EUR/USD – Euro Edges Higher, German and Eurozone Manufacturing PMIs Meet Estimates

The euro continues to have a quiet week. In the Thursday session, the pair is trading at 1.2443, up 0.15% on the day. On the release front, market estimates for German and Eurozone Final Manufacturing PMIs were on the money. The German release came in at 61.1, just shy of the estimate of 61.2 points. The eurozone indicator dipped to 59.6, matching the estimate. In the US, there are two key events. Unemployment claims are expected to rise to 237 thousand, and the markets are expecting ISM Manufacturing PMI to slow to 58.7 points. On Friday, the eurozone releases PPI. In the US, the focus will be on employment reports, with the release of wage growth, nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate.

The Federal Reserve held the course on interest rate policy on Wednesday, as expected. In the rate statement, policymakers said that they expected the economy to continue to expand at a moderate pace and that the labor market would remain strong in 2018. What was more noteworthy was that the Fed predicted that inflation would rise to the Fed’s 2 percent target this year. This marks an upgrade in the inflation forecast, as the December statement said that inflation was expected to “remain somewhat below 2 percent.” Higher inflation is likely to open the door to tighter monetary policy, and the Fed appears on track for three, or even four rate hikes in 2018, assuming that the US economy remains strong. This policy meeting was the last under Janet Yellen, as Jerome Powell will take over as Fed chair on February 3. The slightly hawkish tone of the rate statement has raised the odds of a rate hike to 83% when the Fed next meets in March.

Inflation levels in the eurozone pointed upwards in 2017, but softened in January. Eurozone CPI Flash Estimate came in at 1.3%, as inflation remains well below the ECB target of around 2 percent. Lower inflation gives the ECB some breathing room regarding its stimulus program (QE), which is scheduled to terminate in September. A stronger eurozone economy has raised speculation that the ECB could wind up QE and shift to normative policy, and perhaps even raise interest rates. However, ECB policymakers have been cautious, trying to keep in check any market enthusiasm about a major change in policy. Last week, ECB President Mario Draghi went as far as saying that QE could be extended or increased if necessary.

EUR/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (February 1)

  • 3:15 Spanish Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 55.7. Actual 55.2
  • 3:45 Italian Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 57.7. Actual 59.0
  • 3:50 French Final Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 58.1. Actual 58.4
  • 3:55 German Final Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 61.2. Actual 61.1
  • 4:00 Eurozone Final Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 59.6. Actual 59.6
  • 5:00 French 10-year Bond Auction. Actual 0.98%
  • 7:30 US Challenger Job Cuts
  • 8:30 US Preliminary Nonfarm Productivity. Estimate 0.8%
  • 8:30 US Preliminary Unit Labor Costs. Estimate 0.9%
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 237K
  • 9:45 US Final Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 55.5
  • 10:00 ISM Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 58.7
  • 10:00 US Construction Spending. Estimate 0.4%
  • 10:00 US ISM Manufacturing Prices. Estimate 68.3
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -102B
  • All Day – US Total Vehicle Sales. Estimate 17.2M

Friday (February 2)

  • 5:00 Eurozone PPI. Estimate 0.3%
  • 8:30 US Average Hourly Earnings. Estimate 0.2%
  • 8:30 US Nonfarm Employment Change. Estimate 181K
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Rate. Estimate 4.1%
  • 10:00 US Revised UoM Consumer Sentiment. Estimate 95.0

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

EUR/USD for February 1, 2018

EUR/USD for February 1 at 6:25 EDT

Open: 1.2414 High: 1.2451 Low: 1.2385 Close: 1.2433

EUR/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2200 1.2286 1.2357 1.2481 1.2569 1.2677

EUR/USD was flat in the Asian session. In European trade, the pair dipped but has reversed directions and moved higher

  • 1.2357 is providing support
  • 1.2481 is the next line of resistance

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2357, 1.2286, 1.2200 and 1.1961
  • Above: 1.2481, 1.2569 and 1.2677
  • Current range: 1.2357 to 1.2481

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

EUR/USD ratio continues to show limited movement this week. Currently, short positions have a majority (59%), indicative of EUR/USD reversing directions and moving lower.

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.