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  #21  
Old 12-08-2016, 05:10 PM
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Dollar sensitive ahead of US retail sales



The fluctuating expectations over the Federal Reserve raising US interest rates in 2016 have left the Dollar in a sensitive state with prices violently oscillating between losses and gains. Conflicting data this month such as the firm NFP and soft labor productivity have trapped the Dollar in a fierce tug of war with anxiety mounting ahead of Friday’s retail sales. Retail sales could offer investors a rough idea on consumption and GDP in the US economy with a positive figure potentially dispelling this period of Dollar sensitivity. Overall the sentiment towards the US economy is turning bullish and markets have already priced a 50% chance that the Fed could raise US rates in December.

From a technical standpoint, the Dollar Index is trapped below the stubborn 96.00 resistance, but a breakout above this level could open a path towards 98.00.





Sterling bears take no prisoners

The heightened expectations over the Bank of England cutting UK interest rates to near zero to reclaim economic stability has caused Sterling vulnerability to become a recurrent theme in the currency markets. Sterling has been placed under extreme pressure as the combination of soft domestic data and post-Brexit uncertainties have encouraged sellers to incessantly attack. The GBPUSD tumbled to a fresh monthly low on Thursday and could trade lower in August if the divergence in monetary policy between the Fed and BoE encourages investors to install another round of selling. Uncertainty is still a dominant theme which has haunted investor attraction towards the Sterling consequently obstructing any upside gains.

From a technical standpoint, the GBPUSD is bearish as there have been consistently lower lows and lower highs. Prices are trading below the daily 20 SMA while the MACD has also crossed to the downside. Previous support around 1.3100 could transform into a dynamic resistance that opens a path lower towards 1.2800.





Eurozone still pressured

The shockwaves caused by Brexit have heavily punished the Eurozone with current outlooks looking tepid as uncertainty weighs on sentiment. Eurozone growth in Q2 unexpectedly halved while optimism over the European Central Bank boosting inflation continues to diminish. Amid the fears of the European economy eroding, expectations have risen over the European Central Bank implementing further stimulus measures to jumpstart growth. Sentiment is bearish towards the Euro with investors potentially exploiting the divergence in monetary policy between the ECB and the Fed to send the EURUSD lower. The EURUSD bulls have struggled to break above 1.1200 regions and if this resistance defends then bears could pounce sending prices lower towards 1.1000.




WTI Crude elevated by OPEC

WTI Crude surged ferociously on Thursday with prices edging towards $44 after Saudi Arabia discussed the possibility of hiking prices at September’s informal meeting. Oil prices have become increasingly sensitive to production freeze talks and this continues to create speculative boosts in prices. Regardless of these short term gains, WTI remains fundamentally bearish with the ongoing oversupply concerns haunting investor attraction. If the informal meeting in September concludes without a solution to the excessive oversupply, then this current relief rally could offer an opportunity for bears to drag oil lower. From a technical standpoint, previous support around $44.50 could act as a dynamic resistance which attracts sellers to send prices lower towards $41.00.

Commodity spotlight – Gold

Gold displayed erratic characteristics during trading this week from Dollar sensitivity and fluctuating US rate hike expectations. Although risk aversion and ongoing concerns over the global economy have kept the precious metals buoyed, the sharply appreciating Dollar continues to hammer prices lower. If US retail sales exceed expectations today, then Gold could be left vulnerable to losses as a combination of Dollar resurgence and renewed hopes of a US rate hike entices bears to attack Gold. From a technical standpoint on the daily timeframe, this yellow metal does fulfill the prerequisites of a bullish trend as there have been higher highs and higher lows. Bulls still have some breathing room above $1315 but a breach below this support could suggest that bears are back in action.


By Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst
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  #22  
Old 16-08-2016, 10:38 AM
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Markets on standby as US retail sales loom



The pattern of stocks wildly oscillating between losses and gains is becoming a recurrent theme with such observed today as most major equities swung back into gains. Asian markets concluded positive and the bullish contagion kept European shares buoyed. Wall Street surged ferociously on Thursday with American stocks potentially concluding the week inside the green territory. Although the market rally is impressive, it is becoming increasingly clear that sentiment remains the driver rather than fundamentals. Inflated expectations over central banks intervening have propelled stocks higher while easing Brexit anxieties continue to attract investors to riskier assets. With fears still present over slowing global growth and depressed oil punishing risk sentiment, questions could be asked over the sustainability of the stock market rally. Equity markets could be set for a steep correction this fall and uncertainty from the looming US election could entice bears to install a heavy round of selling.

US retail sales in focus

Investors may direct their attention towards Friday’s US retail sales which could offer additional clarity on the health of the US economy. Retail sales may offer investors a rough idea on consumption and GDP in the US economy in a time of global instability. With expectations continually fluctuating over the Fed raising US interest rates in 2016, Dollar sensitivity has become a dominant theme in the currency markets. If today’s retail sales exceed expectations then this period of sensitivity could be dispelled with bulls sending the Dollar higher. Sentiment is still somewhat bullish towards the Dollar and today’s key release could potentially provide another compelling reason for the Fed to break the trend of central caution.

From a technical standpoint, the Dollar Index is trapped below the stubborn 96.00 resistance, but a positive retail sales report could install bulls with enough inspiration to take prices above 96.00. A decisive breakout above this level could open a path towards 98.00.






By Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst
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  #23  
Old 16-08-2016, 10:41 AM
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Week Ahead: U.S. CPI, U.K. post-referendum data, Japan GDP




The U.S. dollar ended last week lower against most of its major currency peers after U.S. retail sales disappointed bulls who thought that the past two robust employment reports will boost spending. Retail sales were flat in July following a revised 0.8% increase in June, and producer prices declined 0.4% for the first time in four months and the largest since September 2015. This led market participants to believe that a rate hike would be pushed further towards 2017, with chances of a 25 basis point increase by December standing at 44.9%.

Fed minutes and CPI next

Minutes of the Federal Reserve July monetary policy meeting will be released on Wednesday and since short term risks to economic outlook have diminished according to their latest statement it will be interesting to see if Fed officials turn more hawkish in terms of tightening monetary policy. We have already seen couple of Fed members signaling a rate hike possibility in 2016 and speeches from presidents Dennis Lockhart and James Bullard on Tuesday and Wednesday will likely re-affirm to their commitment. However, investors want a confirmation from Chair Janet Yellen, but they have to wait until August 26 when she is due to speak at the Fed’s Jackson Hole symposium.

On the data front, U.S. consumer prices will be the major risk event for the dollar the week ahead, as inflation remains the key ingredient required to convince markets that interest rates could go up soon.

U.K. post-referendum data to start flowing

Sterling was the only major currency to end lower against the U.S. dollar past week on comments from BoE’s Ian McCafferty suggesting that more easing is likely to be required if the U.K. economy slows as initial survey data shows. Sterling took another hit after Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed that property transitions declined to levels last seen in 2008’s financial crisis and prices increased at the slowest pace in three years last month.

Hard data will start flowing from the U.K and the week ahead will unveil the first employment, retail sales, and inflation reports post the referendum vote. Softer than expected readings will intensify fears that more QE will be required, which could send U.K. gilt yields to new record lows, adding more pressure on the weak sterling.

Japans GDP to indicate more stimulus needs

The Japanese Yen has been stuck in a 200 pips trading range since the beginning of August, thank to market volatility measures which fell to their lowest levels in months. Fiscal and monetary stimulus have been the main motives for USDJPY moves and after BoJ failed to deliver bold measures last month, attention is turning towards next BoJ meeting in September 21. Japan’s second quarter GDP release on Monday is going to be major risk event for JPY, with expectations of a merely 0.2% economic growth Q-o-Q. This is going to highlight again the necessity of fast action from the monetary side. I believe that stimulus measures will be announced in September, and it’s just about the form and size of the package. Until then markets are likely to start pricing in a monetary policy action, which could lead USDJPY to break above 102.81 (two weeks high).




By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist (Gulf & MENA)
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  #24  
Old 16-08-2016, 05:02 PM
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Sterling pressured as UK CPI looms



The rising expectations of further monetary stimulus from the Bank of England to quell the Brexit chaos has enticed bears to install repeated rounds of selling consequently leaving the Sterling vulnerable to heavy losses. Sterling remains under immense pressure with weakness becoming a dominant theme as uncertainty haunts investor attraction towards the currency. Sentiment is firmly bearish towards the pound, and the awful combination of soft domestic data coupled with heightened hopes of the BoE cutting UK rates to near zero should ensure prices remain depressed for an extended period.

Investors may direct their attention towards Tuesday’s CPI report for July which could offer further clarity on how the UK economy is faring post-Brexit. Inflation has been notoriously static in the UK and the pound could be left open to further losses if the pending CPI follows this negative pattern. From a technical standpoint, the GBPUSD is bearish as there have been consistently lower lows and lower highs. A decisive break down below 1.2900 could open a path towards 1.2800.






By Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst
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Old 16-08-2016, 05:04 PM
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Global stocks driven by sentiment

Stock markets were elevated by oil’s resurgence on Monday with most major arena’s hovering around yearly highs as the renewed risk appetite attracted investors to riskier assets. This up move was short-lived on Tuesday as most Asian markets descended back into losses following Yen’s resurgence which weighed heavily on the Nikkei. Although European markets started the week on a solid footing, the combination of cooling oil prices and risk aversion could drag European stocks lower. The pattern of stocks wildly swinging between losses and gains is becoming a theme in the markets which raises questions over the sustainability of the stock market rally. It is becoming increasingly clear that the engine which is powering the impressive gains is sentiment, rather than fundamentals, and this should force investors to remain diligent.

Japan Q2 GDP nearly stalls

Sentiment towards the Japanese economy was dealt a frightening blow on Monday following the soft second quarter GDP of 0.2% which rekindled concerns over the health of the world’s third largest economy. Weak consumer spending and falling exports amid Yen’s resurgence heavily eroded Japan’s GDP while the ongoing global uncertainties continued to expose the nation to downside risks. With inflation following a tepid path, expectations have already mounted over the Bank of Japan implementing further monetary stimulus to revive economic growth.

The Yen could appreciate further if risk aversion from global growth concerns encourages bulls to pounce. From a technical standpoint, the USDJPY is bearish on the daily timeframe and a breakdown below 100.00 could open a path towards 99.00.






By Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst
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  #26  
Old 16-08-2016, 05:06 PM
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WTI rebound towards $46

WTI Crude displayed an incredible rebound during trading on Monday with prices lurching towards $46 as expectations over a potential OPEC production freeze deal encouraged bulls to attack. Oil prices are becoming increasingly sensitive to production freeze talks with bulls exploited the sharp speculative boosts in prices. Although the current upside gains are impressive, WTI still remains fundamentally bearish with the oversupply concerns encouraging bears to drag prices lower. If the informal meeting in September concludes without a deal in place, then WTI Crude could trade towards $35. From a technical standpoint, bears need to break below $42 for a path towards $40.

Commodity spotlight – Gold

Gold has been placed on a chaotic roller coaster ride with prices sharply swinging between losses and gains as expectations fluctuate over the Fed raising US interest rates in 2016. The metal is engaged in a fierce tug of war with risk aversion keeping prices buoyed while Dollar’s resurgence hammers prices lower. Gold is searching for direction which could be provided this week ahead of the influx of US economic data. From a technical standpoint, bulls need to keep above $1315 to maintain the daily bullish uptrend.






By Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst
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  #27  
Old 16-08-2016, 05:09 PM
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Yen surges, Cable struggling near post Brexit lows




Yen attempting to breach the 100 psychological level against U.S. dollar

It seems that the record highs for Wall Street on Monday were not enough to boost risk appetite in Asia. The Yen is outperforming all major currencies today, strengthening by more than 1% against the dollar as investors continued to reduce their bets for a Fed rate hike in 2016. USDJPY is trading at 100.16 at the time of writing the report, this is the lowest level in 5 weeks and there is likely to be a high level of interest in buying the pair at current levels. However, a break below 99.90 could lead to triggering stop losses and send the pair even lower towards 99.08 (24-June low). Negative interest rates and ETF’s buying do not seem helping BoJ to drive the currency lower, so let’s see how creative they become in their next monetary policy meeting in September 21.

Pound recovering slightly, sentiments remain negative

Cable rebounded slightly on Tuesday, retracing some of Monday’s losses against the U.S. currency after approaching post-Brexit lows on the back of falling housing prices. According to Rightmove, average asking price fell by £3,602 in August, or 1.2% compared to July. Although a drop in property prices is common in summer time, traders are just finding excuses to short the pound.

GBP has been the weakest major currency in August, falling by more than 2% against the dollar and 3% against the Euro. Sentiment remain very negative, and this was clearly reflected in U.S. CFTC data showing hedge funds increased their bets on the falling pound with net short positions reaching a record high of 90,082 contracts in the week to August 9. Although risks are skewed to the downside, it might be very bumpy if speculators decided to take profits, suggesting that a recovery could be seen before trending lower again.

Hard data will start flowing from the U.K. with first employment, retail sales, and inflation reports post the referendum vote. Softer than expected readings will intensify fears that more QE will be required, which could send U.K. gilt yields to new record lows, adding more pressure on the weak sterling.




By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist (Gulf & MENA)
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Old 18-08-2016, 11:10 AM
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UK inflation jumps to levels not seen since November 2014





Market headlines are continuing to focus on the UK economy after data earlier today showed that inflation accelerated in July with CPI rising to an annualised 0.6%.

This week represents the first true week of economic data from the United Kingdom following the unexpected conclusion to the EU referendum vote, but a few shocks are already being heard after the news that import prices increased at the strongest rate since 2011. The news that import prices have increased by such a staggering amount shows that the collapse in the Sterling is already having an impact on imports and should feed through and lift inflationary pressures over the upcoming months. There is now an emergence of expectations that headline inflation could overshoot the Bank of England’s (BoE) 2% target over the coming quarters, which would provide a dilemma for the BoE as the central bank is being forced into an easing bias as the UK growth outlook weakens. Usually when there is a risk that inflation could exceed a central bank target the respective central bank would find themselves under pressure to ease pressure by lifting interest rates higher, however this not an option for the BoE who are having to ease policy in the aftermath of the EU referendum outcome.

While the GBPUSD has moved higher throughout trading on Tuesday, this is more likely to be a short correction following a recent period of significant losses. The gains in the GBPUSD are likely to find themselves capped somewhere between 1.3020-50 at this point in time, while the risks for the pair remained skewed to the downside over the future as the UK economic outlook continues to deteriorate. The Sterling was unable to benefit from substantial weakness in the Dollar since the end of last week, which points out that the overall buying sentiment towards the British Pound remains very weak.

Dollar slump aiding EURUSD

Dollar weakness following a heavily disappointing US retail sales release and another resumption of crumbling US interest rate expectations have resulted in the Dollar drifting sharply lower against the majority of its trading partners. The crumbling of the USD has catapulted the Eurodollar to its highest level since late June at 1.1275. As US interest rates continue to be pushed back the Eurodollar can continue to drive higher, although any move between 1.1300 and 1.1320 could expose an over-extension and trigger the alert of sellers.

Expectations over the US Federal Reserve being able to raise US interest rates in 2016 seem to be being pushed back by the minute, while investors will be awaiting for further clues around the intentions of the Federal Reserve in 2016 when the US central bank releases its latest meeting minutes tomorrow. Although the Federal Reserve are trying to maintain a public stance towards raising US interest rates, you just have to monitor the ongoing resumption of crumbling rate expectations to gain an understanding that investors are not confident at all that the Federal Reserve will realistically carry through with the pledge to raise interest rates.

Japanese Yen remains trader’s choice

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) are likely to wake up to concerns on Wednesday morning after the USDJPY fell below the highly psychological 100 level just moments ago. There is a lot of speculation that the BoJ are ready to intervene in the markets as the USDJPY approaches 100, but the real concern for the central bank must be that traders are constantly attracted towards the Yen despite everyone knowing that a strong Yen is the complete opposite to what the BoJ desires. The correlation between such consistent buying demand for the Yen and equity markets is very unusual and in fact, the relationship should be moving in the opposite direction.

Such consistent buying demand for the Yen just shows that investors are still attracted towards the currency as a safe-haven in light of the uncertain external environment that is weighing on global growth prospects. This is also going to be a problem for the BoJ if the central bank does press the panic button on aggressive stimulus in an attempt to weaken the Yen, because traders could reject the stimulus and continue backing the currency as a safety asset.





By Jameel Ahmad, VP of Corporate Development & Chief Market Analyst
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  #29  
Old 18-08-2016, 11:14 AM
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NZD lifts on dairy boost







The New Zealand dollar continues to find traction in the global market place as the USD struggles to gain and as economic conditions give of a mixed signal for the NZ economy. Recent data from the Global Dairy Trade Index show a rise of 12.7% (6.6% prior) which will be welcome news to the primary industry based economy. After a spate of recent low returns and falling dairy prices this will be welcome news as the dairy industry is the number one export for the NZ economy. This comes at an interesting time as the RBNZ has recently cut interest rates as well in attempt to help the economy and cause the dollar to shift lower. It will now be interesting to see how the market not only reacts to the dairy boost, but if expectations around inflation also start to lift, which is something the RBNZ has been keen to see and criticized on recently.

The NZDUSD continues to be a big trade for many, and it's not expectation with all the volatility as of late in the marketplace. Once again the NZDUSD has pushed up and just come up short before resistance at 0.7311 and we may continue to see the market look to push harder on the charts. Recent drops have also lacked momentum and support at 0.7163, has so far looked lacklustre when it comes to volatility and bearish aggression. For myself the trend is still your friend and with the 20 day and 50 day moving average all giving of bullish signals it may be a case of seeing how high the NZDUSD can run in the short term, before markets get a little spooked and look to take profit.

The EURUSD continues to find traction on the charts despite the Brexit shock that sent waves across the markets. German economic sentiment was low as it came in at 0.5 (exp 1.9), but at the same time this was a large lift after the previous reading of -6.8. I would expect this to continue to rise as markets stabilise regarding the Brexit and the shock factor wears off and it becomes a negotiation process that markets will have to wait for two years for. US core CPI has also had an impact on the EURUSD today as it came in weaker than expected (0.1% m/m) giving a boost to the Euro against the dollar. The US CPI data will be a little concerning for the FED as it looks to boost inflation in the medium to long term.

For the EURUSD it was the bulls that took charge, but they were pushed back sharply at the trend line on the daily chart which has been in play for a number of months; first acting to support the bulls against the bears and now stopping bullish momentum getting out of control. I would expect that this trend will continue to act as resistance for bullish movements higher, but in the event of breakthrough it could also return to acting as dynamic support. Support however for further falls can be found at 1.1154 but is looking unlikely unless we see a strong showing of data from the USA.






By Alex Gurr, Guest Analyst
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Old 18-08-2016, 11:21 AM
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Dollar sensitivity seizes centre stage






The Dollar displayed extreme signs of sensitivity on Tuesday with prices left vulnerable to heavy losses as expectations fluctuated over the Federal Reserve raising US interest rates in 2016. Conflicting data such as the strong NFP and poor retails sales have placed the Dollar in a fierce tug of war with investor anxiety mounting ahead of Wednesday’s FOMC meeting minutes. Although US CPI for July remained unchanged at 0%, hawkish comments from the New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley on the possibility of a September hike successfully elevated the Dollar higher. With Dollar sensitivity becoming a dominant theme, further explosive movements could be expected ahead of September’s FOMC meeting.

Investors may direct their attention towards the FOMC meeting minutes which could provide some direction on when the Fed may break the trend of central bank caution by raising US rates. In July financial markets were offered a breath of fresh air from the hawkish statement which amplified expectations over the Fed taking action. The central bank acknowledged the stabilisation of US labour while domestic economic activity expanded at a moderate pace. If Wednesday’s minutes illustrate a similar stance, then Dollar bulls could be provided a lifeline to install a heavy round of buying.

From a technical standpoint, the Dollar Index is turning bearish on the daily timeframe as there have been lower lows and lower highs. Prices are trading below both the 20 and 50 SMA while the MACD has crossed to the downside. Previous support around 95.50 could transform into a resistance which could encourage a steep decline back towards 94.00.







By Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst
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