC + countries decided to seriously reduce oil production. Recall that these prices were one of the most powerful triggers for the global wave of inflation. Another negative factor is the proximity of the EU countries to the theater of Russian-Ukrainian military operations, especially since Russian President V. Putin constantly threatens to use nuclear weapons.
The situation in the US is much better, which contributes to the strengthening of the US currency across the board. The country is far from the Russian-Ukrainian front, and the oil and gas crisis does not threaten it. According to ADP, private sector employment rose by 208K in September, above market expectations of 200K. The number of new jobs outside the agricultural sector of the country (NFP) also turned out to be higher than expected: 263K against 250K, and unemployment in the US decreased from 3.7% to 3.5% over the month.
This situation in the labor market allows the Fed to continue to fight inflation, using the policy of quantitative tightening (QT) and raising the interest rate on the dollar. Atlanta Fed chief Rafael Bostic said the tightening cycle is "still at the very beginning" and warned against betting on a "reversal" soon. Similar statements were made by his colleague Mary Daly from San Francisco. What will actually happen to the rate will be known on November 2, when the next meeting of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) of the US Central Bank will take place.
At the time of writing this review, on the evening of Friday October 07, the votes of the experts were distributed as follows. 50% of analysts say that the pair will continue to move south in the near future, another 30% expect it to move north, and the remaining 20% vote for a sideways trend. Among the trend indicators on D1, 40% are red, 25% are green and 35% are neutral gray. The picture is completely different among the oscillators: all 100% advise to sell the pair.
The immediate support for EUR/USD is at 0.9700-0.9725, followed by 0.9645, 0.9580 and finally the Sep 28 low at 0.9535. The next target of the bears is 0.9500. The resistance levels and targets of the bulls look like this: 0.9800-0.9825, 0.9900, the immediate task is to return to the range of 0.9950-1.0020, the next target area is 1.0130-1.0200.
As for the upcoming week, the publication of the minutes of the last FOMC meeting, as well as the speech of the head of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, will give food for forecasts on Wednesday, October 12. The following day, Thursday 13 October, will see data from the consumer market (CPI) in Germany, as well as from the consumer market and the US labour market. US retail sales, as well as the University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index, will become known at the very end of the working week, on Friday, October 14.
GBP/USD: A Disservice for the British Pound
As a result of the shock collapse on September 23-26, the British pound almost reached parity with the dollar. After flying 860 pips, the pair landed at 1.0350, below the 1985 low.
Such a record head-down throw was provoked by British Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng, who, instead of the planned increase, announced a program to reduce the tax burden for citizens and legal entities of the country. That is, in the context of inflation, which exceeded 10% in July, and could rise to 14% by the end of the year, in the face of growing public debt and the problems that have accumulated since Brexit, the government decided to turn around and return to quantitative easing (QE) . Alas for a while, this was enough to knock down the national currency.
The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that this decision, along with previous support programs for the population and continued high energy prices, will lead to an increase in public debt from the current 96% to 320% of GDP over the next 50 years. The Parliament of the United Kingdom immediately talked about a vote of no confidence in the government of the country. Even the IMF flinched in surprise and lashed out at the British Cabinet. There is no need to talk about citizens: in anticipation of a further fall in the pound, they began to actively buy up gold and cryptocurrencies. New account openings have more than doubled, according to Bullion Vault, the London Bullion Market Association. A twofold increase in trading volumes for the BTC/GBP pair was also registered on crypto exchanges. In other words, what has been called a “disservice” since ancient times has happened.
The final chord of the week was set at 1.1079. According to strategists at ING, the largest banking group in the Netherlands, the current levels of the pound are unstable, given the instability of the bond market, the deterioration of the fiscal situation and the state of the UK current operations account. Therefore, they predict a return of GBP/USD below 1.1000. Their colleagues from MUFG Bank expect it to fall again to the lows of the last ten days of September. As for the median forecast, here the majority of analysts (55%) side with the bears as well. 15% expect the pound to strengthen, and 30% have taken a neutral position. All 100% of the oscillators on D1 point exactly south. But the picture is mixed among the trend indicators: 35% are colored red, the same amount is green, and the remaining 30% are gray. The nearest levels and support zones are 1.0985-1.1000, 1.0500-1.0740 and the September 26 low of 1.0350. In case the pair reverses to the north, the bulls will meet resistance at the levels of 1.1230, 1.1400, 1.1470, 1.1720, 1.1800 1.1960.
The event calendar can mark Tuesday, October 11, when UK unemployment data will be released. The head of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, will make a speech by the end of the same day.
USD/JPY: “Sharp Yen Movements Are Undesirable”
Recall that the experts' median forecast for USD/JPY looked more than uncertain two weeks ago. Then 45% of the experts sided with the bulls, 45% took the opposite position, the remaining 10% remained neutral. And this uncertainty has been fully confirmed: the pair has been moving in the side channel 143.50-145.30 since September 26, spending most of the time in an even narrower trading range of 144.00-144.85. The assault on the height of 146.00 has not happened. The strengthening of the yen, which bears hoped for after the Japanese Ministry of Finance ordered the Central Bank (BOJ), for the first time in 24 years, to intervene in support national currency, has not happened either.
A record amount of 2.8 trillion yen ($19.3 billion) was allocated for this purpose last month. As a result of this move, Japan's foreign exchange reserves fell by 4.2% to $1.238 trillion. The country's total foreign exchange reserves were $1.409 trillion a year ago. Japan's deposits in other countries' Central Banks, the volume of foreign securities, and gold reserves have also decreased.
It looks like the country's leadership is quite satisfied with the lull in USD/JPY quotes. Thus, the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, commenting on the last intervention on October 7, stated that "the recent sharp, one-sided movements of the yen are undesirable." And this raises the question: did the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank take such a step contrary to the Prime Minister's position? Or did they not expect such an increase in volatility?
At the same time, the fact remains that, as we predicted, there was no long-term strengthening of the Japanese currency, and USD/JPY finished last week at 145.30 Supports are located in zones and at levels 144.85, 144.20, 143.50, 142.60, 141.80-142.20 and 140.25-140.60. The bulls' task No. 1 is to prevent the pair from falling below 145.00, and task No. 2 is to storm the height of 146.00. This is followed by 146.78, the level reached before the joint actions of Japan and the US to support the yen in 1998. Trend indicators and oscillators on D1 are 100% on the green side, although among the latter, one third signal that the pair is overbought.
No important statistics on the state of the Japanese economy are expected to be released this week. In addition, traders should keep in mind that Monday, October 10, is a day off in the country, National Sports Day.
CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Bitcoin Is Still Gold. Although Digital One.
According to The Block, despite the global bearish trend, the number of active investors in the bitcoin network has increased by 4.5 million since January 01, 2022. The number of bitcoin addresses with a balance of at least 0.01 BTC has reached an all-time high of 10.7 million in the last few weeks alone (At the same time, about 47% of holders remain in profit, despite the flagship cryptocurrency’s long drawdown relative to the all-time high).
This dynamic is due to a serious economic crisis in Europe, against which retail holders are increasingly investing in the main cryptocurrency in order to diversify risks. It suffices to cite the UK as an example, where, due to the loss of confidence in the government's fiscal policy, the pound went into a peak on September 23-26. As a result, panic-stricken investors began to convert the British currency into physical gold and crypto-assets. We wondered in the last forecast if BTC is digital gold. In the case of the UK, the answer is yes.
What happened suggests that the destabilization of traditional financial markets can benefit the crypto market. And this is not just our opinion. Billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller, a former associate of George Soros at Quantum, predicted a resurgence of digital assets amid the collapse of the fiat-based economy. He stated this at the CNBC conference. The financier expects a "hard landing" of the economy in 2023 against the backdrop of an aggressive tightening of the Fed's monetary policy.
In his opinion, quantitative easing and low rates led to bubbles in financial markets. These factors have not only been stopped now, but reversed. The Fed has begun cutting its $9 trillion balance and has already managed to raise the key rate five times to 3.25%, expecting its peak at 4.60%. “You don’t even need to talk about black swans to start worrying,” the billionaire said. In his opinion, if confidence in the actions of central banks is lost, cryptocurrencies “will play a big role in the revival”.
Not only Stanley Druckenmiller, but the market as a whole fear that the economy will not be able to withstand such monetary tightening. In addition to the rate hike, the monthly rate of contraction in the global money supply, according to Morgan Stanley, has reached $750 billion in dollar terms. This is leading to a deepening recession. it is only the Fed that can change the situation if it retreats from its plans to combat inflation. Looking to the future, Rich Dad Poor Dad bestselling author Robert Kiyosaki called the current situation a great opportunity to buy the first cryptocurrency and other digital assets. “Buy more. When the Fed turns around and cuts interest rates, you will smile while others cry,” he said.
Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, gave a similar forecast. This expert did not rule out that the regulator may re-initiate the quantitative easing procedure at some point in order to stabilize the market situation. In his opinion, bitcoin looks quite stable even in the current macroeconomic conditions. And in the event of a change in the policy of the Fed, BTC will still be able to reach $500,000 within a few years.
As for the near future, Ardian Zdunczyk, founder and CEO of The Birb Nest, shared his forecast here. He referred to historical data, according to which the fourth quarter has always been successful for BTC. Based on this, investors can expect good returns over the next two months. True, Zdunczyk made a reservation straight away that no one would give guarantees on this score.
Another argument in favor of the pre-New Year rally, according to the specialist, is the fact that the coins rose slightly compared to their 200-day trends. Unlike fiat currencies that are on a rollercoaster ride, bitcoin is holding steady around $20,000. And now all markets are waiting for stability. They are already tired of the recession, the fall in company stocks, the gloomy forecasts of the IMF and the ill-conceived policies of the Central Banks, says Ardian Zdunczyk. Therefore, against such a background, bitcoin is becoming more and more attractive.
Against the backdrop of BTC price stability, mining-related metrics are also improving. In particular, the hash rate reached a record 242 EH/s. Analysts have estimated the “painful” breakeven threshold for miners at $18,300. According to Glassnode's calculations, 78,400 BTC could be at risk of liquidation if bitcoin goes below this price, which is derived from a mining difficulty regression model. This value is slightly higher than the June low of $17,840.
The balances of miners have 78,400 BTC, the maximum number of coins that can increase sales in case of stress for this category of market participants. At the moment, most of the sales are carried out by miners associated with the Poolin pool. In September, representatives of this company admitted that there were problems with liquidity.
Cryptocurrency strategist and trader Cantering Clark also warns that BTC could plunge to five-year lows amid weak stock markets. According to his calculations, bitcoin could fall by almost 40% from current levels if the S&P 500 stock index resumes its bearish trend. “If the S&P 500 drops to the next major area between 3,200-3,400 [pips], I think the correct assumption is that the crypto crash will be 2-3 times greater. This means at least that BTC will re-test the largest protrusion in five years: about $12,000-13,000,” the trader predicts.
However, in the short term, he believes bitcoin bulls could bring back some confidence to the market if they manage to gain a foothold above $20,000. “If we can break these local highs, I think BTC will see some momentum,” Cantering Clark thinks.
Social media users had been recently discussing vigorously the fact that October 07 will be a key day for the cryptocurrency market last week. The reason for this is the release of data on the US labor market that day. Together with CPI, these statistics allow us to predict how much the Fed can raise interest rates at its next meeting in November. And this, in turn, will certainly affect the value of risky assets, such as stocks and cryptocurrencies.
The market reacted to the release of these data by lowering the quotations of risky assets: at the time of writing the review (Friday evening, October 07), BTC/USD went below $20,000 and is trading at $19,610. The total capitalization of the crypto market is $0.946 trillion ($0.935 trillion a week ago). The Crypto Fear & Greed Index has risen only 1 point in seven days, from 22 to 23, and is still in the Extreme Fear zone.
And at the end of the review, as usual, we will try to give everyone a boost of optimism. According to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the crypto industry, left unregulated, is fraught with risks and could harm the entire US financial system. Usually, such statements were perceived by the market as a threat, and became a bearish factor for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which oversees the US futures market, believes that proper regulation could have a powerful bullish effect on the price of BTC. CFTC chief Rostin Behnam explained that a clear regulatory framework would help boost the number of institutional investors.
There is no doubt that the US government agencies will soon squeeze the crypto industry into their regulatory “embrace”. But what if that's when Mike Novogratz's predictions come true, and we see bitcoin at around $500,000?
NordFX Analytical Group
Notice: These materials should not be deemed a recommendation for investment or guidance for working on financial markets: they are for informative purposes only. Trading on financial markets is risky and can lead to a loss of money deposited.
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