For those following the euro’s close encounters with parity, the currency played a game of tease earlier today. In the European session, EUR/USD dropped to parity with the US dollar, a line of psychological importance. However, the euro would not budge any lower, and is currently at 1.0068 in the North American session, up 0.28% today. I would not be surprised if EUR/USD does break below parity in the coming days, for the first time in some twenty years.
German confidence plunges
Germany’s ZEW Economic Sentiment has been stuck in negative territory for months, indicative of strong pessimism about the economic outlook. The July release earlier today fell to -53.8, down sharply from -28.0 in June and missing the consensus of -38.3. The eurozone economy is grappling with soaring inflation and the war in Ukraine shows every indication of dragging on. The Nordstream 1 pipeline, the main channel for Russian oil to Germany, closed for maintenance on Monday and there are fears that Moscow could decide to keep the pipeline closed. This would prove a nightmarish scenario for Germany, with winter only a few months away.
The US dollar stormed out of the gates on Monday, buoyed by a stronger than expected non-farm payroll report on Friday. The economy produced 372 thousand jobs in June, well above the estimate of 268 thousand and close to the May release of 384 thousand (revised from 390 thousand). The unemployment rate remained at 3.9% and wages rose by 0.3%, which means that the Fed has a clear path to move ahead with a second straight 75bp hike at the July meeting. The Fed is not taking any prisoners in its battle against inflation and is clearly willing to deliver 75bp salvos until inflation eases. It wasn’t long ago that a 50bp hike was considered a massive move; now such an increase would barely raise an eyebrow.
The US releases inflation on Wednesday, a key release that could move the US dollar. Headline CPI is expected to rise from 8.6% to 8.8%, and if inflation does move higher, it would likely cement a 75bp move from the Fed and send the dollar higher. Conversely, a surprise drop in inflation would raise hopes that inflation has peaked and the Fed might resort to a 50bp increase, sending the dollar lower.
- EUR/USD tested support at 1.0018 in the European session. Below, there is support at 0.9889
- There is resistance at 1.0124 and 1.0242
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