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Old 01-10-2023, 13:20
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Forex and Cryptocurrencies Forecast for October 02 - 06, 2023

EUR/USD: Correction is Not a Trend Reversal Yet

The dynamics of the EUR/USD pair in the past week were atypical. In a standard scenario, combating inflation against the backdrop of a strong economy and a healthy labour market leads to an increase in the central bank's interest rate. This, in turn, attracts investors and strengthens the national currency. However, this time the situation unfolded quite differently.

U.S. macroeconomic data released on Thursday, September 28, indicated strong GDP growth in Q2 at 2.1%. The number of initial unemployment claims was 204K, slightly higher than the previous figure of 202K, but less than the expected 215K. Meanwhile, the total number of citizens receiving such benefits amounted to 1.67 million, falling short of the 1.675 million forecast.

This data suggests that the U.S. economy and labour market remain relatively stable, which should prompt the U.S. Federal Reserve to increase interest rates by 25 basis points (bps). It's worth noting that Neil Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, recently confirmed his full support for such a move, as combating high inflation remains the central bank's primary objective. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, went even further, stating that he does not rule out the possibility of rate hikes from the current 5.50% to as high as 7.00%.

However, these figures and forecasts failed to make an impression on market participants. Especially since the rhetoric from Fed officials proved to be quite contradictory. For instance, Thomas Barkin, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, does not believe that U.S. GDP will continue to grow in Q4. He also pointed out that there's a wide range of opinions regarding future rates and that it's unclear if additional changes in monetary policy are required. Austin Goolsbee, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, noted that overconfidence in the trade-off between inflation and unemployment carries the risk of policy mistakes.

Such statements have tempered bullish sentiment on the dollar. Amid this murky and contradictory backdrop, yields on U.S. Treasury bonds, which had been supporting the dollar, fell from multi-year highs. Uncertainty surrounding the U.S. federal budget and the threat of a government shutdown also weighed on the dollar. Furthermore, September 28 and 29 marked the last trading days of Q3, and after 11 weeks of gains, dollar bulls began closing long positions on the DXY index, locking in profits.

As for the Eurozone, inflation has clearly started to wane. Preliminary data indicates that the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) growth in Germany has slowed from 6.4% to 4.3%, reaching its lowest point since the onset of Russia's military invasion of Ukraine. The overall Eurozone CPI also fellódespite a previous rate of 5.3% and a forecast of 4.8%, it declined to 4.5%.

This reduction in CPI led to a rescheduling of the European Central Bank's (ECB) anticipated dovish policy shift from Q3 2024 to Q2 2024. Moreover, the likelihood of a new interest rate hike has significantly diminished. In theory, this should have weakened the euro. However, concerns over the fate of the dollar proved to be more impactful, and after bouncing off 1.0487, EUR/USD moved upward, reaching a high of 1.0609.

According to analysts at Germany's Commerzbank, some traders were simply very dissatisfied with levels below 1.0500, so neither macro data nor statements from Fed officials could exert any significant influence on this. However, the rebound does not indicate either a trend reversal or the complete end of the dollar rally. Commerzbank analysts believe that since the market has clearly bet on a soft landing for the U.S. economy, the dollar is likely to react particularly harshly to data that does not confirm this viewpoint.

Analysts at MUFG Bank also believe that the 1.0500 zone has finally become a strong level that served as a catalyst for the reversal. However, in the opinion of the bank's economists, the correction is primarily technical in nature and could soon fizzle out.

On Friday, September 29, traders awaited the release of the Personal Consumption Expenditures Index (PCE) in the U.S., which is a key indicator. Year-on-year, it registered at 3.9%, precisely matching forecasts (the previous figure was 4.3%). The market reacted with a minor increase in volatility, after which EUR/USD closed the trading week, month, and quarter at 1.0573. Strategists at Wells Fargo, part of the "big four" U.S. banks, believe that Europe's low metrics compared to the U.S. should exert further downward pressure on the euro. They also believe that the European Central Bank (ECB) has already concluded its current cycle of monetary tightening, as a result of which the pair may drop to the 1.0200 level by early 2024.

Shifting from the medium-term outlook to the near-term, as of the evening of September 29, expert opinions are evenly split into three categories: one-third foresee further dollar strengthening and a decline in EUR/USD; another third expect an upward correction; and the last third take a neutral stance. As for technical analysis, both among trend indicators and oscillators on the D1 chart, the majority, 90%, still favor the U.S. dollar and are coloured red. Only 10% side with the euro. The pair's nearest support levels are around 1.0560, followed by 1.0490-1.0525, 1.0375, 1.0255, 1.0130, and 1.0000. Bulls will encounter resistance in the area of 1.0620-1.0630, then 1.0670-1.0700, followed by 1.0745-1.0770, 1.0800, 1.0865, 1.0895-1.0925, 1.0985, and 1.1045.

Data releases pertaining to the U.S. labour market are anticipated throughout the week spanning from October 3 to October 6. The week will culminate on Friday, October 6, when key indicators, including the unemployment rate and the Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) figures, are set to be disclosed. Earlier in the week, specifically on Monday, October 2, insights into the U.S. manufacturing sector's business activity (PMI) will be unveiled. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is also scheduled to speak on this day. On Wednesday, October 4, information regarding the business activity in the U.S. services sector as well as Eurozone retail sales will be made public.

GBP/USD: No Drivers for Pound Growth

According to the latest data published by the UK's National Statistics Office, the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 0.6% year-over-year in Q2, exceeding expectations of 0.4% and up from 0.5% in the previous quarter. While this positive trend is certainly encouraging, the UK's 0.6% growth rate is 3.5 times lower than the comparable figure in the United States, which stands at 2.1%. Therefore, any commentary on which economy is stronger is unnecessary.

Strategists from ING, the largest banking group in the Netherlands, believe that GBP/USD rose in the second half of the past week solely due to a correction in the U.S. dollar. According to them, there are no tangible catalysts related to the United Kingdom that would justify a sustained increase in the British currency at this stage.

Analysts at UOB Group anticipate that GBP/USD could fluctuate within a fairly broad range of 1.2100-1.2380 over the next 1-3 weeks. However, Wells Fargo strategists expect the pair to continue its decline, reaching the 1.1600 zone in early 2024, where it last traded in November 2022. The likelihood of such a move is corroborated by signals from the Bank of England suggesting that the interest rate on the pound may have peaked.

GBP/USD closed the past week at the 1.2202 mark. Analyst opinions on the pair's near-term future are split, offering no clear direction: 40% are bullish on the pair, another 40% are bearish, and the remaining 20% have adopted a neutral stance. Among trend indicators and oscillators on the daily chart (D1), 90% are painted in red, while 10% are in green. Should the pair move downward, it will encounter support levels and zones at 1.2120-1.2145, 1.2085, 1.1960, and 1.1800. Conversely, if the pair rises, it will face resistance at 1.2270, 1.2330, 1.2440-1.2450, 1.2510, 1.2550-1.2575, 1.2600-1.2615, 1.2690-1.2710, 1.2760, and 1.2800-1.2815.

No significant events related to the United Kingdom's economy are anticipated for the upcoming week.

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