December 22, 2018
First, a review of last week’s events:
- EUR/USD. Despite the fact that, on the eve of the US Federal Reserve interest rate increase, 70% of experts, supported by 100% indicators, expected the dollar to strengthen, nothing of the kind happened. The euro was growing for the whole week, approaching on Thursday the last eight weeks' high at the height of 1.1485.
At the time the rate increase from 2.25% to 2.5% was announced, the dollar managed to win back a modest 85 points, but this victory turned out to be temporary. At his press conference, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that there would hardly be three rates increases in 2019, and that, in a better case, there would be only two. And according to US Secretary of the Treasury Stephen Mnuchin, if inflation remains low, there may be no rate increases next year. But no one expects unity within the team of President Trump and the Fed, or within the Fed either. In 2019, only two FOMC members see the rate at 2.5%, six at 2.75%, four at 3.25%, three at 3.30%, and two members of the Open Market Operations Committee would like it to be 3.6%!
As for the results of the week, after the release on Friday, December 21, of a whole package of data on the US economy, the pair returned to the central zone of the eight-month side channel and stopped at 1.1370;
- GBP/USD. As expected, neither the economic data published on Wednesday nor the decisions of the Bank of England on Thursday presented any surprises. Back on Tuesday, December 18, the pair moved to lateral movement in channel 1.2605-1.2705, where it remained until the end of the week, having met its finish at 1.2630;
- USD/JPY. Last week, the US dollar dropped significantly, not only against the euro. The DXY U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the US currency against a basket of other major currencies, fell on Thursday to an eight-week low of 95.73. Its fall against the Japanese yen was particularly impressive, the yen won around 260 points against the dollar by Thursday. Experts say that the main reasons for such a jump are sales on the stock markets and the flight of investors to the yen as a safe haven in the face of continuing tensions in trade relations between the United States and China.
- Cryptocurrencies. The past week was marked by a steady growth of both the reference cryptocurrency and all major altcoins. The maximum growth of bitcoin (BTC/USD) was 33%, ethereum (ETH/USD) - 46%, litecoin (LTC/USD) - 45%, ripple (XRP/USD) - 41%. The most impressive increase, by 176%, was demonstrated by the Bitcoin Cash (BCH/USD), reaching $220 per coin at the peak. The total capitalization of the crypto market grew from $103 billion to $134 billion, that is, by 30%.
The reasons are both global, such as falling investors' interest in classic assets on world markets, and private ones, such as news on the closing of the short position, which was opened a year ago by a well-known crypto trader Mark Doe. There may be called a lot of reasons, but the main question that worries the whole crypto community is whether this weekly increase is not a short-term correction. Or is it, which is even worse, another trap, arranged by bears for the bulls?
Whatever it may be, but at the end of the week, Bitcoin buyers met strong resistance at $4,300, resulting in this cryptocurrency's fall to $4,000. And other digital assets slipped a little as well, following it.
As for the forecasts, it should be noted an error is quite often not in defining targets, but in determining the timing of their achievement. This is especially true of the coming days. The past week was the last full trading week in the past year. Next week, trading will begin only on Wednesday, December 26, and the world will celebrate the New Year during the night of Monday, December 31, to Tuesday, January 1. That is why this time we decided to discuss experts' opinions not only for the upcoming week, but also for the next month, which we hope will help traders in more accurate determination of trends and benchmarks.
- EUR/USD. The weekly forecast looks like this: 40% are for the fall of the pair, 30% are for its growth and 30% have taken a neutral position. Forecast for January: 60% are for the fall, 20% are for the lateral trend and only 20% are for the strengthening of the European currency. The main targets for bears are 1.1300, 1.1265, then the December low at 1.1215. In the event of a breakthrough of this support, the pair may sink to the horizon of 1.1120 and even lower, down to the level of 1.0910. The main target for the bulls is the zone 1.1525-1.1625, after reaching which the euro will head for the heights of 1.1730 and 1.1815;
- GBP/USD. Here, experts also expect the dollar to strengthen during the month and, as a result, the pair will fall. For this, 60% have voted. Supports are 1.2605, 1.2525, 1.2475 and 1.2345. Resistances are at 1.2725, 1.2840 1.2925 and 1.3050;
- USD/JPY. According to 55% of analysts (weekly forecast) and 65% (monthly forecast), the pair has already approached its local bottom, and now it is waiting for a rebound upwards. The goals are 112.30, 113.15, 113.70 and 114.20. The number of those who have voted for the side trend in this case is small - about 10%. The rest of the experts have given their preference to the bears, believing that the pair is waiting for a further fall. Supports 110.80, 109.85, 109.35 and 108.65;
- Cryptocurrencies. Despite their growth last week, the general mood in the crypto market is rather gloomy. More than 70% of analysts and market participants believe the current rise is purely speculative and they expect the downtrend to resume. They are still expecting bitcoin to fall to the strong zone, recorded in July-August 2018, $2,500-2,700. Moreover, such a fall may take from one to two months. The nearest support is in the $2,940-2.050 zone.
The bullish ambitions of the remaining 30% respondents look a bit more modest: they expect the BTC/USD pair to grow only to $4,800-5,200.
Roman Butko, NordFX
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.