US Dollar Strength, Euro Weakness Remain As Risk Aversion Shows Up


Last week was a big one across global markets as a number of drivers and potential new themes were unveiled. The Federal Reserve took a hawkish stance at their rate decision on Wednesday, but the immediate impact was weakness in the US Dollar as a report around increased US-Chinese tariffs began to circulate during Mr. Powell’s accompanying press conference. And then the following day saw the European Central Bank offer details on how they’re going to look to exit their massive stimulus program later in the year. They also shared that they’re expecting to keep rates at current levels ‘at least through the summer of 2019,’ and this led to a net response of a weaker Euro as markets kicked bets for rate hikes from the ECB further-out into the future. That move of Euro weakness was intense, and in short order, the currency was below the 1.1600 handle while, in a corresponding move, the US Dollar had firmed up to the 11-month high. As we open this week, that resistance remains as the US Dollar lingers near those prior highs.


us dollar usd daily chart

Chart prepared by James Stanley

The big question in the early portion of this week is one of motivation. Will those themes of Dollar-strength and Euro-weakness that showed so prominently in the latter portion of last week continue into this week? Mario Draghi is speaking on multiple occasions at the ECB forum in Sintra, and this will afford the ECB President multiple opportunities to clarify or define some of his prior statements, and this could continue to push the single currency as markets attempt to grapple with European rate expectations in the tail end of 2019.

On a longer-term basis, the swing-low from a couple of weeks ago looms ominously on the chart; and there’s the potential for lower-high resistance in a key zone should a deeper bounce build-in as we open this week. That area runs from 1.1685-1.1736, and this has been support or resistance multiple times over the past year. This area had shown as resistance after that brutal sell-off in the pair in May, soon becoming support as we walked into ECB. Prices broke-down around last week’s meeting, cutting directly through this area as sellers grasped control. If we do get a bounce into this zone, the door opens for bearish strategies, looking for lower-high resistance ahead of a print to fresh lows.

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