The euro continues to have a calm week. In the North American session, EUR/USD is showing little movement as it trades a whisker above the parity line.
Eurozone inflation tops 9%
Inflation in the eurozone continues to move higher. In August, CPI rose to 9.1%, up from the July gain of 8.9%, which was a record high. Core inflation climbed to 4.3%, up from 4.0%. With both the headline and core readings exceeding the forecast of 9.0% and 4.1%, respectively, there will be additional pressure on the ECB to tighten policy more at an accelerated pace. The central bank has been slow to shift its accommodative policy, which was in place for years in order to support the eurozone economy.
The ECB now finds itself playing catch-up with inflation, and is also far behind in the tightening cycle compared to other major central banks, with a benchmark rate of just 0.50%. Inflationary pressures remain broad-based, which means inflation is well-supported and unlikely to decline anytime soon. The eurozone inflation report comes just a day after Germany, the largest economy in the bloc, reported that August inflation jumped to 7.9%, up from 7.5% in July and nudging above the forecast of 7.8%. The central bank meets next on September 8th, and there is a strong possibility that the ECB could come out with guns blazing and deliver a super-size 75 basis point increase.
A potential energy crisis in Europe continues to hover like a dark cloud, and the uncertainty over whether Moscow will weaponise energy exports remains a massive concern. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been shuttered for a scheduled three-day maintenance, but there are fears that Russia will find some excuse and not renew gas flows on Saturday. Any disruptions would likely push European gas prices even higher. In the meantime, the waiting game is on, with Western Europe on edge while it anxiously waits for the gas taps to be turned back on.
- EUR/USD has support at 0.9985 and 0.9880
- 1.0068 is a weak resistance line, followed by 1.0173
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