EUR/USD – Calm Before the Storm? Euro Steady Ahead of QE Decision

EUR/USD is showing little movement on Wednesday, as the pair trades in the high-1.15 range in the European session. There are no Eurozone releases today, but the markets will be counting down the hours until the ECB policy meeting on Thursday, which is likely to see a QE announcement. In the US, it’s been a very quiet week. We’ll get a look at the first major events of the week, with the release of Building Permits and Housing Starts for December. The markets are expecting slight improvement from both indicators.

As the markets nervously eye the ECB policy meeting on Thursday, is this the calm before the storm? On Wednesday, French President Francois Hollande stated flat out that the ECB will announce a quantitative easing package at the ECB meeting. However, now that a QE is likely priced in, the question remains what will be the size of the program? The markets are anticipating QE of between EUR 500-600 billion, but some market players are saying that the ECB could go as high as EUR 800 billionWill the euro take a hit on Thursday? The likelihood is yes, unless the ECB surprises with a “QE lite”, such as EUR 300 billion, which would be well below expectations.

There was excellent news out of Germany on Wednesday, as ZEW Economic Sentiment climbed to 48.4 points, crushing the estimate of 40.1 points. This marked the indicator’s highest level in 11 months, pointing to strong optimism among German investors and analysts. Eurozone Economic Sentiment, improving to 45.2 points. This easily surpassed the forecast of 37.6 points. The news was not as positive on the inflation front, as German PPI dropped 0.7%, its worst showing since April 2009. With the Eurozone struggling with deflation, there is growing expectation that the ECB will announce a QE package at its policy meeting on Thursday.

EUR/USD for Wednesday, January 21, 2015

EUR/USD January 21 at 10:00 GMT

EUR/USD 1.1571 H: 1.1588 L: 1.1542

 

EUR/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.1340 1.1426 1.1525 1.1634 1.1734 1.1802

 

  • EUR/USD has shown little movement in the Asian or European sessions.
  • 1.1525 remains an immediate support level.
  • 1.1634 is the next resistance line. 1.1734 follows.
  • Current range: 1.1525 to 1.1634

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.1525, 1.1426, 1.1340 and 1.1154
  • Above: 1.1634, 1.1734, 1.1802, 1.1926 and 1.2042

 

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

EUR/USD ratio is unchanged on Wednesday, continuing the trend which has marked the ratio all week. This is consistent with the lack of the movement from the pair. The ratio currently has a majority of short positions, indicative of trader bias towards the euro losing ground.

EUR/USD Fundamentals

  • 13:30 US Building Permits. Estimate 1.06M.
  • 13:30 US Housing Starts. Estimate 1.04M.

*Key releases are highlighted in bold

*All release times are GMT

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Kenny Fisher joined OANDA in 2012 as a Currency Analyst. Kenny writes a daily column about current economic and political developments affecting the major currency pairs, with a focus on fundamental analysis. Kenny began his career in forex at Bendix Foreign Exchange in Toronto, where he worked as a Corporate Account Manager for over seven years.