Trade War Tension Weighs on Sentiment

Special report: Breaking down the ECB Decision

Today’s report: Trade War Tension Weighs on Sentiment

Trade war tensions continue to be at the centre of all things financial markets, with talks between the US and Mexico going nowhere and President Trump warning that if no agreement is reached, Mexico should expect 5% tariffs on all goods to kick in on Monday. The ECB decision is the highlight event on Thursday's docket.

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Wake-up call

Chart talk: Technical & fundamental highlights

EURUSD – technical overview

The major pair has extended its run of declines off the 2008 high, trading down to a fresh multi-month low in May. But with the downtrend looking exhausted, the prospect for a meaningful higher low is more compelling, with a higher low sought out above the multi-year low from 2017, ahead of the next major upside extension. Only a weekly close back below the psychological barrier at 1.1000 would compromise this outlook. Back above 1.1450 will strengthen the view.

  • R2 1.1324 – 17 April high – Strong
  • R1 1.1307 - 5 June high – Medium
  • S1 1.1200 - Figure – Medium
  • S2 1.1160 – 3 June low – Strong

EURUSD – fundamental overview

US administration protectionist policy is starting to have an impact on the FX market, with the strategy to rebalance the US economy also necessitating a softer US Dollar. We're seeing flight to safety demand ramp up for the other major currencies as a result, with the Euro a beneficiary of the flow, despite ongoing stress relating to the outlook for the Eurozone economy. Yield differentials have also been moving out of the US Dollar's favour, as the market starts to take the prospect for a Fed rate cut more seriously. Looking ahead, the ECB decision is the main standout on the Thursday calendar. Draghi is capable of shaking things up in response to the latest wave of protectionism, which would translate to possible Euro weakness. Also on the calendar are German factory orders, Eurozone employment, Eurozone growth, US initial jobless claims, US trade and the Fed Beige Book.

EURUSD - Technical charts in detail

GBPUSD – technical overview

The major pair has stumbled since putting in an impressive recovery off the multi-month low in early January. Still, the broader recovery still helps to support the case for a longer-term developing uptrend off the 2016 low. Pullbacks are now viewed as corrective on the daily chart, with dips expected to be supported well ahead of the yearly low in the 1.2400s. Look for a weekly close back above 1.3000 to strengthen the outlook.

  • R2 1.2814 – 27 May high – Strong
  • R1 1.2744 – 5 June high – Medium
  • S1 1.2611 – 3 June low – Medium
  • S2 1.2560 – 3 June/2019 low  – Strong

GBPUSD – fundamental overview

US administration protectionist policy is starting to have an impact on the FX market, with the strategy to rebalance the US economy also necessitating a softer US Dollar. We're seeing flight to safety demand ramp up for the other major currencies as a result, with the Pound a beneficiary of the flow, despite ongoing stress relating to the Brexit outlook and a softer round of UK manufacturing and construction PMIs this week. As far as the latest political headlines go, the Conservative Party said it will choose a new PM by late July, with the certainty perhaps serving as another source of GBP demand, along with more talk about Fed rate cuts. Looking at the calendar, we get a batch of US releases that include trade, initial jobless claims and the Fed Beige Book.

USDJPY – technical overview

Another topside failure has led to a sharp pullback, with the market unable to establish above a formidable resistance zone in the 112s. The recent drop back below 110.00 strengthens the bearish case, exposing the next major downside extension towards a retest of the January flash crash low in the 104s. Any rallies should now be well capped below 111.00, with only a break back above the yearly high at 112.40 to delay the bearish outlook.

  • R2 109.02 – 13 May high – Strong
  • R1 108.49 – 05 June high – Medium
  • S1 107.85 – 4 June low – Strong
  • S2 107.51 – 4 January low – Medium

USDJPY – fundamental overview

Overall, most of the movement in the major pair is being directed by investor appetite, with the Yen still tracking with traditional correlations. Risk sentiment has been trending lower of late and this is keeping the major pair under pressure into rallies. The primary catalyst for the downturn in sentiment and wave of Yen demand comes from ramped up soft Dollar US protectionism. Into Thursday, it's US administration warnings against Mexico that have worried the market. Talk of Fed rate cuts has also been gaining momentum, yet another source of weakness in the major pair. Looking ahead, key standouts on the calendar come in the form of US trade, initial jobless claims and the Fed Beige Book.

EURCHF – technical overview

The latest breakdown below critical range support in the 1.1200 area, has opened the door for an acceleration of declines that targets a move back towards initial support in the form of the 1.1000 psychological barrier. The market is trading at its lowest level in nearly two years and at this point, it would take a break back above 1.1279 to take the immediate pressure off the downside.
  • R2 1.1279 – 28 May high – Strong
  • R1 1.1200 – Figure – Medium
  • S1 1.1120 – 3 June/2019 low – Medium
  • S2 1.1100 – Figure – Medium

EURCHF – fundamental overview

The SNB remains uncomfortable with Franc appreciation and continues to remind the market it will need to be careful about any attempts at trying to force an appreciation in the currency. But the SNB will also need to be careful right now, as its strategy to weaken the Franc is facing headwinds from a less certain global outlook. Any signs of sustained risk liquidation, will likely invite a very large wave of demand for the Franc that will put the SNB in the more challenging position of needing to back up its talk with action, that ultimately, may not prove to be as effective as it once was, given where we're at in the monetary policy cycle.

AUDUSD – technical overview

The market has been very well supported on dips since breaking down in early January to multi-year lows. The price action suggests we could be seeing the formation of a major base, though it would take a clear break back above 0.7070 to strengthen this outlook. In the interim, look for setbacks to continue to be well supported ahead of 0.6800.

  • R2 0.7070 – 30 April high – Strong
  • R1 0.7008 – 5 June high – Medium
  • S1 0.6899 – 30 May low – Medium
  • S2 0.6865 – 17 May low – Strong

AUDUSD – fundamental overview

The Australian Dollar has been bid up this week, despite Tuesday's RBA rate cut. The demand for Aussie can be reconciled by the fact that the rate cut had already been priced into the market, while the softer data has been less of a focus, with the US Dollar flow more paramount. The US has been getting more aggressive over the past week with its soft Dollar trade policy, turning its attention from China, to Mexico, India and even Australia. Meanwhile, there has been an added weight on the Buck, as the market starts to talk more about the possibility for a Fed rate cut. Looking ahead, we get US trade, initial jobless claims and the Fed Beige Book.

USDCAD – technical overview

Despite breaking to a fresh yearly high in recent sessions, overall, the market has entered a period of choppy consolidation in 2019. However, the longer-term structure remains constructive, with dips expected to be well supported for fresh upside back above the 2018/multi-month high at 1.3665. Back below the psychological barrier at 1.3000 would be required to delay the outlook.

  • R2 1.3500 – Psychological – Strong
  • R1 1.3450 - 4 June high – Medium
  • S1 1.3358 – 22 May low – Strong
  • S2 1.3300 – Figure – Medium

USDCAD – fundamental overview

A dovish read from the Bank of Canada and a slump in the price of OIL, had resulted in the Canadian Dollar sinking to fresh 2019 lows against the Buck this past week. However, the Loonie has managed to recover quickly, despite the negative drivers, including more disappointing data this week. The greater focus right now is on ramped up soft US Dollar trade policy and increased prospects for a Fed rate cut. Looking at the calendar for the remainder of the day, we get Canada Ivey PMIs, US initial jobless claims, US trade and the Fed Beige Book.

NZDUSD – technical overview

Despite recent weakness, there's a case to be made for a meaningful low in place at 0.6425 (2018 low). As such, look for setbacks to be well supported above the latter, in anticipation of renewed upside, with only a close below to compromise the outlook. At the same time, a push back above 0.6700 will be required to take pressure off the downside.

  • R2 0.6686 – 30 April high – Strong
  • R1 0.6667 –  5 June high – Medium
  • S1 0.6560 – 27 May high – Medium
  • S2 0.6482 – 23 May/2019 low – Strong

NZDUSD – fundamental overview

Kiwi has done a good job recovering out from the recent yearly low, despite a run of softer local data and clear dovish shift in RBNZ policy that had resulted in a rate cut last month. The market has even held up well in the face of the latest risk liquidation, and it seems the impact of US administration soft Dollar trade policy is starting to shine through. We've also been hearing more talk of a possible rate cut from the Fed, further supporting Kiwi, despite all of the Kiwi negative drivers. It's worth noting, Kiwi did receive a bit of a prop on this week's comments from the RBNZ Assistant Governor, who said rates would remain 'broadly' around current levels. Looking at the calendar for the remainder of the day, we get US trade, initial jobless claims and the Fed Beige Book.

US SPX 500 – technical overview

There have been signs of a major longer term top, after an exceptional run over the past decade. Any rallies from here, are expected to be very well capped, in favour of renewed weakness targeting an eventual retest of strong longer-term previous resistance turned support in the form of the 2015 high at 2140. The initial level of major support comes in around 2600, with a break below to strengthen the outlook. A sustained move above 3000 would be required to delay.

  • R2 2892 – 16 May high – Strong
  • R1 2800 – Round Number – Medium
  • S1 2722 – March low – Medium
  • S2 2682 – February low – Strong

US SPX 500 – fundamental overview

Although we've seen the market extend to another record high in 2019, exhausted monetary policy tools post 2008 crisis suggest the prospect for a meaningful extension of this record run at this point in the cycle is not realistic. Meanwhile, ramped up tension on the global trade front, should continue to be a drag on investor sentiment. We recommend keeping a much closer eye on the equities to ten year yield comparative going forward, as the movement here is something that could be a major stress to the financial markets looking out.

GOLD (SPOT) – technical overview

There are signs that we could be seeing the formation of a more significant medium to longer-term structural shift that would be confirmed if a recovery out from sub-1200 levels can extend back through big resistance in the form of the 2016 high at 1375. In the interim, look for setbacks to be well supported, with only a close back below 1250 to compromise the constructive outlook.

  • R2 1347 – 20 February/2019 high – Strong
  • R1 1344 – 5 June high – Medium
  • S1 1300 – Psychological – Medium
  • S2 1266 – 23 April/2019 low – Strong

GOLD (SPOT) – fundamental overview

The yellow metal continues to be well supported on dips with solid demand from medium and longer-term accounts. These players are more concerned about exhausted monetary policy, extended global equities, political uncertainty, systemic risk and trade war threats. All of this should 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.

BTCUSD – technical overview

The market has enjoyed a nice run since breaking out above a consolidation between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019., though the rally has resulted in extended technical readings after racing through the July 2018 peak at 8,500. Next key resistance comes in at the 10k psychological barrier. Overall, look for additional upside to be limited for now, to allow for these technical readings to unwind from stretched readings, before the market considers a meaningful push beyond 10k. Setbacks should ideally be supported ahead of 6,000.

  • R2 9,979 – April 2018 high – Strong
  • R1 9,094 – 30 May/2019 high – Medium
  • S1 7,432 – 23 May low – Medium
  • S2 7,000 – 17 May low – Strong

BTCUSD – fundamental overview

Bitcoin is finally taking an overdue breather after enjoying a stellar rally over the past few weeks. Last month's resiliency in the face of the hack at a major exchange has given the crypto asset a huge credibility boost, while reports of mainstream adoption haven't hurt the cause either. Household names like Starbucks, Microsoft, TD Ameritrade and Whole Foods are all making moves in the space, while governments have been more receptive to working with the crypto asset.

BTCUSD - Technical charts in detail

ETHUSD – technical overview

The recovery has recently accelerated to a fresh 2019 high, surging through medium-term resistance at 255 and exposing next key resistance at 355. The upside break suggests the market is now looking to establish a meaningful base, in favour of bullish structural shift. Still, shorter-term, the run is looking stretched and before we see that test of 355, we could see rallies well capped, to allow for extended readings to unwind before the market gets going again. Setbacks should now be well supported into the 200 area.

  • R2 300 – Psychological – Strong
  • R1 289 – 31 May/2019 high – Medium
  • S1 227 – 17 May low – Medium
  • S2 200 – Psychological  – Strong

ETHUSD – fundamental overview

There has been a lot more buzz around adoption as the price of Bitcoin surges, with many mainstream names coming out in support of blockchain integration. Demand for web 3.0 applications is on the rise, and the blockchain with the biggest front end application potential is Ethereum. We've started to see some catch up as well, with ETH finding relative strength off cycle lows versus its older cousin.  At the same time, worry associated with fallout in the global economy, is worry that should weigh more heavily on risk correlated crypto assets like ETH. And considering the possibility an overextended Bitcoin runs into profit taking, there is risk we soon see a healthy adjustment back to the downside.

Peformance chart: Five Day performance v. US dollar

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