The US economy is showing impressive growth. Europe, on the other hand, is in a widespread lockdown and, apparently, is experiencing a second recession. The share of those who received at least one COVID-19 vaccine in the EU is 25.1%, while in the United States there are 2.5 times more of them, 63.2%. Can the euro grow in such a situation? Only 25% of experts answered positively to this question last week, and they turned out to be right: the pair EUR / USD reached the level of 1.2080 on Tuesday, April 20.
The majority of analysts (50%) believed that the bulls and the bears would be engaged in “tug of war” across the 1.2000 line. And they also turned out to be not far from the truth: the pair fluctuated up/down in the range of 1.1995-1.2080 from Tuesday until the end of the week. Although, of course, the victory remained with the bulls, since the last chord of the trading session sounded near the high of the last seven weeks at 1.2100. There are two main reasons for these dynamics. The first one is in America, the second one is on the other side of the Atlantic, in Europe.
On the one hand, the yield on long-term US Treasury bonds continues to fall, and along with it the US currency continues to weaken. The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies (DXY) declined to 91.0, down 230 points from this year's high of 93.3. This fuels the risk sentiment of investors and continues to push the major US stock indexes up. This happens even despite the proposal of US President Joe Biden to almost double (from 20% to 39.6%) the capital gains tax for citizens with income of $1 million or more.
On the other hand, the euro was supported by positive forecasts for the rate of vaccination in Europe, in particular the news that Pfizer will increase the supply of vaccines to the EU by 100 million doses. The yield on German bonds is growing, which are beginning to catch up with their competitors from the United States. Stronger than expected statistics on business activity in the Eurozone helped the bulls on EUR/USD as well. Analysts polled by Reuters expected on average the PMI to decline from 53.2 points to 52.8. However, it rose to 53.7 in April;
First, a few words about another pair, GBC/USD, which may appear in the foreseeable future. While in some countries, regulators ban cryptocurrencies (for example, in Turkey), in others they are trying to put them at their service. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has recently conducted a survey and it has turned out that of 66 central banks, 52 are thinking about their own digital currency. And one of these reflective regulators is the Bank of England, backed by one of the country's largest financial conglomerates, Barclays.
The digital pound has already received a playful name "Britcoin", which makes those who know what "Brit Milah" smile. For those who are not in the know, let us explain: this is a rite of circumcision among religious Jews. However, if Brit Milah is rooted in the deep past, then Britcoin is the digital future of the UK that has broken away from the EU.
But until the GBC/USD pair has appeared in the list of trading instruments, let us return to its “older sister”, the GBP/USD pair. It went up at the beginning of the week, thanks to the weakening dollar, like EUR/USD. The pair reached a height of 1.4010 on Tuesday, having added 170 points. However, it did not manage to fix above the 1.4000 horizon: the pound lost all its advantage two days later, and the pair dropped to the level of 1.3825. At the very end of the trading week, the pound was helped by strong statistics on business activity in the services sector: the Markit index rose from 56.3 to 60.1 (against the forecast of 59.0) over the month, thanks to which the pair grew slightly and completed the five-day period at 1.3885;
Recall that we talked in the previous review about the fact that one of the reasons for the fall in the yield of 10-year US Treasury bonds, and with it the strengthening of the yen against the dollar, may be the return of Japanese buyers to the market. They were actively getting rid of American bonds at the end of the financial year, but they began to replenish their investment portfolios with them now.
The majority of analysts (70%) voted seven days ago for the fact that the growth of the Japanese currency and the decline of the USD/JPY pair will continue, and this forecast turned out to be absolutely correct. The level 107.50 was indicated as a support, which became the local bottom of the week. This was followed by a correction and a finish at 107.85;
While the task of the bulls on Friday, April 16 was to prevent the BTC/USD pair from falling below $60,000, they are struggling seven days later to gain a foothold in the $50,000 area. After the explosive growth to $64,800, which took place on the eve of the American exchange Coinbase' IPO, we are witnessing an equally rapid collapse now. The price of bitcoin was falling to the level of $47,545 on Friday April 23, showing a 26.6% drop.
It is difficult to single out any one reason for what happened. Prominent analyst Willy Woo said the drawdown was triggered by massive power outages in Xinjiang province, one of the largest regions in China where bitcoin mining is concentrated. According to the BTC Cambridge Energy Consumption Index, Xinjiang accounts for about 25% of the coin's total hashrate. Due to the fact that most of the miners were temporarily out of order, the hash rate of the asset began to decline, and the average transaction fee on the bitcoin network exceeded $50, which has not been the case since 2017.
According to Woo, bitcoin should have returned to growth after the electricity supply situation stabilized. Electricity returned to Xinjiang, but bitcoin continued its decline. We have repeatedly written that the crypto market is heavily influenced by regulatory risks. And in this case, it is possible that panic has been fueled by the rumors that an investigation may begin in the United States regarding a number of financial institutions on suspicion of money laundering using cryptocurrencies. Additional pressure on the market was made by two news stories. The first is the news that the US Congress has approved the creation of a SEC and CFTC working group to develop cryptocurrency regulation. The second is the plans of US President Joe Biden to raise taxes on capital gains, which could limit investment in digital assets.
The total cryptocurrency market capitalization decreased by 17% over the week, from $2.2 trillion to $1.825 trillion. Meanwhile, bitcoin continues to lose ground. If its share in the total capitalization on January 2 was 72.65%, then it is only 50.70% on April 23. This suggests that investors are looking for more profitable assets for their investments among altcoins, of which there are currently more than 8,000. Just look at the Ethereum quotes. Despite the April 18 crash, this leading altcoin managed to renew its all-time high last week, reaching $2,635. Of course, a wave of sales did not pass it, but the fall in the price of ETH over the week was only about 11%. As for the participation of Ethereum in the total capitalization of the crypto market, its share has grown from 10.79% to 14.49% since the year started.
Summing up the past week, we note that the bitcoin price dropped below the 50-day average, which is quite an alarming factor and may provoke further sales. The BTC dominance index, as already mentioned, is also going down. However, it is still far from the lows of early 2018, when it fell to 32%. Another index, Crypto Fear & Greed Index, dropped from 78 to 55 points during the week and approached the neutral zone.
As for the forecast for the coming week, summarizing the views of a number of experts, as well as forecasts made on the basis of a variety of methods of technical and graphical analysis, we can say the following:
As expected, the European Central Bank maintained an ultra-soft policy and did not make any adjustments at its meeting on April 22. And its head Christine Lagarde made every effort to limit further growth of the euro. Investors should have concluded from her speech that the ECB will begin to roll back fiscal stimulus (QE) later than the US Federal Reserve, since the EU economy lags behind the American one. (According to JPMorgan forecasts, the GDP of the Eurozone, after a 1% decline in the first quarter of 2021, is expected to grow by 6% in the second quarter. In the US, the same figures are +5% and +10%).
The ECB is not interested in a strong euro, as it interferes with European exports, and considers the current EUR/USD quotes to be quite high. However, Ms. Lagarde was unable to reverse the pair's downward trend. Moreover, it is very likely that the US Federal Reserve Head Jerome Powell will say the same thing at its upcoming meeting on Wednesday, April 28 as she did: that, although the pace of the US economic recovery is impressive, this is absolutely not enough to start discussing curtailment of fiscal stimulus programs.
The next meeting of the ECB will be held on June 10, and a lot can happen during this time. The euro will be pushed upwards by the increasing rate of vaccination and the economic recovery of the EU. And the bears are unlikely to be able to turn the pair south until the yield on US Treasuries starts to rise again. Goldman Sachs analysts believe that the four largest countries in the Eurozone will vaccinate 37% of their population by the end of May, and this figure will already be 54% by the end of June. As a result, the bank raised its forecast for EUR/USD from $1.2100 by the end of the year to $1.2500.
The latest Bloomberg consensus estimate, on the contrary, decreased. If the figure called in January was 1.2500, now it is 1.2200. Although this value suggests further strengthening of the euro. The main event of the coming week will be the meeting of the Open Market Committee of the US Federal Reserve System and the commentary of its management on the future monetary policy. Jerome Powell, as already mentioned, is likely to adhere to a rhetoric similar to Christine Lagarde, which may put another pressure on the yield of American bonds and the USD rate.
Growth of the euro in the coming week is expected by 60% of experts, supported by graphical analysis, 100% of trend indicators and 85% of oscillators onH4 and D1. The remaining 15% of the oscillators give signals that the pair is overbought. Resistance levels are 1.2125, 1.2185, the target is the February 25 high at 1.2245. It should be noted that when switching to the forecast for May, the picture changes sharply, and here it is already 70% of experts, supported by graphical analysis on D1, who expect the EUR/USD pair to fall below the 1.2000 horizon. Supports are located at 1.1940, 1.1865 and 1.1800 levels. The target of the bears is the low of the end of March around 1.1700.
As for the events of the coming week, apart from the Fed meeting, one should pay attention to the statistics on consumer markets: the USA - on Monday April 26, Germany - on Thursday April 29 and the Eurozone - Friday April 30. In addition, GDP indicators for the first quarter will become known: the USA - April 29, as well as Germany and the Eurozone - April 30;
A number of experts believe that successful vaccination of the population will help warm up the UK economy. Quarantine restrictions have been severely relaxed in recent weeks, pubs and restaurants have opened. Macro statistics are encouraging. However, Brexit-related concerns, massive trade deficits and UK budget deficits continue to weigh on the pound. But the dollar is also under pressure. Perhaps that is why the forecast for the GBP/USD pair looks rather contradictory: 45% of experts vote for its movement to the north, 35% to the south and the remaining 20% to the east. The technical analysis readings on H4 look contradictory as well.
On D1, thanks to the uptrend that began 13 months ago, most of the oscillators (65%) and trend indicators (85%) look up. Graphical analysis also indicates that the pair will try again to storm the 1.40000 high, but after that it will go down to the support in the 1.3670-1.3700 zone. The nearest resistance level is 1.3920, the nearest support is 1.3800;
The key indicator for this pair was and is the yield on US government bonds. If it continues to decline next week, then the pair USD/JPY will go further down. The nearest support is in the 106.80-107.10 zone, the next one is located near the 200-day moving average of 105.80.
The experts' opinion coincides completely with what was expressed a week earlier. 70% of them believe that the pair will continue to fall. The remaining 30% expect the pair to rebound upward (resistance levels 108.35 and 109.00). There is complete discord among the oscillators on H4, on D1 - 75% are colored red, and 25% give signals that the pair is oversold. Graphical analysis on both time frames shows that at first the pair can rise to the resistance of 108.35, and only then, having bounced off this level, it will sharply go down;
According to a number of experts, the drop in the share of bitcoin in the total capitalization of the crypto market is a very alarming factor for investors. Recall that the dominance index of the leading cryptocurrency was 85% at the beginning of 2017, and it decreased to 45% before the collapse. Now this figure is just over 50%. Pessimists argue that the rise in BTC/USD quotes before the listing of Coinbase on the NASDAQ exchange was the last stage of the bullish rally, and we need to prepare for a new "crypto winter" now, which could stretch for several years. This is confirmed by the massive liquidation of BTC futures.
However, as is usually the case, in addition to pessimists, there are also optimists. For example, analysts at Santiment believe that bitcoin's trend remains bullish. They have reached this conclusion having analyzed the frequency of tweets with the phrase "buy the dip" and "bought the dip". With the bitcoin price dipping below $51,000, the number of low buy posts hit a weekly record of 2,108 tweets. This allowed Santiment analysts to conclude that this correction is nothing more than a "bump in the road."
However, two thousand Twitter users are unlikely to seriously affect the market. Much more important is the mood of institutional investors who are not crypto enthusiasts at all. And there is a high probability that they will not be active until there is clarity on the attitude of the leading regulators to the sector. Those of the "whales" who purchased the cryptocurrency in the fall of 2020 may well start fixing profits at the current level: the price around $45,000-50,000 is more than acceptable for them. But new large purchases look quite risky.