EURUSD closed at session lows in relatively thin trade yesterday and is after some recovery currently trading at 1.1268. Greece’s request to defer IMF payments to the end of the month will apparently be approved, and will give Greece some breathing room, as a euro 300 mln payment was originally due on Friday. How Greece will make the payments at the end of the month is anyone’s guess. The FX market surely must be thinking there will be no end to the crisis, and perhaps some smart money is reducing exposure to the single currency.
Eurozone Retail PMI surged higher yesterday. The overall retail PMI for the Eurozone passed the 50 point no change mark in May and rose to 51.4 from 49.5 in the previous month. This was driven mainly by a jump in the German reading to a whopping 55.8 from 52.6 in April. The French reading also improved, but remained below the 50 point mark, as did the Italian reading, which actually dropped slightly. The strong German number confirms that the recovery remains driven largely by consumption and domestic demand, unlike previous recoveries and the question is whether this is sustainable, or like the pre-crisis booms in Spain, Italy and elsewhere mainly fuelled by cheap money.
The US initial jobless claims fell 8k to 276k in the week ended May 30, from a revised 284k in the prior week (was 282k). The 4-week moving average edged up to 274.75k from 272.0k (revised from 271.5k). Continuing claims dropped 30k to 2,196k in the May 23 week, from 2,226k previously (revised from 2,222k). Also, US Q1 productivity was revised down to a -3.1% pace from the -1.9% preliminary print, and versus -2.1% in Q4. The back-to-back declines are the largest since 1993.
I wrote yesterday that EURUSD was trading close to a major resistance and that the upside was getting limited which increases the downside risk. This resulted in EURUSD failing to hold the highs after rallying from the intraday support I mentioned. It also resulted in a daily shooting star candle that confirmed the bearish view in the daily timeframe. At the time of writing the pair is approaching an intraday resistance area around 1.1285. Based on the intraday technical picture it seems that EURUSD is not likely to rise much higher but will react lower and remain weak and eventually it should move to the daily support at 1.1006. This being a Nonfarm Friday markets are prone to avoid strong directional movements before the employment number is out. Also the region of May 22 daily high provides some support EURUSD which is why I don’t expect the pair to move to 1.1006 support today. However, the daily shooting star indicates that this is likely to happen before EURUSD can move higher. A medium term regression channel bottom coincides with the 1.1006 support which suggests that the pair will retain its medium term upward tendency. Daily support and resistance levels are: 1.1208, 1.1006, 1.0887 and 1.1324, 1.1380 and 1.1467.
Currency Pairs, Grouped Performance (% Change)
GBP is weak across the board this morning. GBPAUD turned lower from the resistance yesterday as was expected (see my analysis from yesterday) and GBPUSD rallied yesterday almost to 1.5447 level I identified in my earlier analysis. EUR has wide strength against the other major currencies this morning with EUR moving most against GBP and JPY. EURJPY is moving outside both weekly and daily Bollinger Bands and yesterday’s shooting star raises concerns of the level of commitment by the bulls on this market. The pair is trading near yesterday’s daily highs but as there is no major weekly resistance nearby I would not be interested in selling against the highs. I suggested in my earlier analysis that EURGBP is in a process of creating a market bottom. The recent volatility and the fact that this market has found attracted buyers at major support levels indicates that my view was correct. This has brought the EURGBP near a daily resistance level and it is trading in the Bollinger Bands.
Main Macro Events Today
Eurozone Gross Domestic Product second release for Q1 GDP is due out today but no change in number is expected. In May Q1 data was in line with expectations, with the quarterly growth rate accelerating slightly to 0.4% q/q from 0.3% q/q, in line with our forecast and a tad below our median of 0.5%. There is no breakdown with the preliminary number, but domestic demand was likely the main driver and the national data suggests that growth is broadening and stabilising, despite the deceleration in German growth at the start of the year.
US Nonfarm Payrolls and Unemployment rate: Nonfarm payrolls are expected to increase by 215k, with a 223k private payroll gain. Forecast risk: upward, as depressed claims readings should provide some tail wind. Market risk: downward, as substantial weakness could impact the timing of rate hikes. The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 5.4% from April.
Canadian Unemployment Rate: Employment is expected to rebound 20.0k in May after the 19.7k drop in April. Forecast Risk: The dismal 19.7k drop in total jobs during April contrasted with mostly solid details, which we expect to give way to an improvement in overall employment during May. But business confidence remains subdued, suggesting a risk for a May job gain that undershoots our estimates. Market Risk: An as-expected rise in May would not argue against the expected timing and magnitude the Bank sees for the gyrations in Q1 and Q2 GDP, in turn supportive of expectations that the 0.75% policy rate is the floor.