Dollar gasps for air while euro bulls take a breather

July 19, 2017 09:26 AM

The Greenback received a thorough pummelling on Tuesday after reports of Republican legislators failing to pass a revised healthcare bill rekindled concerns over Trump’s ability to implement tax cuts and infrastructure spending. Sentiment was already turning increasingly bearish towards the Dollar following last week’s soft US inflation reading, with sellers swiftly exploiting the fresh setback to Trump’s domestic agenda, in order to attack prices further. With the Greenback displaying signs of sensitivity to monetary policy speculations and the probability of a 25-basis-point rate increase in December dropping to 43% according to CME FedWatch Tool, further downside could be on the cards.

As the U.S. economic calendar is fairly thin today, with only U.S. building permits and housing starts in focus, price action is likely to dictate where the Dollar Index trades. Technical traders could be tempted to utilize the technical bounce on the daily time frame to drive the Index lower. A solid breakdown and daily close below 94.60 may encourage a further sell-off towards 94.00.

Euro bulls wait for Draghi
Thursday’s main risk event for the euro will be the European Central Bank meeting, which is widely expected to conclude with monetary policy left unchanged in July. Investors will closely scrutinize the meeting and press conference for clues on whether the central bank may announce plans to reduce its bond-buying program in September. With ECB President Mario Draghi’s optimistic speech in Sintra sparking speculations of QE tapering and also playing a role in the current euro rally, he may choose his words carefully on Thursday. Although the economic conditions in Europe continue to stabilize, inflation is still far from the 2% target and it will be interesting to hear Draghi’s thoughts on this. While the improving macro-fundamentals and absence of political risk in Europe have heavily supported the euro, bulls may need further inspiration in the form of QE tapering expectations. It becomes a question of whether Draghi will offer the bulls what they crave or will end up clipping their wings.

From a technical standpoint, the euro/U.S. dollar (EUR/USD) currency pair is heavily bullish on the daily charts. The breakout and daily close above 1.1500 could encourage a further incline higher towards 1.1615.

Commodity Spotlight – WTI crude
WTI Crude oil edged slightly lower on Tuesday after API reported U.S. inventories increased by 1.63 million barrels last week. Although prices ventured towards $46.55 during Wednesday’s trading session this had nothing to do with a change of bias, but rather profit taking, as sentiment remained bearish. Recent reports of Ecuador publicly admitting that it will not meet OPEC’s cut commitments, presents a threat to the production cut deal, with fears of a domino effect exposing oil prices to further downside risks. The bias towards oil remains bearish and further downside may be expected as the supply overhang erodes investor attraction towards the commodity. Much attention will be directed towards the pending report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) this afternoon, which could compound to oils woes if there is a build in crude inventories.

About the Author

Lukman Otunuga is an FXTM research analyst