We’re seeing limited movement in the currency markets this week, which is not uncommon during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Trading volume remains thin and the data calendar is very light. In the North American session, EUR/USD is trading at 1.0649, up 0.35%.
The US released unemployment claims today, one of the highlights in a quiet week. Initial jobless claims climbed as expected to 225,000, up from 216,000. A rise in week-to-week claims should not alarm investors, as there is bound to be some fluctuation in the releases. The 4-week moving average, which smooths out these fluctuations, remained virtually unchanged at 221,000.
Will Spain’s CPI continue to decline?
There are no tier-1 releases out of Germany or the eurozone this week. On Friday, Spain releases CPI for December, and inflation in the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy could signal what to expect from next week’s German and eurozone inflation releases. Inflation in Spain has been steadily dropping, from a peak of 10.8% in July to 6.8% in November. The downtrend is expected to continue in December, with a consensus of 6.1%.
The ECB has sent out hawkish messages lately, with Vice-President Luis de Guindos saying last week that “Increases of 50 basis points may become the new norm in the near term.” De Guindos added that the ECB was concerned that the markets might underestimate the persistence of inflation. Fed Chair Jerome Powell would wholeheartedly agree, as the Fed has found it tough going to convince the markets that it remains hawkish and plans to continue raising rates into 2023.
The markets jumped on a couple of soft US inflation reports as an indication that the Fed would pivot and become dovish, sending the US dollar sharply lower. It was only after a hawkish Fed meeting earlier this month that the markets seemed to get Powell’s message. Still, the Fed remains concerned that such speculation could loosen market conditions and complicate the Fed’s painstaking battle to curb inflation.
- EUR/USD is testing resistance at 1.0660. Above, there is resistance at 1.0746
- 1.0574 and 1.0488 are providing support
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