August 31, 2019
First, a review of last week’s events:
- EUR/USD. As we expected, the negotiations of the G7 countries on August 24-26 did not affect the foreign exchange market in any way. But it was influenced by many other factors that, contrary to the wishes of Donald Trump, further strengthened the American dollar. We will mention only a few of them. First, it is the conciliatory rhetoric of the USA and China, which gave hope for a trade agreement. Further, there was an increase in personal consumption expenditures in the United States (4.7% instead of the forecast 4.3%) along with an increase in the yield of US treasury bonds and stock indices. If we add to this the slowdown in inflation in Germany and the statement of the future Head of the ECB Christine Lagarde on possible measures to support the Eurozone economy (QE), we get the strengthening of the dollar against the euro by almost 200 points.
Most experts expected the euro to weaken and the pair to decline, indicating August lows at 1.1025 as a target. However, the collapse of data on retail sales in Germany (a fall of 2.1% instead of the expected 1.3%) pushed the pair even lower, to around 1.0960, followed by a slight rebound, and the pair ended the week at 1.0990;
- GBP/USD. Supported by graphical analysis, 70% of analysts sided with the bears last week, expecting further weakening of the British currency. Which is what was happening as the bad news regarding Brexit was coming out. The Parliament prorogation by the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson not only caused a wave of discontent among the country's residents, but even affected the GfK Consumer Confidence Index, which fell in anticipation of a hard UK exit from the EU. According to Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, “Great Britain has no credible proposals for Brexit.” As a result, the GBP/USD pair lost about 130 points over the week, dropping to the level of 1.2165;
- USD/JPY. Speech by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday evening, August 23, pushed the pair down sharply, and, as a result of a gap in its fall, it reached 104.45 on Monday August 26. However, after that, as the vast majority of analysts expected (70%), against the backdrop of Trump's statements about productive “telephone conversations” with China, the dollar began to regain its position, reaching a strong resistance zone 106.60-106.70 on Thursday. As for the end of the five-day period, the pair completed it at the level of 106.25;
- Cryptocurrencies. You cannot name the situation in this market happy, which, in fact, is fully consistent with our forecasts. Recall that two weeks ago, the Bitcoin Fear & Greed Index dropped to Extreme Fear, and 70% of analysts gave a negative forecast for the BTC/USD pair, expecting it to fall to the $9,000-9,500 zone. This is exactly what happened: on Thursday, August 29, Bitcoin groped for a local bottom at $9.355.
If you keep in mind the news background, there is no visible reason for such a fall. And we can assume that in the absence of demand, sellers began to sharply reduce prices, hoping to attract new buyers.
Indeed, the situation with bitcoin is not joyful, but it is still difficult to call it dramatic, relying on support in the $9,100 zone, the pair have not updated the July lows. The situation with altcoins, whose popularity is inexorably declining, looks much more tragic. Litecoin (LTC/USD) returned to the level of March 2019, having dried out by 56% over the past 10 weeks. Losses of Ripple (XRP/USD) over the same period amounted to 50%, and it is trading now at the prices of two years ago. And the leading altcoin, Ethereum (ETH/USD) lost 54%. As for the capitalization of the cryptocurrency market as a whole, it decreased by about 32% over the indicated 10 weeks, from $367 billion to $250 billion.
As for the forecast for the coming week, summarizing the opinions of a number of analysts, as well as forecasts made on the basis of a variety of methods of technical and graphical analysis, we can say the following:
- EUR/USD. Despite the peaceful statements by the US president and the Chinese leadership last week, Trump’s decision to raise tariffs from September 1 has not been canceled. There was only his promise to postpone this increase until December 15. So, the end of the trade war between these countries is not at all a fact. It is also doubtful whose mitigation policy, the ECB's or the Fed's, will be softer. Investors are hoping to get a part of the answer to this question from the speeches of Christine Lagarde on Tuesday September 3 and Jerome Powell on Friday September 6.
You should also pay attention to the value of the PMI Caixin index in China's manufacturing sector, which reflects the degree of business confidence in the economy of this country and which will be published on Monday 02 September. Data on business activity (ISM) in the US will be released on Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Friday, data on the American labor market will traditionally be released. According to forecasts, the number of new jobs outside the agricultural sector (NFP) may slightly decrease, from 164K to 159K, which is unlikely to have a strong impact on the dollar.
Based on the forecast data, most analysts (55%) expect EUR/USD to move sideways along the 1.1000 level at 1.0960-1.1050 next week. 25%, supported by 90% of oscillators and 100% of trend indicators, expect that the pair will be able to break through support 1.0960 on its way to parity and fall to the zone 1.0875-1.0925. The remaining 20% believe that the pair is for a correction and a rise to the level of 1.1250. This scenario is supported by 10% of oscillators on D1, giving signals about it being oversold. It should be noted that in the transition to the medium-term forecast, the number of supporters of the strengthening of the euro increases to 60%. At the same time, analysts are waiting for the pair to return to the levels of 1.1400-1.1500;
- GBP/USD. At present, the three-month pound volatility against the US dollar is about 14%. It was so high for the last time at the moment when Theresa May tried to ratify the agreement with the EU in the British Parliament. Now its source is May's successor Boris Johnson and the expectation of a hard Brexit.
In the current situation, as before, most experts (60%) do not expect anything good for the pound. In full agreement with the graphical analysis on H4 are the readings of 90% of the indicators on H4 and D1, they suggest that the pair will test again the August 12, 2019 low. - 1.2015. Graphical analysis on D1 indicates a possible fall of the pair even further - to the low of October 2016, 1.1945. The nearest support is 1.1260;
The remaining 40% of analysts, along with 10% of the oscillators, believe that the pair is already oversold and expect it to return to the range 1.2420-1.2550. Their forecast is reinforced by the hope of a positive course of negotiations with the EU on Brexit;
- USD/JPY. Japan's weak economic statistics, as well as some lull in the trade war between China and the United States, have led to a dropping interest in the yen. That is why 70% of experts expect further growth of the pair to the level of 107.00-107.70. The next target, according to the graphical analysis on D1, is 108.75.
As for the opposite point of view, the argument of the bears is that the spread on the yield of 10-year bonds in Japan and the United States has decreased by about 135 points since November 2018, and the yen has strengthened against the dollar by 7% (from 114.5 to 106.00). And this strong trend may well continue. The immediate task is to overcome the support of 104.80. After which, in the medium term, the Japanese currency may even reach a significant level of 100.00;
- Cryptocurrencies. An unexpected statement was made by the Head of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, speaking at an economic conference in Jackson Hole (USA). He spoke extremely negatively both about the hegemony of the American currency and the prospect of the emergence of another reserve, such as the Chinese yuan. The UK chief banker said the dollar should be replaced with some form of cryptocurrency similar to Facebook’s recently introduced Libra. It is not known whether his wishes will ever come true, but so far, of the dollar, yuan, Libra, and his "native" pound that he has mentioned, the dollar he does not like is feeling the best.
As mentioned above, the BTC/USD pair came close to the July lows in the region of $9,100 last week. Last time, Bitcoin received support and fought off first at the level of $11,080, and then at $12,320. Whether something similar happens this time depends largely on major institutional investors. Bitcoin can also be supported by the launch of Bakkt, the crypto ecosystem created by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). In the case of a confident breakdown of support $9,000-9,100, the pair is likely to fall to the zone of $7,450-8,200.
But the prospects for altcoins look gloomy in both cases. If Bitcoin is to fall, investor interest in the cryptocurrency market as a whole will also fall. And if Bitcoin begins to grow, then we can expect an active exchange of altcoins for the reference cryptocurrency.
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.