US Government Shutdown Shrugged Off

Next 24 hours: Government Shutdown? No Problem.

Today’s report: US Government Shutdown Shrugged Off

There was plenty of risk into the weekend, with investors needing to worry about a possible US government shutdown and the outlook for the German government. But as it all got going early Monday, there wasn't much fallout at all from the risk.

Wake-up call

Chart talk: Major markets technical overview video

Chart talk: Technical & fundamental highlights

EURUSD – technical overview

Though the Euro has seen a nice run of late, there is still plenty of room to run, after the market took out the 2017 high. The break sets up a bullish continuation and the next major measured move upside extension into the 1.2600-1.2700 area, which coincides with monumental resistance in the form of a falling trend-line off the record high from 2008. In the interim, any setbacks should be very well supported ahead of 1.1900.

  • R2 1.2324 – 17Jan/2018 high– Medium
  • R1 1.2284 – 16Jan high – Medium
  • S1 1.2166 – 18Jan low – Medium
  • S2 1.2094 – Previous High – Strong

EURUSD – fundamental overview

There was plenty of weekend risk to think about, though as markets got going Monday, it became clear, none of it was going to have a major impact. It seems there was an expectation good news would come out of Germany and SPD would vote in favour of moving forward with coalition negotiations, and even though the US government would not be able to avert a shutdown, there was no panic on that front, with the view it would ultimately get resolved and short term, it would not impact financial markets. Monday’s economic calendar is super thin, with only the Chicago Fed national activity index standing out. The big event for this major pair this week, will be Thursday’s ECB decision.

GBPUSD – technical overview

The latest breakout above the 2017 high has confirmed the next higher low at 1.3025 and now opens the door for the next major extension, targeting the 1.4200-1.4300 area. Look for any setbacks to now be very well supported into the 1.3500 area, while only back below 1.3300 delays the constructive outlook.

  • R2 1.4000– Psychological– Strong
  • R1 1.3946 – 19Jan/2018 high – Strong
  • S1 1.3805 – 18Jan low – Medium
  • S2 1.3743 – 16Jan low – Strong

GBPUSD – fundamental overview

There hasn’t been much of any reaction to the US government shutdown news, and it seems market participants aren’t feeling this will have any major impact in the short term. As far as today’s calendar goes, all is quiet, with only the Chicago Fed national activity index standing out. Looking at the UK calendar for the week, the big standouts will come from Wednesday’s UK employment readings and Friday’s UK GDP. Any setbacks off the recent run has been attributed to profit taking for shorter-term accounts.

USDJPY – technical overview

The major pair has been confined to a range trade for much of 2017, with rallies well capped ahead of 115.00 and dips well supported below 108.00. The latest topside failure off the range high encourages this outlook, with the break back below 110.85 opening the door for an acceleration towards the 107.00-108.00 area range base in the days ahead. Look for any bounces to now be well capped ahead of 113.00.

  • R2 111.88 – 11Jan high – Strong
  • R1 111.49 – 18Jan high – Medium
  • S1 110.50 – 19Jan low – Medium
  • S2 110.20– 17Sep low – Strong

USDJPY – fundamental overview

The big focus for the Yen this week will be the Bank of Japan policy decision due Tuesday, with the meeting kicking off today. No change to policy is expected, though there could be some tweaks to YCC and normalization that will have an impact. Overall, the Yen has been very well bid in early 2018 despite rocketing US equities, though there are signs of capitulation on that front. This warns of even more Yen strength (USDJPY weakness) over the coming days, with a liquidation in risk correlated assets to inspire a flight back into the funding currency that is the Japanese Yen. Dealers are now talking large sell stops below 110.00, with medium term accounts targeting a drop back down to the 107.00-108.00 area. The US government shutdown news has been largely shrugged off by the market, with investors pricing a swift resolution and not expecting it to have any impact on the economic outlook. As far as today’s docket goes, the only standout is the Chicago Fed national activity index.

EURCHF – technical overview

A period of multi-day consolidation has been broken, with the market pushing up to a fresh multi-month high. The bullish break could now get the uptrend thinking about a test of that major barrier at 1.2000 further up. In the interim, look for any setbacks to be very well supported ahead of 1.1400, while only back below 1.1260 would delay the overall constructive tone.

  • R2 1.1900 – Figure – Strong
  • R1 1.1834 – 15Jan/2018 high – Medium
  • S1 1.1672 – 29Dec low – Medium
  • S2 1.1609 – 19Dec low – Strong

EURCHF – fundamental overview

The SNB will need to be careful right now, as its strategy to weaken the Franc could face headwinds from the US equity market in 2018. The record run in the US stock market has been a big boost to the SNB’s strategy with elevated sentiment encouraging Franc weakness. Of course, the SNB is no stranger to this risk, given a balance sheet with massive exposure to US equities. But any signs of capitulation on that front into this new year, will likely invite a very large wave of demand for the Franc, which will put the SNB in a more challenging position to weaken the Franc.  And so, we speculate the SNB continues to be active buying EURCHF in an attempt to build some cushion ahead of what could be a period of intense Franc demand ahead.

AUDUSD – technical overview

An impressive recovery out from the December low is starting to show signs of exhaustion, with the market looking extended and poised for reversal after stalling out around the major psychological barrier at 0.8000. A daily close back below 0.7900 will strengthen this outlook and open the door for a renewed wave of declines, while at this point, only a daily close back above 0.8000 would suggest the market wants to look to keep pushing higher.

  • R2 0.8050 – Mid-Figure – Medium
  • R1 0.8039 – 19Jan high – Strong
  • S1 0.7938 – 16Jan high – Medium
  • S2 0.7906 – 15Jan low – Strong

AUDUSD – fundamental overview

The Australian Dollar has cooled off a bit following an impressive run of gains over the past several weeks, though overall, the currency remains well bid for now. Rallying commodities prices, record high US equities and broad based negative sentiment towards the US Dollar have all been behind the demand. At the same time, dealers are starting to report offers up above 0.8000, with medium-term players less optimistic about Aussie’s prospects up here. Interestingly, the news of the US government shutdown hasn’t been a bother to the market, with participants expecting a quick resolution, that ultimately, will have no impact on US government operations and the global economy. Looking at today’s calendar, the only standout is the Chicago Fed national activity index.

USDCAD – technical overview

Despite the latest round of setbacks, there are signs of basing in this pair, after the recovery from plus two year lows back in September extended through an important resistance point in the form of the August peak. This sets the stage for additional upside, with the next focus on a retest of the psychological barrier at 1.3000. In the interim, any setbacks should now be well supported ahead of 1.2300. Back above 1.2591 will strengthen the outlook.

  • R2 1.2591– 11Jan high – Strong
  • R1 1.2509 – 19Jan high – Medium
  • S1 1.2398 – 16Jan low – Medium
  • S2 1.2356 – 6Jan low – Strong

USDCAD – fundamental overview

The Canadian Dollar did a good job pricing in last week’s Bank of Canada hike, with the Loonie underperforming since, on the back of the more cautious message accompanying the decision. Overall, Canada’s recovery is still somewhat fragile, and this coupled with an unstable macro picture and plenty of uncertainty around the fate of NAFTA, should be keeping the Canadian Dollar from wanting to run much higher. The US government shutdown news hasn’t been having any major impact on Monday price action thus far. Looking ahead, the calendar is exceptionally thin, with only the Chicago Fed national activity index standing out.

NZDUSD – technical overview

The market has done a good job recovering off the 2017 low from November, though additional upside could now be limited after overshooting a measured move objective in the 0.7200 area off an inverse head and shoulders formation. Overall, there is still medium term risk tilted to the downside and it will take a clear establishment back above 0.7400 to delay the bearish outlook and risk for another reversal. Look for a daily close back below 0.7200 to strengthen this outlook.

  • R2 0.7350 – Mid-Figure – Medium
  • R1 0.7332 – 17Jan high – Medium
  • S1 0.7235 – 17Jan low – Medium
  • S2 0.7183 – 11Jan low – Strong

NZDUSD – fundamental overview

The New Zealand Dollar looks like it finally could be running out of gas after an impressive recovery out from the 2017 low that was set in November. Last week’s impressive GDT auction helped to support the market, though subsequent slides in ANZ commodity prices and home sales offset. Overall, Kiwi strength has been in reaction to the broader flow of Dollar weakness, record stocks and recovering commodities prices. But with US equities capable of rolling over at any moment and sentiment at risk of deteriorating, the market could be getting ready to sell into this rally. The US government hasn’t been able to avoid a shutdown, though this isn’t worrying the market at the moment. Looking ahead, the calendar is exceptionally thin, with only the Chicago Fed national activity index standing out.

US SPX 500 – technical overview

The market continues to shrug off severely overextended technical readings, with any setbacks quickly supported for fresh record highs. Still, technical readings are tracking well overbought and are in desperate need for a period of healthy corrective action. Ultimately however, it will take a break back below 2740 at a minimum to alleviate immediate topside pressure.

  • R2 2850.00 – Extension Target – Strong
  • R1 2814.00 – 19Jan/Record high – Medium
  • S1 2740.00 – 10Jan low – Medium
  • S2 2700.00 – Psychological – Strong

US SPX 500 – fundamental overview

The US equity market pushed further into record high territory this week in a move that can only be described as a meltup at this point. It seems, the combination of blind momentum, expectation US tax reform will ultimately work out well, excitement around infrastructure plans, and a belief the Fed will remain super accommodative in light of a more dovish leaning Fed Chair and ongoing subdued inflation, are all factoring into the relentless bid. Nevertheless, investor immunity to downside risk is not looking as strong these days and there’s a clear tension out there as the VIX sits at unnervingly depressed levels. The fact that Fed policy is normalising, however slow, could start to resonate a little more, with stimulus efforts exhausted, balance sheet reduction coming into play and the Fed finally following through with forward guidance in 2017. At this point, it will take a breakdown in this market back below 2670 to turn heads. The news of the government shutdown hasn’t had any major impact, with the government still expected to operate where it needs to and investors also seemingly expecting a swift resolution.

GOLD (SPOT) – technical overview

Setbacks have been well supported over the past several months, with the market continuing to put in higher lows and higher highs. Look for this most recent dip to hold up above 1260 in favour of a bullish continuation towards a retest of the 2016 peak at 1375 further up. Ultimately, only a drop back below 1200 would negate the outlook.

  • R2 1357.75 – 8Sep/2017 high – Strong
  • R1 1344.95 – 15Jan high – Medium
  • S1 1306.10 – 4Jan low – Strong
  • S2 1294.10 – 29Dec low  – Medium

GOLD (SPOT) – fundamental overview

Solid demand from medium and longer-term players continues to emerge on dips, with these players more concerned about exhausted monetary policy, extended global equities, political uncertainty, systemic risk and geopolitical threats. All of this should continue to keep the commodity well supported, with many market participants also fleeing to the hard asset as the grand dichotomy of record high equities and record low yields comes to an unnerving climax. Certainly the US Dollar under pressure has added to the metal’s bid tone as well, but there is a growing sense that even in a scenario where the US Dollar is bid for an extended period, GOLD will hold up on risk off macro implications. Dealers are now reporting demand in size ahead of 1200.

Feature – technical overview

Bitcoin has come under intense pressure since topping out at a record high just shy of 20,000 in December. The market had been in a period of consolidation in the aftermath of the record run, with most of that consolidation playing out between 12,000 and 17,000. The recent break below the consolidation low opens the door for an accelerated decline towards the next measured move extension target around November levels, in the 7,000 area.

  • R2 14,500 – 13Jan high – Strong
  • R1 12,000 – Previous Support – Medium
  • S1 9,200 – 17Jan low – Medium
  • S2 7,000 – Measured Move – Strong

Feature – fundamental overview

The crypto asset has come under intense pressure in early 2018, with ramped up regulatory oversight and potential government crackdowns forcing many holders to exit positions. The market has also been on a euphoric ride, with the run gaining too much momentum as latecomers look to get in on the action, often a sign of a bubbling asset. Bitcoin has struggled on the transaction side as well, with transactions per second a major drawback, along with a mining community that has been less willing to process transactions due to the lower fees. The Lightning network is expected to ramp up transaction speed as it is integrated, which could be a big help to Bitcoin, though it seems the combination of a massive bubble, more regulatory oversight and a market that is still trying to convince of its proof of concept, could be at risk for deeper setbacks. Throw in an extended global equities market at risk for its own capitulation and the picture looks even gloomier.

Peformance chart: Five day performance v. US dollar

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