June 22, 2024

EUR/USD: Eurozone - Rising Inflation, Falling Economy

● As revised Eurostat data published on Monday, June 17, showed, inflation (CPI) in the 20 Eurozone countries accelerated to 2.6% (y/y) in May, compared to 2.4% in April when it was at its lowest since November 2023. The consumer price index in the services sector increased annually from 3.7% to 4.1%. Core inflation, excluding the cost of food and energy (CPI Core), accelerated to 2.9% in May, compared to 2.7% in April - the lowest since February 2022.

Such growth in consumer prices gave euro bulls a faint hope that the European Central Bank (ECB) would slow down the rate cut. Against this backdrop, EUR/USD went up, reaching a local high of 1.0760. However, the business activity statistics (PMI) in the Eurozone, released on June 21, showed that to support the economy, the rate needs to be reduced further, not frozen at the current level of 4.25%.

● In Germany, the locomotive of the European economy, the PMI index in the manufacturing sector was 43.4 points in June, worsening compared to the May figure of 45.4 and significantly below the forecast of 46.4. The PMI index in the services sector fell from 54.2 to 53.5, failing to meet market expectations of 54.4. The preliminary Composite PMI index for Germany also declined in June to 50.6 points, against the forecast of 52.7 and 52.4 in May. It is worth noting that all three indicators were the weakest in the last two months.

Eurozone statistics, in general, were not very encouraging. According to preliminary data, the PMI index in the manufacturing sector fell from 47.3 in May to 45.6 in June, missing the forecast of 47.9. The PMI index in the services sector decreased from 53.2 to 52.6 (forecast 53.5). The Composite PMI fell from 52.2 to 50.8 (forecast 52.5) and nearly reached the critical mark of 50.0 points, separating progress from regression.

● After these data were released, market participants awaited similar statistics from the USA, which were to be published at the end of the workweek. The Composite PMI showed that business activity in the US private sector, unlike the Eurozone, continues to grow confidently. According to preliminary estimates, this indicator increased from 54.5 in May to 54.6 in June. The PMI in the manufacturing sector grew from 51.3 to 51.7 over the same period, while the services sector business activity index increased from 54.8 to 55.1. All these indicators exceeded analysts' expectations (51.0 and 53.4, respectively).

● In addition to PMI data, the Fed's monetary policy report at the end of Friday also drew significant interest. Following its publication, EUR/USD ended the week at 1.0691. Regarding the analysts' forecast for the near term, as of the evening of June 21, it remained unchanged from seven days ago. Thus, 60% of experts voted for the pair's decline, 20% for its growth, and another 20% remained neutral. In technical analysis, 100% of trend indicators and oscillators on D1 sided with the dollar and turned red, although a quarter of the latter are in the oversold zone. The nearest support for the pair is in the 1.0665-1.0670 zone, followed by 1.0600-1.0615, 1.0565, 1.0495-1.0515, 1.0450, and 1.0370. Resistance zones are located at 1.0760, then at 1.0810, 1.0890-1.0915, 1.0945, 1.0980-1.1010, 1.1050, and 1.1100-1.1140.

● Next week, there is plenty of interesting and important information expected from the USA. On Tuesday, June 25, the US Consumer Confidence Index will be published. On Wednesday, June 26, we will learn the results of the US bank stress test. On Thursday, June 27, data on the US GDP for Q1 2024 and the number of initial jobless claims in the country will be released. Finally, at the end of the workweek, on Friday, June 28, data on the US consumer market, including such an important inflation indicator as the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure Index, will be published.


GBP/USD: How the Interest Rate Will Fall

● On Wednesday, June 19, a day before the Bank of England (BoE) meeting, consumer inflation (CPI) data was published in the UK. Overall, the picture was quite good. The consumer price index remained at the previous level of 0.3% month-on-month, lower than the projected 0.4%. Year-on-year, the CPI fell from 2.3% to 2.0%, reaching the central bank's target for the first time since October 2021. The core index (Core CPI), excluding volatile components such as food and energy prices, also showed a noticeable decrease from 3.9% to 3.5% (y/y).

The still high level of inflation in the services sector was disappointing. This indicator was higher than forecasted in the central bank's May report and amounted to 5.7% (y/y) against the expected 5.3%. "Indicators such as rent growth remain quite high. [...] These data confirm that the Bank of England will not lower rates at tomorrow's meeting," commented ING Bank strategists on the published statistics on June 19, and they were right.

At its meeting on Thursday, June 20, the Bank of England left the key interest rate unchanged for the seventh consecutive time, at 5.25%. Seven members of the Monetary Policy Committee voted for such a decision, two votes were cast for lowering the rate, and zero votes for increasing it. According to several policymakers, such a decision by the regulator was "finely balanced."

● The latest data on inflation in the services sector is unlikely to prevent the BoE from starting a cycle of easing its monetary policy (QE) in the second half of the year. Especially since, according to the Committee members, the higher-than-expected CPI was due to one-off wage payment factors.

If the parliamentary elections in the UK on July 4 and the inflation report on July 17 do not present significant surprises, the Bank of England is expected to begin lowering rates as early as August. As ING Bank strategists write, "markets are pricing in a 43% probability of the first rate cut in August and expect easing by 46 basis points (bps) by the end of the year." TDS analysts, in turn, give the following forecast: "We expect a 15 bps rate cut by the August meeting and around 50 bps in total for 2024." Several other market participants' forecasts also suggest a reduction of about 30 bps by November.

● On the day after the BoE meeting, Friday, June 21, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published fresh data on retail sales in the UK, which were significantly higher than forecasted. In May, they increased by 2.9% (m/m) after falling by -1.8% in April, with markets expecting a growth of 1.5%. The core retail sales index, excluding automotive fuel, also grew by 2.9% (m/m) against a previous decline of -1.4% and a market forecast of 1.3%. Year-on-year, retail sales increased by 1.3% compared to April's decrease of -2.3%, while core retail sales rose by 1.2% (y/y) against -2.5% a month earlier.

Preliminary business activity (PMI) data were mixed. However, overall, they showed that the UK's economy is on the rise. PMI in the manufacturing sector increased from 51.2 to 51.4 points (forecast 51.3). Business activity in the services sector amounted to 51.2, below the previous value of 52.9 and the forecast of 53.0. The Composite PMI showed a slight decline to 51.7 against the forecast of 53.1 and 53.0 a month earlier. Despite the last two indicators being below previous values, they still remain above the 50.0 horizon separating economic growth from decline.

● Against this backdrop, the pound attempted to recoup some losses but failed, and GBP/USD ended the week at 1.2643, turning strong support in the 1.2675 zone into resistance.

The analysts' forecast for the near term looks neutral: 50% of experts voted for the dollar to strengthen, while the same number (50%) preferred the British currency.

As for technical analysis on D1, the advantage is on the dollar's side. Among trend indicators, the ratio of forces between red and green is 75% to 25% in favour of the former. Among oscillators, 85% point south (a quarter signals the pair is oversold) and only 15% look north. If the pair continues to fall, it will encounter support levels and zones at 1.2575-1.2610, 1.2540, 1.2445-1.2465, 1.2405, and 1.2300-1.2330. In the event of the pair's growth, it will face resistance at levels 1.2675, 1.2740-1.2760, 1.2800-1.2820, 1.2850-1.2860, 1.2895-1.2900, 1.2965-1.2995, 1.3040, and 1.3130-1.3140.

● As for the events of the coming week, not many are expected. Among the most important is the publication of the UK's GDP data on Friday, June 28.


USD/JPY: BoJ Rate Hike Chances Close to Zero

Forex and Cryptocurrency Forecast for June 24 - 28, 20241

● At its meeting on June 13-14, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) kept the interest rate unchanged at 0.1%. Recall that in March this year, the central bank made a "bold" move by raising the rate for the first time since 2007 (it had been at a negative level of -0.1% since 2016). However, after this single rate hike in 17 years, the BoJ is unlikely to continue raising it in the foreseeable future, no matter how much some analysts and investors might want it.

Such desires and forecasts are popular due to the very low level of the Japanese currency. In early 2011, USD/JPY traded around 76.00, and since then, the yen has weakened more than twofold – on April 29, 2024, the pair reached a level of 160.22, the highest since 1986. This negatively affects national businesses. The benefits of a weak yen for exports do not cover the negatives for imports, as the trade balance is negative; the country imports more than it exports. Expensive imports, primarily raw materials and energy, reduce production profitability. GDP growth rates are falling – in Q1 2024, this indicator showed an economic contraction to -1.8% (y/y) compared to +0.4% in the previous quarter. Additionally, the national debt relative to GDP is approaching 265%.

● In such a situation, the economy needs support, not restraint by raising the key interest rate. Moreover, compared to other G10 countries, inflation in Japan is low and has been steadily declining in recent months. According to fresh data, the national CPI index, excluding food and energy prices, fell from 2.4% to 2.1%. Moreover, in June, it could fall below the BoJ's target level of 2.0%. Thus, combating inflation by raising rates is unnecessary and even harmful. But how can the yen's position be strengthened then?

Another method besides tightening monetary policy (QT) is currency interventions. Japan's top currency diplomat Masato Kanda stated on June 20 that the government "will respond carefully to excessive currency movements" and that he "has never felt limited in the potential for currency interventions" and that the interventions conducted in May "were quite effective in combating excessive currency movements caused by speculators."

The words are beautiful. However, looking at the chart, one would argue with the official about the effectiveness of the interventions. Of course, USD/JPY retreated from the 160.00 mark for a while. But this period was quite short, and now it is again approaching this height. One can also recall similar actions in previous years, which only temporarily restrained the national currency's weakening.

● This time, it seems officials have come up with another way to increase the effectiveness of monetary policy without changing rates. According to Reuters, the Ministry of Finance's commission is likely to urge the government to issue shorter-maturity debt obligations to reduce the risk of interest rate changes. (For reference, the yield on 10-year Japanese government bonds currently exceeds 0.9%, nine times the central bank's rate).

● The last chord of the past week for USD/JPY was set at 159.79. The continuation of the Fed's tight policy, confirmed at the June meeting, and the BoJ's ongoing soft policy still play in favour of the dollar. (Although, of course, new currency interventions are not excluded). Economists from Singapore's United Overseas Bank (UOB) believe that only a breakthrough of support at 156.50-156.80 will indicate that the pair's current upward momentum has faded.

The median forecast of experts for the near term is as follows: 75% of them voted for the pair's move south and the yen's strengthening (apparently expecting new interventions), while the remaining 25% pointed north. Indicators show the opposite picture; they have not even heard about interventions. Therefore, all 100% of trend indicators and oscillators on D1 are green, although 20% of the latter are in the overbought zone. The nearest support level is around 158.65, followed by 157.60-158.20, 156.80-157.05, 156.00-156.10, 155.45-155.80, 154.50-154.70, 153.60, 152.85, 151.85, 150.80-151.00, 149.70-150.00, 148.40, 147.60, and 146.50-147.10. The nearest resistance is in the 160.00-160.20 zone, followed by 162.50.

● The upcoming week looks busy on Friday, June 28. On this day, data on consumer inflation (CPI) in the Tokyo region will be published, as well as data on industrial production volumes and the labour market situation in Japan. No other important economic statistics are planned for the coming days.


CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Patience, Patience, and More Patience

● In the last review, we published a forecast by MN Capital founder Michael van de Poppe, who expected BTC/USD to fall to the $60,000-65,000 range. The analyst was essentially correct – the week's low was recorded on Friday, June 21, when the price dropped to around $63,365.

This time, we want to draw attention to the forecast of another influencer, the president of Euro Pacific Capital and a fierce opponent of cryptocurrencies, Peter Schiff. We have quoted his apocalyptic predictions multiple times. This time, the financier outlined a possible hedge fund strategy that would lead to bitcoin's collapse. According to him, investors in exchange-traded BTC spot ETFs treat digital gold as a speculative asset. Schiff noted that bitcoin has been in a "sideways" trend for the third month, trading below the March high. With such dynamics, investors might lose patience and decide to close positions at some point, causing BTC quotes to collapse amid a lack of liquidity.

● It must be said that Schiff's negative forecast has some basis – in recent days, American spot Bitcoin ETFs have indeed shown an outflow of funds. Since June 7, their cumulative balance has decreased by $879 million to $15 billion. Over the past two weeks, long-term whale holders have sold digital gold worth $1.2 billion, with more than $370 million attributed to GBTC. Thus, whales and ETFs have collectively created downward pressure worth $1.7 billion during this time.

● Of course, a cryptocurrency market crash is unlikely, no matter how much Peter Schiff might want it. However, the current situation raises concerns among many specialists. Usually, bullish cryptocurrency markets are fueled by general enthusiasm around the digital coin. However, analysts at IntoTheBlock observe that despite a surge in activity among major holders (whales) earlier this year, there is no influx of new participants in the market. In fact, the number of primary BTC users has sharply dropped to multi-year lows, falling to levels seen during the bear market of 2018. This lack of growth creates a critical misunderstanding of why investors are not buying bitcoins. "Retail investors remain on the sidelines," IntoTheBlock notes.

● Perhaps it is all due to the relaxed summer mood, general macroeconomic gloom, lack of sources of fresh money inflow, and other drivers. But everything can change, of course. Speaking at the BTC Prague 2024 conference, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor reiterated that bitcoin should be considered one of the safest assets today. When asked by journalists whether it is time to sell BTC, the entrepreneur replied that the asset currently lacks fundamental growth catalysts, but a price rise should be expected soon. According to Michael Saylor, those who show patience will later receive enormous profits from owning digital gold. (For reference: MicroStrategy is the largest holder of bitcoins among public companies, with 205,000 BTC on its balance sheet, worth over $13 billion).

● Analysts at the financial company Bernstein have raised the target price of the first cryptocurrency to $200,000 by the end of 2025. The forecast is driven by expectations of "unprecedented demand from spot bitcoin ETFs managed by BlackRock, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, and others." "We believe that ETFs have become a turning point for cryptocurrencies, causing structural demand from traditional pools of capital. In total, ETFs have attracted around $15 billion in new net funds," Bernstein's explanatory note reads.

According to the company's experts, bitcoin is in a new bullish cycle. They called the halving a unique situation where natural selling pressure from miners is halved or more, and new demand catalysts for cryptocurrency appear, leading to exponential price movements. Analysts pointed to previous cycles: in 2017, digital gold rose to a high roughly five times the marginal production cost and then fell to a low of 0.8 of this figure in 2018. "During the 2024-2027 cycle, we expect bitcoin to rise to 1.5 times this metric, implying a cycle high of $200,000 by mid-2025," Bernstein believes.

● For now, at the time of writing, on the evening of Friday, June 21, the BTC/USD pair is far from $200,000 and trades at $64,150. The total cryptocurrency market capitalization stands at $2.34 trillion ($2.38 trillion a week ago). The Bitcoin Fear & Greed Index dropped from 70 to 63 points over 7 days but remains in the Greed zone.

● To conclude the review, here's news from the world of Artificial Intelligence. For many years, there have been ongoing debates about the imperfections of the first cryptocurrency's concept. Some accuse the coin's creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, of shortsightedness, while others criticize the project's technical execution. To find out what's wrong with bitcoin, the editorial team at BeInCrypto asked the latest version of ChatGPT to analyze the cryptocurrency's whitepaper published by Nakamoto in October 2008. As a result, Artificial Intelligence found several shortcomings and errors in the main document of the crypto industry, some of which seem quite serious:

1. The 51% rule. The whitepaper claims that the network is secure if more than 50% of the power is controlled by honest participants. However, practice has shown that under certain conditions, attacks are possible with fewer resources.

2. Anonymity. The document mentions user anonymity, but bitcoin provides only pseudonymity. Transactions can be traced back to specific users.

3. Scalability. The document did not foresee scalability issues that became apparent with the network's popularity growth. High transaction volumes lead to delays and increased fees.

4. Software updates. The document does not address the need for regular software updates to maintain network security and implement new features.

5. Fork resistance. The document does not consider risks associated with network hard forks. Forks like Bitcoin Cash polarize the community, potentially reducing the network's value.

6. Regulation and legal issues. The document does not mention potential legal and regulatory obstacles for bitcoin. Since its publication, many countries have introduced or are considering regulatory measures.

7. Mining difficulty. The document's author did not foresee the significant increase in mining difficulty and the energy consumption changes. Modern mining requires enormous computing power and electricity. According to Greenpeace, in 2023, global bitcoin mining consumed approximately 121 TWh of electricity, comparable to the energy consumption of a country like Poland. This has led to significant CO2 emissions and serious atmospheric pollution, as stated in Greenpeace's report.


NordFX Analytical Group


Notice: These materials are not investment recommendations or guidelines for working in financial markets and are intended for informational purposes only. Trading in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.

« Market Analysis and News
New to the market? Make use of the “Getting Started” section. Start Training
Follow Us