EUR/USD Long Remains In Play Despite U.S. GDP Growth Data Trade Ideas

  • EUR/USD: long at 1.1320, take profit at 1.1470, stop-loss 1.1255

Market Overview

U.S. GDP increased at a 2.6% annualized rate in the fourth quarter after expanding at a 3.4% pace in the July-September period. The fourth-quarter GDP report was delayed by a 35-day partial shutdown of the government that ended on January 25, which affected the collection and processing of economic data.

The Commerce Department said while it could not quantify the full effects of the shutdown, it estimated the partial closure had subtracted about one-tenth of a percentage point from fourth-quarter GDP growth through "a reduction in the labor services supplied by federal employees and reduction in intermediate purchases of goods and services by nondefense agencies."

Growth in consumer spending increased at a still strong 2.8% rate in the fourth quarter. Consumer spending grew at a robust 3.5% rate in the third quarter.
The trade shortfall subtracted 0.22 percentage point from fourth-quarter GDP growth after slicing off 2 percentage points in the July-September period. With consumer spending slowing, some of the imports probably ended up in warehouses.

This accelerated inventory accumulation, which offset some of the drag on GDP growth from the trade deficit. Inventory investment added 0.13 percentage point to GDP growth last quarter after contributing 2.33 percentage points in the prior period.

Business spending on equipment accelerated in the fourth quarter from the prior period, growing at a 6.7% rate. It had slowed since the first quarter of 2018.

The market had forecast GDP rising at a 2.3% rate in the fourth quarter. Despite the economy's strong performance in the last quarter and in 2018, there are indications activity is softening, with most manufacturing measures weakening in January and February.

The dollar reduced losses versus the euro on Thursday after U.S. data showed that economic growth was stronger than expected in the fourth quarter. Prior to the data, the dollar index, a measure of the greenback's value against six major currencies, had fallen to a three-week trough. EUR/USD's upside bias is still in play as the market remains propped by the 30-day moving average, which is currently at 1.1364. Bulls now need to force a daily close above the 1.1403 Fibonacci level, which is a 50% retrace of the 1.1570 to 1.1235 (January to February) fall. The next resistance level is 1.1442 (61.8% Fibo).

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