Thursday, April 21, 2016

Forex majors consolidating in front of the ECB meeting

Market OverviewStrong gains in the oil price have helped market sentiment to improve, although forex markets look to largely consolidate as traders prepare for the latest meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB) which announces monetary policy today. The ECB is unlikely to move on rates, but Mario Draghi is expected to continue to bang the drum for the policy measures introduced at the last meeting and suggest that more can be done if needed. Equity markets pushed higher on Wall Street but the S&P 500 closed off its highs of the day and only just managed +0.1% gains. The Asian markets were higher across the board with the Nikkei up 2.4% and European indices are also in positive mood.Forex markets show little real direction today ahead of the ECB which is a driver of volatility across the majors. There is a slight air of a dollar correction after yesterday's gains, but the move is only slight. The gold price has jumped strongly again after yesterday's corrective move, adding around $15 so far, whilst the oil price is also showing further gains of around half a percent.Aside from the ECB, traders will be looking out for UK Retail Sales at 0930BST with an expectation of a slight dip to +3.7% ex-autos year on year. US weekly jobless claims at 1330BST are expected to rise slightly to 263,000 (from 253,000 last week). The US Philly Fed business index is expected to show a slight dip but to still remain above zero at 8.9 (down from 12.4).
Chart of the Day – SilverWith a run higher from the 2015 closing level of $13.83 the price of silver has rallied over 26% in 2016, however with Tuesday's incredible run higher continuing today, is this still a price to be chasing for further gains? Looking back over the past 18 months, silver has had several strong bull runs, but so often they move into overbought territory on the RSI (above 70) and the profit-takers move in. Yesterday we saw the RSI up at almost 79 which is its highest level since July 2014. The RSI up at these extreme levels does not necessarily mean an immediate correction, and the next real resistance is not until the May high at $17.80, with $18.50 the next key resistance. However history tells us that the price is often susceptible after a strong run and this means we need to be on the lookout for profit-taking signals. The price is trading well outside the 2.0 standard deviation Bollinger Bands (the upper band is at around $17.20) so watch out for a close back inside the band now. The hourly chart is still strong but is also just beginning to show a few signs of momentum fatigue. Yesterday's reaction low at $16.80 has now become a near term key support to watch. For now expect a test of $17.80 but The concern for the bulls woul d be that a correction setting in could unwind the price back to $16.15 which was a long term key breakout resistance that is now supportive.Silver
EUR/USDThe near term outlook for the euro has flipped again as an intraday sell-off yesterday afternoon has formed a bearish engulfing candle and has put a far more negative aspect to the chart once more. The momentum indicators remain mixed with the RSI around 50 and the Stochastics flattening, whilst the MACD lines continue to drift. However, I do not see this as the beginning of a big euro sell-off and the market is probably just positioning for the ECB meeting today. The intraday hourly chart shows resistance in at $1.1385 with the initial support at $1.1270 being tested. With the ECB highly unlikely to move on rates at 1245BST there may be some volatility around Mario Draghi's press conference at 1330BST. The supports come in at $1.1240 and further back at $1.1140.EURUSD
GBP/USDThe three day rally on Cable seems to be petering out as a corrective candle formed yesterday. This candle resistance came at $1.4410 (interestingly an old pivot too) once more around the underside of the old downtrend channel and also under the late March high at $1.4460, which maintains the sell into strength argument. The RSI has also once more looked to fail around the 60 point. The hourly chart shows the loss of the impetus in the recovery, whilst the dip back is now testing the old pivot band around $1.4320. A decisive breach of this pivot today would re-open the support at $1.4240.GBPUSD
USD/JPYThe rally on the dollar has now formed three consecutive bull candles which have seen a move from a low at 107.80 to now push 200 pips higher to close above the resistance at 109.73. The closing breakout was though only by a matter of a few pips but still reflects that the near term outlook is looking to continue the recovery. The near term technicals also reflect this with the Stochastics and MACD lines both rising. I do still believe this to be a bear market rally and for the move to be counter-trend with significant overhead resistance around 110.60/111. This is theoretically a base pattern now but looking at the hourly chart this move should still be treated with some caution as the hourly indicators roll over and the price has failed to trade clear of resistance in any decisive manner. There i s now a band of support between 108.70/109.50 for the bulls to contemplate their next move.USDJPY
GoldEven though there is a slight bullish bias to the technical indicators still on gold, the trading range remains intact and the resistance levels overhead are still a barrier to gains. The April high at $1262 is still a key marker and is coming under pressure in the early moves today, whilst there is then resistance up towards $1282. However the moment um indicators retain their marginally positive configuration and the Stochastics again turning up is certainly supportive. Watch for a move on the RSI which failed at 60 for the April high, as if this were to be trumped then it would suggest bullish momentum was building. The hourly chart shows that once more the pivot at $1243 acted as a key near term indicator and is supportive. The moves in the past couple of days have been rather choppy so it would be wise to wait for confirmation before trading a breakout.Gold
WTI OilThe initial early sell-off in yesterday's session dissipated into the afternoon and an incredible intraday rally has resulted in a hugely bullish candle and a strong upside break. The resistance at $42.40 was then broken as the price soared into the close on a couple of fundamental factors. The EIA crude oil inventories were slightly lower than expected, and the potential for Russia to re-join talks over a production freeze (which have since been denied). The result has been for a breakout to a multi-month high as the incredible volatility continues. The rolling over to the June contract has pulled the price into the $44s now too. The momentum is strong and clearly there is an appetite to support oil now. The bulls are clearly in control now with the $43.50 medium term target now reached.WTI Oil
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