30 / 04 / 2018 | Technical Analysis

Technical Analysis 30.04.2018 - EUR/JPY: Ichimoku clouds

Let's look at the four-hour chart. Tenkan-sen line is below Kijun-sen, the red line is directed downwards, while the blue one remains horizontal. Confirmative line Chikou Span is below the price chart, current cloud has reversed from ascending to descending. The instrument has been corrected to the Tenkan-sen line. The closest support level is Tenkan-sen line (132.17). The closest resistance level is the upper border of the cloud (132.42).



On the daily chart Tenkan-sen line is above Kijun-sen, both lines are directed upwards. Confirmative line Chikou Span is above the price chart, current cloud has reversed from descending to ascending. The instrument is trading between Tenkan-sen and Kijun-sen lines. The closest support level is the upper border of the cloud (132.00). The closest resistance level is Tenkan-sen line (132.69).



The Technical Analysis is provided by Claws and Horns (Cyprus) Limited, an independent analytical company. Any views and opinions expressed are explicitly those of the writer. Any information contained in the article, is believed to be reliable, and has not been verified by STO and is not guaranteed to be accurate. References to specific products, are for illustrative purposes only and are not a form of solicitation, recommendation or investment advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.
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30 / 04 / 2018 | Market News

Fundamental Analysis 30.04.2018 - Market Outlook

UK Q1 gross domestic product (GDP) figures came in at +0.1% qoq instead of +0.3% qoq as expected (+0.4% qoq previous), causing the pound to fall. The odds of a rate hike at the 10 May 2018 meeting fell to 24% from 59% the day before the figure came out. 

Investors will be looking closely at the UK purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs) this week to gauge whether the economy has managed to recover any in Q2. The manufacturing PMI comes out tomorrow, the construction PMI on Wednesday 2 May 2018, and service-sector PMI on Thursday 3 May 2018. The manufacturing PMI is expected to be lower, while the other two are expected to be higher, with the construction PMI predicted to return to expansionary territory as the weather improved and the rise in the service-sector PMI forecast to be enough to push the composite PMI higher overall. Sentiment for the pound may have taken a hit. 



Other currencies’ movements seemed quite subdued by comparison. The counterpart of GBP weakness was EUR strength.

Today’s market

The European trading day starts out with the German consumer price index (CPI) data. It begins with the state of Saxony, progresses through the country, and later in the day the national figure comes out, although by this time economists have a pretty good idea of what it’s likely to be. The consensus forecast is for unchanged – prices are expected to be unchanged mom, and the yoy rate of increase is expected to be unchanged. In any case, today’s data is expected to corroborate last week’s observation from European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi that “measures of underlying inflation remain subdued and have yet to show convincing signs of a sustained upward trend.” It could be EUR-negative. 



When the US comes in, there’s a slew of information from the US personal income and spending data, which also brings with it the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) deflators. Among all this data, the PCE deflators show much better correlation with the subsequent movement of the exchange rate than the personal income & spending figures do. 

Between the two PCE deflators, the core PCE deflator shows the best correlation with subsequent Forex movements. That’s as it should be, since the core PCE deflator is assumed to be the Federal Reserve (Fed)’s preferred inflation gauge. The things to watch here are how the mom rate of change of the PCE deflator and the yoy rate of change of the core deflator come in relative to estimates. The core deflator is more important, but as it doesn’t change very much, the market usually gets it right. 

This month however note that the core rate is expected to jump to 1.9% yoy from 1.6% yoy, while the headline figure is expected to reach 2.0%, the Fed’s inflation target. The rise is partially due to changes in cellular data service prices. Nonetheless, with the Q1 core PCE rising at a 2.5% qoq seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) pace and today’s headline figure expected to be back at the Fed’s target level, there should be some interesting discussions about inflation at this week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. 



As for the personal income and spending data, income is expected to rise at about the trend rate nowadays, as you might expect given the solid gains in jobs and average earnings recently. Spending however is expected to rise more than in the last two months but still remain a bit below trend. 



 Pending home sales are forecast to be up only a bit. This is quite an erratic series recently but the six-month moving average seems to be bouncing around zero to negative.



The Dallas Fed manufacturing index has a weak correlation with the subsequent movement in the exchange rate, but it is followed by a significant number of Forex moves greater than ±0.1%. The index is expected to be up only slightly. The Empire State index was down somewhat, but the Philly Fed index was up slightly and the Kansas City Fed index jumped. A modest rise would be right in the middle, perhaps the median so far. This could be USD-neutral.



Overnight, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) meets. The market now doesn’t think the RBA is likely to hike rates until April 2019 or more likely May 2019.



The Fundamental Analysis is provided by Marshall Gittler who is an external service provider of Claws and Horns (Cyprus) Limited, an independent analytical company. Any views and opinions expressed are explicitly those of the writer. Any information contained in the article, is believed to be reliable, and has not been verified by STO and is not guaranteed to be accurate. References to specific products, are for illustrative purposes only and are not a form of solicitation, recommendation or investment advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

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30 / 04 / 2018 | Market News

RBA's meeting in the spotlight

On Tuesday May 1st  2018, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is going to announce its decision on interest rates. The Australian economy is one of the largest mixed market economies in the world and the 14th largest national economy by nominal GDP (Gross Domestic Product) according to a World Bank Survey, titled “GDP Ranking” and published in July 2017.  Despite the May 1st bank holiday, other important data such as New Zealand’s unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2018 (Q1 2018) is going to be released giving analysts the opportunity to scrutinize it. 

RBA’s board convenes

On Tuesday May 1st 2018, the RBA’s governing council is going to meet to decide on the RBA’s benchmark interest rates. Their decision may affect the exchange rate of the Australian Dollar against its major competitor currencies in the global Forex (foreign exchange) markets. Economists forecast that the RBA’s board will likely decide to keep interest rates unchanged. Currently the RBA’s benchmark interest rate stands at 1.5%. The RBA’s meeting will be followed by the release of the Bank’s statement which will explain the decision. 

A poll by Reuters, published on April 27th 2018, showed that 40 out of the 41 economists polled forecast that the RBA will keep the interest rate steady at the upcoming meeting. According to the poll’s results, the majority of economists predicts that the RBA won’t proceed in raising or lowering borrowing costs until the end of 2018 as the central bank of Australia awaits a pickup in wage price inflation. Half of the 41 economists polled said that they expect the next rate hike in March 2019. 

In its previous meeting, on April 3rd 2018, the RBA’s governing board kept the benchmark interest rate on hold at 1.5%. April 2018 was the 20th consecutive month that the interest rate was maintained at the record low of 1.5%. There hasn’t been an interest rate hike since the RBA’s monetary policy meeting in November 2010. The last time that the RBA’s board lowered the benchmark interest rate was in August 2016. 

Analysts suggest that the RBA won’t hike rates until some time in 2019 because of the sluggish wage growth in Australia in combination with a cooling housing market. A report by Commerzbank, released on April 24th 2018, said that Australian inflation data is unlikely to provide an argument for the RBA raising rates. Commerzbank’s economists note that ‘inflation remains stuck to the lower bound of the RBA’s target range again in Q1 2018. Core inflation measures have occasionally touched the lower bound of the 2-3% target range, coming in at 1.9-2%.’ The report also gives special attention to the US-China trade conflict which, according to the bank’s analysts, could represent a significant headwind to the Australian’s economy growth. 

New Zealand’s unemployment rate

On Tuesday May 1st 2018, Statistics New Zealand, which is the official statistical office of New Zealand, will publish data regarding the country’s labour market. Economists forecast that the data will show that New Zealand’s unemployment rate stood at 4.5% in the first quarter of 2018 and that the participation rate stood at 71%. A decrease of the unemployment rate or the increase in the participation rate could mean that New Zealand’s labour market is expanding and could boost the New Zealand Dollar. 

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27 / 04 / 2018 | Technical Analysis

Technical Analysis 27.04.2018 - AUD/JPY: Ichimoku clouds

Let's look at the four-hour chart. Tenkan-sen line is below Kijun-sen, the lines are horizontal . Confirmative line Chikou Span is below the price chart, current cloud is descending. The instrument is trading below Tenkan-sen and Kijun-sen lines; the Bearish trend is still strong. One of the previous minimums of Chikou Span line is expected to be a support level (82.30). The closest resistance level is Tenkan-sen line (82.65).



On the daily chart Tenkan-sen line is above Kijun-sen, the red line is directed downwards, while the blue one remains horizontal. Confirmative line Chikou Span has crossed the price chart from below, current cloud is going to reverse from descending to ascending. The instrument is trading around lower border of the cloud. The closest support level is Kijun-sen line (82.25). The closest resistance level is the upper border of the cloud (82.95).



The Technical Analysis is provided by Claws and Horns (Cyprus) Limited, an independent analytical company. Any views and opinions expressed are explicitly those of the writer. Any information contained in the article, is believed to be reliable, and has not been verified by STO and is not guaranteed to be accurate. References to specific products, are for illustrative purposes only and are not a form of solicitation, recommendation or investment advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

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27 / 04 / 2018 | Market News

Fundamental Analysis 27.04.2018 - Market Outlook

Market Recap

The market reaction to the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting was unusual. The overall impression Mario Draghi gave was one of confidence that although momentum weakened somewhat at the start of the year, Eurozone growth remains strong and the ECB remains confident that it will achieve its inflation target. That initially lent some support to EUR and the dollar moved lower across the board. 

Yet shortly afterwards, the dollar took off and EUR/USD fell back well below where it was before the ECB meeting. It looks like the FX market was encouraged by the strong opening on Wall Street, which ended up 1%, with the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations exchange (NASDAQ) up 1.6%. It’s noticeable that the dollar gained across the board even though US 10-year bond yields fell back to 2.97% from 3.03%. The dollar may also have been helped by a much better-than-expected advance goods trade balance figure – the US trade deficit narrowed to $68.0bn in March 2018, vs $75.0bn expected ($75.9bn previously).

JPY gained during the day. This could be due to the narrowing interest rate differential as US yields fell, but that doesn’t seem to have hindered USD vs any other currencies. Furthermore, the news about JPY could have been considered as quite negative as the Tokyo Consumer Price Index (CPI) missed the already negative estimates – headline inflation fell to +0.5% yoy from +1.0% yoy (0.8% yoy expected) and core inflation slowed to +0.3% yoy from +0.5% yoy (0.5% yoy expected).  

On top of that, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) meeting if anything was negative for the currency too. The only change the BoJ made was to remove the reference to hitting the 2% inflation target around FY2019. That could mean they’re going to keep their policy on indefinitely. Admittedly, it could also mean that they reserve the right to exit the policy even if they haven’t hit the 2% target.

Today’s market

The day starts out with the French Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the Spanish GDP (not shown). French GDP is expected to slow notably on a qoq basis. 


UK GDP will be the next important data release.

The qoq rate of growth is expected to slow modestly, owing in part to bad weather, which particularly dampened construction. But given the change in the weather – 19 April 2018 was the hottest April day in Britain for nearly 70 years – it’s likely that activity will bounce back in Q2. A result in line with the market consensus forecast might not be seen as particularly worrisome and could even boost expectations of a May 2018 rate hike, currently standing at 59%. This could be GBP-positive

Note that as usual, the qoq and yoy forecasts are made using different data pools, so they are not necessarily the same forecast. It’s possible for the figure to miss one but hit the other. Between the two, the qoq  figure could be considered to be the more closely watched. 


Later on in the day we get the first estimate of US Q1 GDP. This is a major indicator for the US economy. The consensus forecast is that growth slowed significantly, but the consensus forecast has been wrong for Q1 ever since the end of the Global Financial Crisis, perhaps because of some problems with the seasonal adjustment factors. In any event, with some uncertainty surrounding the number, it’s unlikely that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) would change its planned trajectory for rates based on a weak turnout today.


In fact, other series that come out at the same time may be considered to be even more important, because they will give a better reading on inflation. First, growth in the GDP price index is expected to slow slightly, but the core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) deflator is forecast to leap higher to 2.6% yoy. The core PCE deflator is the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) preferred measure of inflation. With this key indicator well above the 2% target, the Fed could claim victory on both sides of its dual mandate and proceed to normalize interest rates with few objections.


Adding to the positive news on inflation, the employment cost index (ECI) is expected to accelerate somewhat on a qoq basis, continuing the gradual upwards trend that’s been in place since 2016. However the year-ago quarter was even higher, so a qoq result in line with market expectations would cause the yoy rate of change to slow to +2.5% yoy from +2.6% yoy. It remains to be seen which figure the market focuses on.  The qoq acceleration could be considered to be more important than the yoy deceleration; after all, the Q1 2017 reading was the fastest growth in nearly 10 years, since before the Global Financial Crisis. If the market interprets this index too as showing mounting inflationary pressures, then speculation about a fourth rate hike this year could pick up and the dollar could appreciate further.

As for the other indicators, German unemployment is expected to fall by 15k while the unemployment rate is expected to stay unchanged at 5.3%. These are the same forecasts as last month – and they weren’t far off the mark then. These numbers could be consistent with a moderation in growth, which is basically what most people perceive is going on in Europe anyway, and so could be neutral for EUR.


Swiss National Bank (SNB) president Thomas Jordan and Jean Studer, chairman of the supervisory board, will speak at the SNB’s annual general meeting. Thomas Jordan said over the weekend that the rise of EUR/CHF back above the 1.20 floor is no reason to abandon negative interest rates and FX intervention. If he continues with that theme then it could give the pair a modest boost. 

The Fundamental Analysis is provided by Marshall Gittler who is an external service provider of Claws and Horns (Cyprus) Limited, an independent analytical company. Any views and opinions expressed are explicitly those of the writer. Any information contained in the article, is believed to be reliable, and has not been verified by STO and is not guaranteed to be accurate. References to specific products, are for illustrative purposes only and are not a form of solicitation, recommendation or investment advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

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27 / 04 / 2018 | Market News

Oil prices rise

Everyday people use car or motorbike to go to work. Commuting to work or transporting the members of your family to their activities requires fuel. Drivers around the world have seen  fuel prices rising considerably in recent months, adding extra expenses to family budgets. The problem of rising oil prices becomes even bigger in countries where heavy taxes are imposed on fuel.

On March 2nd 2018, the price of Brent crude oil stood at $63.5 per barrel. Almost two months later, on April 26th 2018, a barrel of Brent crude oil cost $73.2. The increase of the Brent crude oil barrel’s price by $10 in less than sixty days is a key discussion topic in the financial markets as the oil price affects economic activity across the world.

Oil price rises

The Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid Al-Falih hosted a meeting of OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and non-OPEC producer countries in Jeddah. The oil minister told reporters that he hasn’t seen any impact on oil demand attributed to the current elevated rises. He also mentioned that in his opinion “there is the capacity for higher prices.” During the past week the United States (US) President Donald Trump scrambled to respond to the comments made by the Saudi Arabian minister by accusing the OPEC for manipulating the oil prices which, according to his words, “the US won’t accept.”

A Bloomberg report, published on April 22nd 2018, noted that the current oil market environment reminisces that of April 2008 when the Libyan oil minister Shukri Ghanem had said that “the world economy has not reached the tipping point where it can’t accept anymore higher prices.” When this comment was made by the Libyan minister, the price of the WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil per barrel was hovering around $116. The crude oil price continued to rise for three months and in the first days of July 2008 reached the $145 per barrel mark. Unfortunately for the oil producing countries which have their economies based on oil, the crude oil price per barrel fell to below $40 by December of 2008. 

OPEC and concerns about prices

In May 2017, OPEC ministers had a meeting after which they had concluded that $50 per barrel was a good price for crude oil. Seven months later, in December 2017, OPEC ministers convened and told reporters that $70 per barrel is a “fair” price. Oil market analysts are trying to gather data based on which they could forecast the direction of the oil’s price. An OPEC survey noted that global demand is increasing by 1.6 million barrels per day, looking robust. If the figure given by OPEC analysts is confirmed, 2018 would be the fourth consecutive year in which oil demand would be growing by more than 1.5 million barrels per day. 

In its April 2018 Commodity Markets Outlook, the World Bank noted that oil prices are expected to average $65 per barrel in 2018 driven by strong consumer demand and OPEC’s continued cuts. The World Bank revised its forecast regarding energy commodities prices upwards by 20% in 2018, which is a 16 percentage points upward revision from the World Bank’s previous commodity outlook published in October 2017. 

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