Currency movers for August 19, 2015

19 August, 2015

EURUSD, Daily Yesterday’s intraday rally was short lived and EURUSD resumed its downward trend. In the Asian session the pair moved higher and attempted to test resistance at 1.1080. Rally moved the EURUSD spot rate outside a descending 4h price channel. However, the aforementioned resistance is a daily low from 13thwhile 50 day SMA is coinciding with the level. This combination triggered selling and the last complete 4h candle turned into a shooting star. As mentioned in the previous reports, there are no significant daily support levels before the 1.0934. And because the spot is now close to resistance levels, it makes more sense to look for further downside over the coming days.

Today’s Currency Movers

IMF participation in Greek bailout is indispensable for Germany, according to German Finance Minister Schaeuble. He stressed that the IMF agreed in principle to join the Greek bailout and said he is confident about the IMF’s assessment of Greek debt sustainability. Schaeuble, who is trying to sell the package to increasingly reluctant lawmakers from his own party, repeated that a haircut is out of the question and that there is only “limited” room for further Greek debt relief. So it’s hard to share his confidence that the IMF will come on board in October. Eurozone officials have been considering soft debt relief in the form of maturity extensions and extended payment holidays, but the IMF previously argued that this is unlikely to be sufficient to reach debt sustainability. Assuring lawmakers that the IMF will get on board, risks that Schaeuble and Merkel will have to declare defeat if there is no agreement with the fund on Greek debt.

China’s economy and a EM debt crisis are now the principal concerns of investors, according to the latest sentiment survey from BoA-Merrill, eclipsing risks of a Eurozone breakdown This comes with emerging market stocks trading at four-year lows and Asian currencies taking a pummeling. Both the Malaysian ringgit and Indonesian rupiah clocked fresh 17-year lows today, since the dark days of the 1998 Asian crisis. China is very much at the center of all this. Stock markets there had another volatile day with the Shanghai Composite showing a 5.1% loss at its intraday low, but managing to close with just a 1.2% decline (it’s not clear whether official support was behind this, but that seems to be the widespread suspicion). This follows the 6.1% dive of yesterday.

Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow was boosted to 1.3% for Q3 from the previous 0.7% estimate, as the measure catches up to the internals of Friday’s industrial production report, though still some distance from the Blue Chip median estimate of 2.7%. “The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2015 is 1.3 percent on August 18, up from 0.7 percent on August 13. The forecast for real GDP growth increased from 0.7 percent to 1.2 percent after Friday’s industrial production release from the Federal Reserve. Most of this increase was due to a 15.3 percent increase in seasonally adjusted motor vehicle assemblies in July that boosted the forecast of the contribution of real inventory investment to third-quarter GDP growth from -2.2 percentage points to -1.8 percentage points.”

US housing starts edged up 0.2% in July to a 1,206k pace, the best since October 2007, after rebounding 12.3% to 1,204k in June (revised from 1,174k). But, building permits fell 16.3% to 1,119k, from a revised 7.0% June gain to 1,337k (revised from 1,343k). Single family starts rose 12.8% on the month, with multifamily down 17.0%. Housing completions increased 2.4% to 987k from the 964k June rate (revised from 972k). Headline starts are better than forecast, but permits disappointed a bit, to leave a mixed view on the report in general, but in a vacuum would keep a September rate hike on the table.


The moves in the FX markets have been rather subdued ahead of FOMC minutes. EUR has been gaining while the USD has been losing ground. We touched upon NZD and milk prices yesterday as there was an expectation that prices of dairy products would rise. Today however, NZD didn’t move higher even on the back of the news that dairy prices moved higher. According to prices for milk powder rose 19% from two weeks ago, while prices for the anhydrous milk fat soared 27%. This is the first time prices have risen on the GDT since early March, and mark a recover from the previous auction’s 13-year price low and is likely resulting from a supply squeeze. This suggests that the free falling milk prices might have found a bottom and should  support the New Zealand economy. However, the currency markets don’t seem believe this story as NZD is down today. Perhaps, the worries about Chinese economy and the Fed rate hike expectations are behind the lack of buying interest. Just recently there has also been some concerted move into the safe haven currency CHF but the changes are still relatively small.

Significant daily support and resistance levels for dollar pairs are:

FX Pair Support Resistance
GBPUSD 1.5563 1.5806
AUDUSD 0.7216 0.7437
USDCAD 1.2950 1.3152
USDJPY 1.2379 1.2528
NZDUSD 0.6470 0.6650

Main Macro Events Today

  • Japan All Industry Activity Index came in at 0.3% disappointing slightly as expectation was 0.4%. However, the improvement from previous figure of -0.5% was welcome.
  • US CPI: July CPI should reveal a 0.1% (median 0.2%) increase for the headline with the core index up 0.2% (median 0.2%) on the month. After leveling off briefly, oil prices resumed their decline in July which is likely to add downward pressure to the CPI release. This effect showed up in the already released July PPI where we saw a headline increase of 0.2% but which included a 0.6% decline for the energy component in July.
  • FOMC Minutes: Key domestic data have generally been good enough to support liftoff on September 17. Indeed, GDP growth should hit at least 3.0% in Q2 and Q3. However, the FOMC isn’t operating in a vacuum and ongoing weakness in commodity prices, the dollar’s strength, and remaining uncertainties over the outlook for China could tip the scales in favor of a delay, especially given the generally dovish leanings of the voting members, led by Yellen and Dudley. We’ll look for clues in the FOMC minutes for the degree to which the various parameters might affect the decision. Tomorrow’s data on July CPI will be of some importance too though it have lost some of its potency given the plunge in commodities.


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