February 1, 2020
First, a review of last week’s events:
- EUR/USD. The past week passed under the sign of the coronavirus, which determined the lion's share of what was happening in the markets. Commodities and currencies that are most clearly linked to China have suffered the most.
As you know, the euro zone economy is closely correlated with the Chinese economy, and this played into the hands of the dollar in the first half of the week. As expected by the majority (55%) of experts, supported by 85% of oscillators and 100% of trend indicators not only on H4 and D1, but also on W1, the EUR/USD pair went down and reached the 1.1000 support on Wednesday, January 29.
After reaching the local bottom at 1.0992, it turned around and headed back north.
This move could have stopped the WHO (World Health Organization) statement, but its officials did everything possible to avoid causing panic in the markets and finally undermining economic activity. On the one hand, the WHO declared the coronavirus epidemic an emergency of international significance, but on the other, it asked people to behave as usual.
As a result, the European currency continued its growth, even despite the release of weak macroeconomic data from the eurozone. The pair was supported not only by US GDP data, but also by the Bank of England's decision to keep the interest rate (more on this later). Throughout 2019, the pound and the euro supported each other in the fight against the dollar, so the growth of the British currency could not help but push up its European "counterpart". The elimination of short positions on the eve of the weekend also contributed to the growth of the EUR/USD pair on Friday. As a result, by the end of the weekly session, the pair returned to the medium-term Pivot Point zone, around which it has been fluctuating since mid-July 2019 -1.1085-1.1100, confirming the hypothesis about the equilibrium state of these two currencies in the recent months;
- GBP/USD. The Bank of England minutes of January 30: the volume of asset purchases by the Bank of England: unchanged (£435B), the interest rate: unchanged (0.75%), the number of votes cast for keeping the rate unchanged: unchanged (7), the number of votes for lowering it: unchanged (2). That is, everything is exactly as it was a month ago. And this "no change" suddenly pushes the British pound up against the dollar and against a number of other currencies, including the euro. Why?
January 31 is the official date of the UK's exit from the European Union, however, by the end of 2020, according to the agreement on the transition period, there are no serious events on this front, the country is waiting for another round of long negotiations with the EU. The coronavirus could shake up the market. Due of its outburst, the probability of an interest rate cut by the Bank of England went up. However, this did not happen. The Monetary Policy Committee considered that the improvement in the economic situation after the December elections to the UK Parliament will continue in the future and decided to leave the rate unchanged.
What happened fully justified the forecast, for which the main (65%) part of analysts voted last week. In their opinion, the GBP/USD pair should first break through the resistance of 1.3160, and then approach the height of 1.3200. This actually happened: the British currency set the final chord at the level of 1.3202;
- USD/JPY. Many investors felt that a safe-haven currency like the yen could protect them from the onset of the coronavirus. This confidence and the reversal from risky assets to protective ones contributed to another strengthening of the Japanese currency last week. 40% of experts named the level of 108.40 as the main support for the USD/JPY pair, in the area of which it ended the working week at the mark of 108.36;
- cryptocurrencies. It should be noted that last week only 20% of experts supported the opinion that by the end of January, Bitcoin will be able to gain a foothold above the $9,000 horizon. The vast majority (70%) expected this to happen only 2-3 weeks later. However, the coronavirus did its job.
- US stocks started the week with a big sell-off. All the three main indicators went into a negative territory amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 400 points, the Nasdaq Composite index fell 1.8%, and the S&P 500 lost 1.4%. At the same time, Bitcoin rose, reaching the level of $9.550 USD on the night of Thursday to Friday. "Every time the regulated markets fall due to fear and apprehension, Bitcoin grows. And this reinforces the concept of the main cryptocurrency as a safe haven asset, " analyst Nathaniel Whittemore explained what is happening in an interview with BlockTV.
The growth of the leading cryptocurrency also gave a boost to the entire crypto market, pushing top coins, including Ethereum (ETH/USD), Litecoin (LTC/USD) and Ripple (XRP/USD), into the green zone. The total capitalization of the cryptocurrency market also went up: if on January 25, it was $235bn, five days later it reached the level of almost $267bn, showing an increase of 13.5%.
As for the forecast for the coming week, summarizing the opinions of a number of experts, as well as forecasts made on the basis of various methods of technical and graphical analysis, we can say the following:
- EUR/USD. Some Americans think that everything that happens outside the United States does not concern them. But this is not the case at all. The economy of the United States depends largely on what happens in other countries. And, realizing this, the Fed is quite sensitive to international challenges, which is why it is sometimes called the "tail" that the dog, the global GDP, turns. At the moment, the next challenge is the coronavirus coming from China. Although there has been no obvious reaction from the "tail" yet.
The coronavirus has not yet been localized, so panic moods that lead to the sale of risky assets may become the main trend of the coming week. A positive piece of news, say, about the successful creation of a vaccine against this infection, can dramatically "turn the rivers back". It is very difficult to predict anything in this case.
If we talk about technical analysis, most of the indicators on H4 are colored green, while on D1 the neutral gray dominates. But on both timeframes, about 15% of the oscillators signal that the pair is overbought, which can serve as a harbinger, if not of a change in the trend, then at least of a certain correction to the south. Graphical analysis on H4 agrees with this development, foreshadowing a return to a very strong support of 1.0990-1.1000.
The experts' opinion at the moment, as well as that of indicators on D1, can be called neutral-gray. However, when switching from a weekly to a monthly forecast, it becomes more and more green, reaching a high of 70%. That is the number of analysts who believe that, having overcome the resistance in the 1.1100-1.1115 zone, the pair will consistently storm the height of 1.1145 in February, then 1.1170, 1.1200 and reach the December 31, 2019 high at 1.1240.
As for macroeconomic statistics, next week we will know the values of the ISM business activity indices in the US manufacturing and services sectors, as well as the traditional for the first Friday of the month data on the US labor market (including NFP).
However, the markets may expect a surprise as early as on Monday, February 03, when the January Caixin Purchasing Managers' activity index (PMI) is published, which is a leading indicator of the state of China's manufacturing sector. Its value can give the market a signal about how the coronavirus has affected the economic situation in China.
Monday's surprises may not end there – on February 03, the real season of "hunting" for the us President's seat opens. This day will be the first democratic primary in Iowa. And in the event of a strong Bernie Sanders result, there may be an equally strong market reaction;
- GBP/USD. After such an impressive jump up by 230 points at the end of last week, the vast majority of indicators on both H4 and D1 are colored green. However, as with the previous pair, about 15% of the oscillators are already in the overbought zone. Following them, the graphical analysis on D1 draws a possible fall of the British currency first to the horizon of 1.2970, and then to the level of 1.2800. The nearest strong support is 1.3100.
It should be noted that, starting a month and a half ago with fluctuations in the range 1.2900-1.3285, the pair gradually reduced volatility to the boundaries of 1.2975-1.3200. Most analysts (55%) believe that it will be able to stay within this corridor in the near future. However, not much less (45%) are those who expect the pound to continue its positive dynamics, break through the resistance in the zone of 1.3285-1.3300 and rise to the highs of last December in the area of 1.3500;
- USD/JPY. The upcoming quotes of this pair directly depend on the success of virologists. If they can tame the coronavirus in the next few days, the dollar will win. If the epidemic begins to take over new territories, and the number of its victims continues to multiply, the advantage will be on the side of the Japanese currency - the haven.
Since financial analysts do not currently have data on what is happening in scientific laboratories, their opinions are divided 50-50. As for technical analysis, 100% of trend indicators and 80% of oscillators on H4 and D1 predict the pair's fall. Graphical analysis on H4 agrees with them. Support levels are 107.70, 107.00 and 106.60. The opposite opinion is held by the graphical analysis on D1 and 20% of the oscillators that signal the pair is oversold. Resistance levels are 109.25, 109.70, the target is 110.25;
- cryptocurrencies. The BTC/USD pair has shown an increase of 30% or $2,200 in the first month of 2020. The Bitcoin Crypto Fear & Greed Index has crossed the equator and is now at the level of 55 out of the possible 100. Analysts' optimism has also grown. If earlier, remembering the unexpected collapses of the main cryptocurrency, they were afraid to give positive forecasts, now 60% of them boldly point to the $10,000 mark. And this is where investors need to be especially careful: it is in the moments of greatest optimism that large speculators can start an active game on the downside. And you don't need to go far for examples – just look at what happened last year.
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 in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.