Topic: Forextime FXTM Daily Market Analysis

Forextime.com Daily Market Analysis

Kiwi struggles after weak trade data


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The New Zealand dollar continues to be volatile for traders despite the upbeat rhetoric from the government of New Zealand and also the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Trade Balance data today was anything but positive though as it came in at -705M (-500M exp), putting further pressure on the NZDUSD which has been under intense pressure from bears in the recent weeks. This combined with the recent drop in global dairy auctions will put pressure back on the New Zealand economy, and it will be interesting to see the view point of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand regarding this as trade balance has always been high on its agenda. However, there has been some slight wins as the housing market looks to be cooling off after enacting aggressive measures and the NZDUSD has started losing some of its value which will certainly help turn around further trade balance issues.  The key focus from here will be tomorrows GDP data, with many expecting it to be a robust figure for the quarter - despite the recent natural and market events which have caused some worries.

The NZDUSD continues to be an interesting trade with long trending runs and also large patches of ranging, but so far it has been all trend with no range as of late - a common theme across all commodity currencies since the Trump victory. The trade balance data today had little effect on the NZDUSD and the markets seemed to be positive to it; it's the USD strength though which is causing issues for commodity currency bulls. Support was certainly found at 0.6881 and traders will be looking to see if the daily candle closes out as a hammer which could indicate a swing here as USD traders may be looking to take a breather and unwind. If that is the case then resistance can be found at 0.6948 and 0.7000 as the next levels higher, however this is against the trend at present and I would expect fierce pressure around these levels from kiwi traders.

Across the 'ditch' and the Australian dollar continues to find itself under some pressure as well against the USD, but one trade that has been quite interesting has been the trading around the AUDJPY after yesterdays Bank of Japan holding fire. Recently, the AUDJPY trended up sharply before hitting and forming a strong trend line on the daily chart which is quite bearish in nature since 2014. The clear respect of this trend line will be key for a number of traders strategies, and as the Yen continues to look to get weaker the AUDJPY may see another attempt to take a higher level here.

The move higher on the daily chart as of today shows a strong candle trying to engulf all the recent loses after finding support at 84.754, and I would expect a further rise to also find resistance at 86.188 before looking to play of the trend line yet again.



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By Alex Gurr, Guest Analyst

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Fed outlook turns hawkish

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The US economy was thrown back into the spotlight today as the FOMC minutes were released and the dovish FED of the past certainly looked a thing of the past, with some of the most upbeat and hawkish minutes that have been seen in a long time. Almost all of the officials present in the meeting expected that with Trumps appointment growth was expected to pick up in line with his expansionary policies. One thing that also stood out was the FED's own expectation around inflation with expectations that it will increase to the magic 2% mark in the medium term, and the recent lift in quarterly inflation was further credit to this theory. Regardless of the trump effect the FED looks to be singing the same tune as the market and that can only be positive for the bulls in the short term. The real question will be around what Trump can actually do with congress in order to get the US economy moving again and the economy expanding further - even when it's almost at full capacity when it comes to employment.

Regardless of how you viewed the FOMC minutes, the recent economic data out of the US has been positive with the construction spending m/m lifting to 0.9% (0.5% exp) and ISM manufacturing PMI also lifting to 54.7 (53.8 exp). All of this has boded well for traders and the markets have responded accordingly with the S&P 500 lifting back up to a strong level of resistance in anticipation of tomorrows economic data due out on the employment sector and the services sector as well. Even with resistance currently sitting at 2272 the expectation of further highs is fresh on traders' minds and they will be looking to push the boundaries further in the current climate. A push upwards to 2300 is very much on the cards if the market sees further positive US economic data tomorrow.

One thing that is also worth watching out for in tomorrow's trading is oil markets, previously they have been moving quite rapidly in the low volume trading and volatility is certainly ever traders friend. The recent build up in private storage showed that perhaps oil markets still needed a little more time to correct and we saw prices fall accordingly down to the 20 day moving average before finding dynamic support. Expectations are for a decline in overall oil inventories, but after the recent private reading the market may have altered its expectations. 

Technically speaking though oil is looking very strong with resistance sitting tight at 54.46, to get past this level we would need to see a large drawdown in crude oil inventories, and this may be a bit of an ask just after Christmas. Any further falls are also likely to struggle past the 20 day moving average, and even more so the 50 day moving average which is acting as dynamic support for market movements at present.


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By Alex Gurr, Guest Analyst
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Asian equities retreat as investors shift to cautious mode

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After a strong start for the year, equity markets started to cool down in the second trading week of 2017. Most Asian major indices are in red today, as Wall Street failed to make new highs and the Dow retreated further from the key psychological 20,000 mark, while oil suffered a steep selloff on Monday.

Investors who built their positions based on Trump’s victory are likely to start cashing out for the time being and shift their focus on fundamentals with the earning season kicking off later this week when U.S. big banks release their fourth quarter results. I’m not confident to call a correction yet, but certainly many investors got ahead of themselves betting on fiscal stimulus, and while business usually tends to under promise and over deliver, this doesn’t seem to be the case with the U.S. new President.

Although Kuwait’s Oil Minister Essam Al-Marzouk who is chairing the committee to oversee compliance of OPEC’s output assured the markets that OPEC and non-OPEC members will abide to the planned cuts, still both oil benchmarks dropped 4% on Monday. This clearly indicates that it’s not just an OPEC game, and the expected increase in U.S. and Canadian supplies are likely to threaten the oil rally. Data from the U.S. on Friday showed rig counts rose for ten consecutive weeks and it’s just about some time for this to translate into additional production, suggesting that downside risk may remain in play, and rather than just focusing on implementations of OPEC production cuts, investors should be looking at the bigger picture on whether supply will meet demand in the second half of 2017.

The U.S. dollar fell for a second day, extending its slide from the 14-year high hit on January 3. The pull back in the dollar came despite hawkish speeches from Fed officials suggesting that the central bank is getting closer to achieving its dual mandate. Both Fed presidents, Charles Evans and Patrick Harker aren’t ruling out three rate hikes in 2017, while Eric Rosengren called for stepping up the pace of interest rates hikes to prevent inflation from overshooting. However, traders are still not yet completely convinced and pricing in only two hikes for 2017 according to CME’s Fed Watch. With no tier one economic data on the calendar until Friday, U.S. bond yields will remain to be the key driver for the greenback.

The Pound remained under pressure after Monday’s steep selloff on comments from UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May which intensified fears of “Hard Brexit”. Although the pound looks undervalued, the risk of further selloff may remain in play as we get closer to triggering article 50. Meanwhile comments from Scotland’s First Minister on BBC that she’s not bluffing about her vow to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence if Britain leaves the single market is another factor to worry about on the medium-term.


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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist (Gulf & MENA)

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President-elect leaves dollar bulls unimpressed

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The long-awaited first press conference by President-elect Donald Trump left many investors with more questions than answers as he failed to justify the current premium priced in the dollar and equity markets.

We already knew that Trump wants to build a border wall with Mexico, bring back U.S. production onshore, and that he’s willing to be the best job creator America ever knew, but what’s his plans on corporate tax reforms? How and when is he planning to spend on roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects? Is he going to impose tariffs on imported goods from China, Mexico and the rest of the world? Unfortunately, no updates were revealed.

Thus, the greenback was dragged, falling against all major currencies on Wednesday with the dollar index falling to lowest levels since Dec 14 at 101.28. The selloff continued until early Thursday suggesting that dollar bulls are no more willing to price any additional premium until we get more clarity on his promised fiscal plans.

The continued fall in U.S. treasury yields is another factor dragging the dollar. U.S. 10 year yields have been in a down trend since Dec 14, losing 11.8% in value after spiking 42% since the election results were revealed.

U.S. stocks were less impacted, and managed to close higher despite the volatility and sharp selloff in pharma stocks which were attacked by Trump. Whether the rally can be sustained will depend on two factors, earning growth and actions from Trump’s administration as his words and tweets are clearly starting to show less influence.

The combination of dollar weakness, lower U.S. yields and doubts in Trump's policies offered gold a boost, with the yellow metal posting a high of 1,199. So far gold has recovered 6.8% from December lows, and trader higher in 11 out of 13 days. Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech will probably decide whether we’re going to see a break and hold above 1,200 today.



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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist (Gulf & MENA)
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Aussie dollar cracks major levels


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The Australian dollar swung heavily today as US bulls finally looked to sell off in the wake of economic uncertainty around the United Kingdom. Volatility was most certainly the key player for the day, and traders took full advantage. Yesterday there were strong comments that the AUD was currently overvalued, but it would seem that the market had other ideas as it raced up the charts knocking out some key levels along the way. The market is further poised for today consumer sentiment, which will give some indication if the Trump effect has spread to Australia in the wake of recent events. Expectations have previously been very low and I would expect this to be the theme going forward but with the possibility of a surprise in economic data as we have previously seen.

For the AUDUSD traders resistance was not a problem today as it smashed through 0.7531 on the charts and looked to climb even higher, coming up just short of 0.7567. The 0.7567 level is very strong and I would expect to see some stiff resistance unless we see some positive fundamental data come out in the next few hours. In the event of a pullback I would expect that the 100 day moving average could act as dynamic resistance if it is a strong pullback, otherwise I would anticipate that former resistance level at 0.7531 looking to hold out in the long run.

One of the interesting things about a stronger USD has been the flow on effect to metals, none more so than silver which has so far seen a solid bullish trend appear in the short term and has briefly pushed through resistance at 17.133. The strong sell off today in USD certainly had a big impact in helping making this progress, but the real test is set to come as it sizes up resistance at 17.308, which I would expect to be a very strong level. The 200 day moving average is also intersecting with this strong level of resistance and has previously acted as a strong dynamic level for market movements. However, the trend is certainly your friend and this could be the case as silver looks to climb higher in the build up to Trumps inauguration on Friday.

Lastly, the NZDUSD has managed to also climb up the charts, but recent reports around the dairy auction paint a messy picture that shows that New Zealand's economy may not be as strong as recent economists had predicted. The jump higher today to resistance at 0.7222 has shown there is strong demand during patches of weakness, however this level has proved time and time again to also fight back and push prices lower.


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By Alex Gurr, Guest Analyst
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Trump vs Yellen & Draghi vs Weidmann

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The U.S. dollar has been on a roller-coaster this week. After dropping by more than 1% on Tuesday the dollar index recovered 0.9% from its lows. The steep drop in the currency came after comments from Donald Trump suggesting that the dollar is too strong, and this led some traders to believe the recent rally could have come to an end, but comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday brought back hopes to the bulls.

Ms. Yellen did not specify the timeline or the pace of projected interest rates hikes, but she indicated the Fed will raise rates few times a year until 2019 and warned of a nasty surprise if the central refrained from acting. Although there’s no precise definition of “few” but reasonably means two to three times a year, which leave many central banks behind. 

Recent economic data supports Yellen’s views as inflation rose in 2016 at fastest pace in five years. U.S. CPI jumped 0.3% in December to breach the 2% benchmark, and if oil prices held above $50 the trend is not likely to reverse. This leaves only the Fed's preferred gauges of inflation, the PCE and Core PCE Price Index below 2%. However, there is a high risk of these indices overshooting the Fed’s target if fiscal policies came into play and the Fed will be left with little options but to fasten the pace of monetary policy tightening, thus keep supporting the dollar.

On the shorter run, Trump will remain the center focus for traders and his inauguration on Friday will play a major role in the dollar’s direction. It’s highly unlikely to reiterate that the strong dollar is hurting the economy, but if his speech contains more of protectionist policies than stimulus measures, it could harm the dollar, at least in short term.

The European Central Bank is meeting today and most likely keep monetary policy unchanged after the central bank extended and reduced the monthly bond purchases to €60 from €80 in their last meeting. Although it might be considered a non-event, we’ll be carefully listening to Draghi to see if the recent improvement in Eurozone data especially when it comes to inflation, will force the ECB to start considering unwinding their QE policies.

PMI’s across the Eurozone reached 5.5 years high in December and inflation climbed to 1.12, the highest since August 2013. Meanwhile German inflation jumped to 1.7%, thanks to higher oil prices. This will undoubtedly create a battle between Bundesbank's Weidmann and Draghi on when to end the loose monetary policy. Of course, Mr. Draghi has his reasons, especially that political risks will intensify in the next couple of months with presidential elections in France, Germany and Netherland’s, but once we’re over it, I believe the ECB will start ending their untraditional QE policies. This suggests the Euro is likely to remain under pressure until probably mid-2017.



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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist (Gulf & MENA)
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President-elect leaves dollar bulls unimpressed

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The long-awaited first press conference by President-elect Donald Trump left many investors with more questions than answers as he failed to justify the current premium priced in the dollar and equity markets.

We already knew that Trump wants to build a border wall with Mexico, bring back U.S. production onshore, and that he’s willing to be the best job creator America ever knew, but what’s his plans on corporate tax reforms? How and when is he planning to spend on roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects? Is he going to impose tariffs on imported goods from China, Mexico and the rest of the world? Unfortunately, no updates were revealed.

Thus, the greenback was dragged, falling against all major currencies on Wednesday with the dollar index falling to lowest levels since Dec 14 at 101.28. The selloff continued until early Thursday suggesting that dollar bulls are no more willing to price any additional premium until we get more clarity on his promised fiscal plans.

The continued fall in U.S. treasury yields is another factor dragging the dollar. U.S. 10 year yields have been in a down trend since Dec 14, losing 11.8% in value after spiking 42% since the election results were revealed.

U.S. stocks were less impacted, and managed to close higher despite the volatility and sharp selloff in pharma stocks which were attacked by Trump. Whether the rally can be sustained will depend on two factors, earning growth and actions from Trump’s administration as his words and tweets are clearly starting to show less influence.

The combination of dollar weakness, lower U.S. yields and doubts in Trump's policies offered gold a boost, with the yellow metal posting a high of 1,199. So far gold has recovered 6.8% from December lows, and trader higher in 11 out of 13 days. Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech will probably decide whether we’re going to see a break and hold above 1,200 today.


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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist (Gulf & MENA)

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Yen continues to strengthen


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Despite all the global economic indicators and central bank movements the Yen continues to be one of the major players in the FX market. So far the Bank of Japan has been keen to hold off any further action as the market continues to offer up a stronger USD, which in turn helps push their agenda of weakening the exchange rate. While not ever country in the G8 is in agreement with the tactics taken by Japan previously, this lends weight to the US economy forcing the changes, and it's likely we will continue to see strong fluctuations in the USDJPY. The only major thing this week on the Japanese side is the CPI data, with market expecting below average CPI compared to what Abenomics has so far promised - so there is potential for movement if it beats estimates.

On the charts the USDJPY continues to show case a strong trending mentality. So far the bears looking to be taking control and forcing it down the chart in a strong channel which has so far faced very little resistance. The 20 day moving average has also been acting as dynamic resistance in the market so far, preventing any further movements higher and I would expect this to remain the case until USD strength looks to continue on a global scale. Any movements lower however, are likely to find support quite strong at 112.442 and 111.688 - with market expectations looking very strong after the recent reversal in the previous days.

Regardless of all the global attention the US economy has been getting the S&P 500 has so far been one of the largest benefactors with it set to make a large move if technical patterns are anything to go off. New home sales and consumer sentiment are likely to help drive the market in the coming days, and the market will be looking for further positive news to help push the S&P 500 higher, despite it touching record highs as of late.

Technically speaking the S&P 500 is looking very strong as of late from a bullish perspective, with the 20 day moving average acting as dynamic support all the way up on the daily chart. The tightness of the current band on the chart gives weight to the fact that a breakout is set to occur and I would be looking at the bulls for them to take control. However, resistance at 2278 continues to impede the bulls from rallying higher and may cause further issues in the coming days until we see further positive data.


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By Alex Gurr, Guest Analyst

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AUD leads Asian trading session


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The Australian dollar is taking the spotlight as the Reserve Bank of Australia is set to have its decision about the current interest rate levels, and the market thus far is not expecting anything much from the RBA. With the interest rate held at 1.50% it still remains one of the highest in the developed world, but the Australian economy is currently waiting to see what the outcome will be from the Trump effect, and while things have been rocky it does seem that the economy is starting to look slightly better. However, yesterdays retail sales showed that it's not all smooth sailing as it dipped to -0.1% m/m (0.3% exp), this result lends weight to the fact that the RBA may touch on the consumer economy not picking up as expected. But the real weight will be focused I feel on the economy as a whole and the commodity sector which has been recovering in recent months in anticipation of the global economy picking up.

Markets have been very much a fan of commodity currencies in recent weeks, with global risk appetite picking up the demand for yield has lead to large jumps in the NZD and of course the AUD, with the AUD looking very much the stronger of the two. So far the AUDUSD has been on a very bullish trend and it certainly has not seemed to lose any steam at present. The 20 day moving average has acted as dynamic support as it has moved up the chart, and this looks likely to be the first real test as comes under pressure. After all markets can't remain bullish forever, especially when it comes to FX markets. At the same time resistance at 0.7680 has so far stifled the bulls in there run up the charts, but the recent bearish movement has found strong bullish sentiment so expectations are building for further movements past this level onto the next major level at 0.7730.

Global up turn has so far been talked about, but not come through just yet. However, oil markets have been looking more and more uncertain when it comes to direction for the majority of traders. One thing that does remain clear is that oil is coming under further pressure in the markets to find some direction. At present the 20 day moving average continues to act as dynamic support and is pushing the bears out of the market as it looks to take on the key level of resistance at 54.46. As the two come together expectations will build for a bullish breakout, or if we had a reversal we could see some strong bearish pressure. Pressure will build though, and the bulls have the advantage in this sort of scenario and fundamentals starting to lean in their favour.



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By Alex Gurr, Guest Analyst
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Traders look to hedge in Gold

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The world and the markets continue to struggle to focus on economic data as Trumps economic policies take centre stage. This should come as no surprise these days given the power one man can wield on an economies; as we saw with Abenomics. But that was just Japan and the US market is the world's largest free market and is Trump is throwing his weight around, which in turn has led to strong movements and volatility being one of the major themes of the market. Commodities have so far been a mixed bag for most traders in the market, however trending is become a key theme and the metals market is looking tradable in its present form.

Gold has been on the upside in the recent weeks as Trump continues to put pressure on the market, especially around his comments on currencies and the fact that a number of countries should stop manipulating their currency. There is further speculation that Trump may in fact also start a currency war globally, however how that would look is still unknown and also comes with large risks for the US economy - large fluctuations might be good for traders, but for an established economy it can cause a world of pain. If exports are winners in the long run, then importers and the general consumer are worse off and vice versa.

Gold has so far but in a very bullish trend for a few weeks and it looks set to continue as people look for a hedge in the event of a currency war. Resistance at 1245 held up quite nicely when pushed over the last few days, but after the quick drop gold has found support on the 100 day moving average. Any further drops for Gold are likely to find support at 1208, but even before that the 20 day moving average would also be something to consider and watch. If Gold continues to run higher then I would expect the next major level of resistance to be found at 1262 and it may look to take a breather at this key level.

Oil has also been another major player in the market that everyone is taking a tough look at, after last week's oil inventory data shocked the market coming in at 13.83M barrels (2.53M exp). This was a quite a large inventory build up and was somewhat unexpected after the recent cuts from OPEC back a few months to help bolster prices. Additionally America picking up pace was also expected to cause further increases in demand.

Technically speaking, Oil on the charts though has so far failed to breach through the resistance level at 54.46 and unless we see further cuts of even a pick-up in demand then it could actually slide further down the charts. So far the 20 day moving average and the 50 day moving average have been slowing down any bearish movements, but it's only a matter of time before it slips lower unless we see some changes.


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By Alex Gurr, Guest Analyst
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Oil looks to break out

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Over the last few months hedge funds and traders have been seen placing large bets that OPEC will indeed come through with its production cuts and oil will accordingly jump higher, so far it has been positive on the production cut front, and we are starting to see oil markets looking like they may trend again - instead of the ranging behaviour we have seen over the last few months. One thing worth noting in all of this is how important Russia is, given that it just become the world's largest producer of oil as it overtook Saudi Arabia. But so far so good as 90% of the production cuts that were outlined have been implemented. However, US inventory data has been not positive for oil traders as since Trump has taken to office there has been a build up of supply, something that many were expecting not to happen. Despite all of the pros and cons oil has looked to jump back to life.

The 20 day moving average was key for oil as it looked to trend slowly up the chart, it had a few breakdowns previously but seems to still respect the level and as of now is sitting just below resistance at 54.36. What will be key here will be if oil can push above this level and look to extend higher; breaking out of the ranging phase and looking to trend again as it has historically been so good at. Above the current resistance level the next level will be found at 55.19 which was where the market looked to extend to earlier in December after the OPEC cuts were announced I would expect to see this area already priced in with the cuts, but it would also be pushed higher if we saw a reduction in US oil inventory data.

One of the other interesting commodities as of late has been silver, as it has charged up the chart much like gold on the back of speculation around Trump uncertainty. While not as popular as gold it has been a stand out performer in recent months and should not be discounted as it's prone to large movements on the c harts. And with preliminary GDP and unemployment claims still on the horizon for the US economy this week there is certainly room for further large movements. Also the USD weakness could be something that looks to push silver higher in the short term.

From a technical point of view silver has been quite bullish as of late, with large movements upwards since December in a constantly trending pattern. The 20 day moving average has largely been shadowing silver on the charts, with large bearish movements being pushed back by the silver bulls upon touching this level. The 200 day moving average has also been heavily respected, but the focus right now is on resistance at 18.091 with the market treating this like the level to beat. Long tails on the candles are also pointing that the bulls have not given up and further extensions higher may indeed be quite possible.


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By Alex Gurr, Guest Analyst
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The week ahead: Draghi’s turn to drag the Euro?

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Last week the greenback was the biggest loser among all major currencies. The dollar index slipped to a 10-month low, while the Euro, the Pound, the Lonnie, and the Aussie all posted new 2017 highs.

The dollar has been falling since the beginning of 2017 despite the two rate hikes which occurred in March and June, and the many hawkish comments from FOMC members. Part of the blame falls upon the delay of President Trump’s economic agenda. However, most recently it was the poor economic data that led investors to question the trajectory and speed of interest rates hikes.

Janet Yellen’s testimony to Congress on Wednesday and Thursday did not help the dollar either. She did not seem confident that inflation is on the right path and Friday’s flat consumer price index raised concerns that the Fed may be done with hiking rates this year. U.S. retail sales figures added salt to the wound after recording the biggest drop in more than a year in May falling by 0.3%. The sluggishness in consumer spending, wage growth and inflation will likely to worry Fed officials. Furthermore, if the weakness persists in the next couple of month, it will prove that the slowdown in the economy is not due to transitory factors but probably structural problems. Until data takes a U-turn, dollar bulls will remain reluctant to jump in and the dollar weakness may resume in Q3.

Next week investors will shift their focus to the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan. It has been almost three weeks since Mr. Draghi said, “Deflationary forces have been replaced by reflationary ones.” His confidence and bullish assessment of the euro zone recovery sent the Euro above 1.13 and despite the ECB officials attempts to dampen investors’ expectations over tightening policy the Euro still appreciated by more than 2.5% since June 27.

I think Mario Draghi will choose his words more carefully when the ECB meets on Thursday. The last thing he wants is a strong Euro and tightened financial conditions for now. Since no changes are expected on current monetary policy the tweaks in the statement and Draghi’s tone are all what matters to traders. It is a complicated process to start normalizing policy without disrupting markets and so while the ECB wants to prepare investors for gradual wind-down of asset purchases, policy makers are likely to hint that rate hikes will remain low for a prolonged period. However, I prefer buying the Euro on dips then selling on rallies with end year target around 1.18.

The dollar’s weakness drove Sterling to a 10-month high to trade above 1.31 for the first time this year. The pound also found support from BoE’s Ian McCafferty who said the central bank should consider unwinding its 435-billion-pound quantitative easing program earlier than planned and he’s looking to vote for a rate rise again in August. It seems that monetary policy is having more weight than the Brexit talks and if Tuesday’s inflation figures from the U.K. surprised to the upside, expect GBP to continue rallying. However, traders should also keep a close eye on Brexit negotiations which are going to resume on Monday.

China’s GDP release on Monday will be monitored very closely by Aussie traders. Markets are expecting a 1.7% rise in Q2 from 1.3% in Q1. The RBA minutes are scheduled for release on Tuesday followed by the employment report on Thursday. It requires another set of positive reports to further widen the differentials in bond yields; however, without a shift in monetary policy stance the Aussie gains are likely to be limited.



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Dollar gasps for air while Euro bulls take a breather

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The Greenback received a thorough pummelling on Tuesday after reports of Republican legislators failing to pass a revised healthcare bill rekindled concerns over Trump’s ability to implement tax cuts and infrastructure spending. Sentiment was already turning increasingly bearish towards the Dollar following last week’s soft US inflation reading, with sellers swiftly exploiting the fresh setback to Trump’s domestic agenda, in order to attack prices further. With the Greenback displaying signs of sensitivity to monetary policy speculations and the probability of a 25-basis-point rate increase in December dropping to 43% according to CME FedWatch Tool, further downside could be on the cards.

As the US economic calendar is fairly thin today, with only US building permits and housing starts in focus, price action is likely to dictate where the Dollar Index trades. Technical traders could be tempted to utilize the technical bounce on the daily time frame to drive the Index lower. A solid breakdown and daily close below 94.60 may encourage a further selloff towards 94.00.

Euro bulls wait for Draghi

Thursday’s main risk event for the Euro will be the European Central Bank meeting, which is widely expected to conclude with monetary policy left unchanged in July. Investors will closely scrutinize the meeting and press conference for clues on whether the central bank may announce plans to reduce its bond-buying program in September. With ECB President Mario Draghi’s optimistic speech in Sintra sparking speculations of QE tapering and also playing a role in the current Euro rally, he may choose his words carefully on Thursday. Although the economic conditions in Europe continue to stabilize, inflation is still far from the 2% target and it will be interesting to hear Draghi’s thoughts on this. While the improving macro-fundamentals and absence of political risk in Europe have heavily supported the Euro, bulls may need further inspiration in the form of QE tapering expectations. It becomes a question of whether Draghi will offer the bulls what they crave or will end up clipping their wings.

From a technical standpoint, the EURUSD is heavily bullish on the daily charts. The breakout and daily close above 1.1500 could encourage a further incline higher towards 1.1615.

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Commodity Spotlight – WTI Crude

WTI Crude Oil edged slightly lower on Tuesday after API reported US inventories increased by 1.63 million barrels last week. Although prices ventured towards $46.55 during Wednesday’s trading session this had nothing to do with a change of bias, but rather profit taking, as sentiment remained bearish. Recent reports of Ecuador publicly admitting that it will not meet OPEC’s cut commitments, presents a threat to the production cut deal, with fears of a domino effect exposing oil prices to further downside risks. The bias towards oil remains bearish and further downside may be expected as the supply overhang erodes investor attraction towards the commodity. Much attention will be directed towards the pending report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) this afternoon, which could compound to oils woes if there is a build in crude inventories.



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European currencies dominate trading

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European currencies have dominated in today's trading as the EURUSD was crowned king of volatility amongst the major pairs, when North American traders came into the fray, while at the same time the GBPUSD continued to take a beating in the currency markets. It's somewhat remarkable to have two currencies intertwined yet going in opposite directions based on the current political events, but for traders it's just another day in the field.

The EURUSD continues to be a big favourite of mine and despite the pullback we saw on Friday it has failed to stimulate the USD bulls to come back into the marketplace. Currently, the Trump effect has faded and despite some outlets of media saying otherwise there seems to be movements to try and investigate further the Russian influence in the US elections. All of this is weighing down on the markets which believed that a Trump administration would be pro-business. Additionally, the FED continues to send mixed messages unless we see inflation lifting and has even cut back growth forecasts going into 2018 and 2019. US PPI and CPI will be a major focus this week and I would expect the markets to look gleefully on those figures in the long run, but at present the focus is very much on dollar selling based of the current market information and the EURUSD has been one of the largest benefactors.


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Chart wise the EURUSD is still in its bullish trend. Fridays sell-off was on the back of some positive fundamental news, but it has not managed to carry through into the new week thus far. Support was quick to hold any downward momentum at 1.1719 and continues to look like a strong level, this was further reinforced by the 20 day moving average warding off the dollars bulls in the EURUSD. So far however momentum has stalled as trading has been light with the Monday opening, and it's held up at resistance at 1.1799, but not before testing it today. There is potential to slide further down, but also plenty of potential to climb higher on the back of the US political mess. If we do see a strong push through resistance I would anticipate further climbing to 1.1915 in the current market environment.


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The GBPUSD has been the other mover today after recently looking stronger against the USD, it has struggled to gain any momentum in the last three trading days and looks to be sliding back down the charts again. Support levels will be key here and 1.2972 is looking like a key level to be focused on as well as 1.2843 to see if this is really a strong sell off. If we do see a big jump in the charts for the GBPUSD you can be sure that resistance at 1.3224 will be the target, and we could potentially see a double top if the bears look to strike there again.


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Equity markets struggle to hold off the bears

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The markets have been in minor turmoil today as US equities continued to dip on each rise. This in part was brought on by more bearish weakness in the US economy over the last few days, but also disappointing economic surveys carried out by the New York Fed, which showed that there were more people looking for work, and wage growth was not picking up at all. This comes at a somewhat interesting time, as the labour market has been the cornerstone of the US rebound after the financial crisis, so markets are fearful of anything bad happening to it - especially with a consumer based economy. The trump effect is also continuing to wear off, with neither congress or the administration working together it seems it's very hard for Trumps economic policies to be advanced at present.

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This in turn has spilled over into equity markets in a rather ferocious way, the concern with many is that if the market does indeed start to turn and pull-back we could in turn see more aggressive bearish behaviour - as a number of analysts continue to feel it's overbought. On the charts at present the only thing holding back the S&P 500 is continuing to be the 100 day moving average, which has so far slowed down the bears on two occasions now. The clear rejection is a good sign if you're bullish, however I am still expecting the bears to strike as Trumps grip looks to weaken (unless anything drastic changes). Support levels below the current 100 day moving average can be found at 2406 and 2353 and I would expect to see a lot of volatility around these levels as it moves lower, so expect big swings. Also, the 200 day moving average is trending up the charts and this will be a key target as well for bears.

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Gold traders are having a field day at present on the back of this uncertainty, and it's clear that with any weakness in the equity markets we will see people look to hedge against the bad times in speculative metals and of course safety currencies. Gold has thus far trended strongly, with the bulls looking very strong with the potential to breakout. Previous movements where hindered by strong resistance at 1295 and a double top sent gold tumbling for some time. Fridays test though showed there is certainly a large amount of resolve to push through and look to touch higher resistance levels at 1313 and 1338, all of which are looking strong targets - 1338 being the strongest level at present. If Gold does a reversal then certainly support at 1258 and 1233 are likely to be where the bears look to aim, however the bulls have thus far been quite promising and the trend is generally every traders friend.


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Risk aversion reigns supreme in markets

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Markets continue to be risk off today, as commodity currencies took a beating - no more so than the NZD. Recently markets had been piling into fixed interest rate currencies as economic optimism boomed, however that has recently turned as Trumps allure has worn off, and the markets remain more cautious than ever.  The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has not helped as they attempted to jawbone the NZDUSD last week as well; this is not really much of a surprise though anymore as the governor tends to every chance he gets. However, it's not all doom and gloom for the pair with trading balance data due out shortly and markets expecting to see -200M (NZD) as a reading, which will certainly be negative compared to the previous surplus. A fall here would be bearish signal, however trade balance data has shown in recent times to be quite resilient and could easily surprise the markets here as well. Exports will also be a key focus for traders, as a jump here would also boost the case for a stronger NZD.

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So far the NZDUSD has had a very rough day with a sharp fall on today's attack on anything risky. At present it's held up on support at 0.7219 ahead of today's trade balance data reading. If we see a negative result, I would expect it to drop down to 0.7157 over the course of the evening. If we do see a positive result them a jump higher to 0.7323 would not be far off and even the possibility of further extensions to resistance at 0.7400. A push past the 74  cent mark may be a bit of a struggle though with the current conditions and the Jackson Hole meeting giving the potential to cause surprises in the markets.

Crude oil I touched on yesterday and for good cause as Department of Energy data came through and showed another drawdown of -3.33M barrels, just under expectations of -3.48M. However, it also showed a drawdown in gasoline reserves of -1.22M barrels as well, so the market has taken this as a positive. It's likely that analysts will take this as a positive sign and that OPEC which has imposed production cuts efforts are likely to be working. I am inclined to agree, but at the same time US production is increasing, and if it does taper off then we could see markets naturally relax a little more and the bulls take control.

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For crude bulls resistance at 48.82 is the target to look to break with further extension at 50.21 likely to be the strong point and key area to break into going forward. If we do see USD strengthening however this could slow things down and even force oil down lower. In that event support levels at 46.50 and 45.47 are likely to be the key targets here and would most likely be the line in the sand for bulls with the recent trends.


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US markets surge on GDP figures


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US markets clawed back ground today as the hurricane started to let up in Texas and move across to Louisiana giving some reprieve for the embattled state. This was further boosted by GDP figures out today, which showed the annual rate q/q jumping to 3.0% (2.7% exp) - a strong result in for the US economy despite the recent turmoil. There will be question marks now about the economy and if it can growth further though with the Trump effect wearing off, but this lends strong weight to a potential December rate hike from the FED. There will now also be strong bets on a positive initial jobless claims report tomorrow, however the month to come may see it boosted by the damage caused by the hurricane.

For the market, turning heads today, the EURUSD was like no other, after recently hitting a high not seen since 2015 it has done an about turn after some stiff resistance. This is not to say the EUR is losing ground, it certainly has been making up plenty against the ever weaker GBP. For me though the EUR is likely to continue to be a strong currency in the foreseeable future as data continues to be positive and some of the weaker countries are now starting to show strong signs of growth with the accommodative monetary policy laid out by the European Central Bank.

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The EURUSD hit stiff resistance at 1.2060 and the market is looking to jump higher on the charts in the near future as it travels up the bullish channel. Today's announcement has certainly given the bears a good swipe, and allowed traders to unwind positions. It's likely we could see further trending down and the 20 day moving average will be interesting to watch to see if the bears have really taken hold, a push through would confirm some bearish sentiment with a target at support at 1.1800. Further support can be found at 1.1798 and 1.1621 with the likelihood that these levels will be key to stopping further falls. The reality is that the USD could strengthen and push things lower, but with Germany recently recording a record trade surplus it seems that any weakness in the Euro may be a temporary thing.

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Back on US soil and with the storm slowly subduing it's clear that the S&P500 is back in business when it comes to volatility with some strong movements over the last two days as traders once again defended bearish swipes on the 100 day moving average. This bullish sentiment around the moving average lends weight to the idea that we could see a resurgence and eager traders will be wanting to see if they can take another crack at the 2484 level which has acted as strong resistance recently. I would be surprised to see a push through however unless US economic data does improve a bit more, which could take some time after the impact in one the US's most productive states.

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US woes cause dollar bears to strike

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It's been a perfect storm for the USD bears today as the USD plummeted against major pairs and commodities. For some time the USD has been quite weak and major pairs have capitalised on it when possible, however there has been a major weather event recently with Hurricane Harvey causing major flooding and causing a large amount of damage, and also another storm likely to hit and impact Florida. Couple to this the huge backlog of political work that needs to be done by the end of the month and you can see why markets are not happy with the current US situation. The major bearish sign though was the durable goods orders m/m which fell to -6.8% (-2.9% exp) which gave the dollar bears another chance to dump the USD.

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No where was this felt more than the commodity currencies which surged higher on the back of the USD weakness. After recent bearish behaviour after the last few months the NZDUSD has surged higher today on the back of the weaker USD, and also positive Australian outlook from the Reserve Bank of Australia. The push upwards today was very strong and cracked through the trend line before hitting resistance around the 20 day moving average. The bears have since pushed it back down but the new daily candle is searching to find weakness and it may find it with the current weak USD. I'm not sure how much further it can however rise, but resistance at 0.7323 and 0.7400 are likely to be strong targets for traders in the market. If we do see a fall back down the charts and the trend continuing then I would expect to see support at 0.7219 and 0.7157 be the focus.

Oil has surged today on the back of a number of key things. Firstly there are talks that Saudi Arabia and Russia are looking to extend further rate cuts. Additionally, the USD has been somewhat weaker and this always leads to a rise in the value of oil in the short term. Further adding to this is the fact that refineries in the US are starting to come back into full swing, and there demand for oil products will increase to make up for lost ground - if they're not already at full capacity. US oil inventory data would normally be the next thing also to focus on for oil traders but due to the US public holiday it's going to be a day later than normal.

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Technical traders will be focused on the failure of oil to break through resistance today at 48.82. For some time now there has been a bearish expectation for the market and it had been trending lower, but the last few days have seen jumps and expectations are the bulls might be looking to take control again. Certainly oil is big on trending, but each wave has been weaker. If the market fails to break and hold above 48.82 then I would expect it to swing lower to 46.50 and 45.47.


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USD beats monday blues


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The dollar has begun a strong rally on the charts and US markets are surprisingly upbeat, most likely on the bipartisan actions that have occurred in the US, with Trump working with the democrats to push through debt ceiling reform and provide aid for Harvey and Hurricane Irma as it hits Florida. This US resolve has been somewhat missing over the previous month, with many struggles and failures for the Trump administration as well as added heat from the investigation into Russia and its influence in the recent US elections. Some economic information also had a boost with consumer credit lifting positively to 18.5B (15B exp) showing that the consumption based economy which is the United States is still going ahead full steam and there may be plenty more left in the tank.

With all the turmoil recently for the USD the one winner may in fact be the S&P 500, which has been lifting on speculation that the FED will not lift interest rates in December as many had been expecting. The mindset is that the hurricanes will have an impact on the economy, and force the FED to act more dovish in the later part of the year. So with the FED being dovish the S&P 500 is looking to close at record highs and the market is poised to continue its bullish run against all odds.

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With the S&P climbing through resistance at 2484 and closing above the market is looking quite bullish an extension up to the magic 2500 mark looks on the cards. Anything above the 2500 mark would most likely be aiming for the next psychological level at 2524. In the event we did see a strong pull back on the chart my focus would be on 2484 and 2459 with the 100 day moving average being the real test if the markets start to become bearish.

The other key pair which has certainly been in the headlights today has been the cable which saw some stiff resistance at 1.3224. Now the UK economy has been undergoing a tough time with the uncertainty around Brexit and this has not been helped by comments from the Euro-zone which have tried to undermine the position of the British. But for the most part it has been dollar weakness which has enable the pound to climb so high. A reversal of this position could certainly be in the works after failing to climb any higher at 1.3224.

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Expectations are now building that we could see the bears taken a decent swipe as the market swings lower. I would certainly be aware of the 20 day moving average which does have a habit of providing support. Traders are likely to target the key area of 1.3000 which is a psychological level, but also a strong area of support and could be the land in the sand for the bulls to look to regain control - it certainly has a lot to play for around this level given the recent history.


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Global tensions set to boost metals


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North Korea is on the move again when it comes to upsetting the western world, as reports are now surfacing that they will test launch another ICBM and potentially point it towards pacific targets. With the latest rounds of sanctions having little to no effect, it seems likely that the US may rattle its sabre once more at North Korea with further tough talk, this could in turn have a flow on effect in the markets which will look to hedge on any escalation risk. Albeit at the last possible moment if traders can help it, but so far the bounce off these events has been substantial. One of the key winners of such trades is indeed precious metals, which speculators enjoy to the fullest when it comes to hedging against risk. While traditionally a hedge against inflation, it has since become the go to move for traders look to hedge against political events as well.


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Silver for me is the key metal I will be watching for a number of reasons. Firstly it's a little more robust technically than gold, and secondly it seems to be less likely to spike wildly on big movements but instead take a direction and go with it. Also for silver traders support was recently tested at 17.696 and the market quickly pushed back on the occasion. So far the bulls are trying to hold and are holding out on a weaker USD and further political upheaval. In the event it does slide further the next level can be found at around 17.352, however, the 20 day moving average should also be treated as dynamic support in this instance as well. On the upside it's clear to see that resistance can be found at 18.214 and 18.607, beyond these levels might be quite hard as silver does start to struggle above the 20 dollar mark, but any massive unrest could certainly send it flying higher.

If you're looking for further excitement in your trading day then the Australian dollar is set to swing low or high depending on your views of the current employment data due out shortly. The Australian labour market has been full of surprises recently, and many Australians are expecting the Reserve Bank of Australia to perk up more if the labour market continues to expand at the present pace. Today's reading is expected to come in at 20K, but the previous reading of 27.9K is what the market may be hungering for here. Certainly any movements in the participation rate will also be closely watched as well.


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At present the AUDUSD has slipped back under the 80 cent market and is trending lower on the stronger USD. Resistance can be found at 0.8000 and 0.8110 with the 80 cent market likely to break on positive employment data. In the event we see weaker than expected data then I would expect the AUD to plunge sharply down to support at 0.7901 and potentially 0.7821 in the coming weeks.


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RBA minutes offer guidance on economy


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The Australian economy has hit the spotlights as the Reserve Bank of Australia meeting minutes are out. As usual it's quick to point the finger at the Australian dollar as being a potential catalyst of pain for the prospect of further expansion in the economy, namely inflation. The feeling is that the weaker USD is likely to be a temporary thing and that there is potential for the AUD to sink lower in the long run. Generally speaking, central banks have a poor track record of managing currency expectations on these sort of subjects, given they can't control markets at all. Also to add to it all China expectations continue to increase and the mining sector has the potential to improve further in the long run in the wake of weaker prices. For me this seems likely that the Australian economy will improve, but for now the RBA is certainly not pushing for a rate rise - even as the labour market picks up.

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The AUDUSD has been a mover in recent weeks and the higher high it recently achieved was a very bullish sign. However, the weaker USD has been the main driver for any commodity currency rises. With the AUD trending lower at present it seems the bears are in control, even though we've had more bullish waves. Support at 0.7901 is likely to be a key moment to see if the bears either take control or the bulls surge back into the market. If we do see a push through then 0.7821 is likely to be the next level lower. If the AUDUSD does surge back higher then resistance at the 0.8006 is likely to be the main level with a weaker level at 0.8110, but it's unlikely to test these levels in a hurry.

NZD traders should be aware that the NZD is in for a bumpy ride ahead of this Saturday and the NZD might not be the same after the weekend. What I am speaking about it is political elections, and the ramifications for the market as a result. Currently it's a two horse race for two major parties to potentially govern, however, one is left wing and one is right wing. So the market could drop suddenly or spike suddenly depending on polls in the lead up to the election. Either way despite all the market movements it's one to be careful of but also creates strong opportunities for fundamental speculators.

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For the NZDUSD it's currently looking like it may be stuck in a ranging pattern and playing of key levels. Resistance levels can be found at 0.7322 and 0.7400 and I would expect these to be tested if the current government is maintained. Support levels, on the other hand, can be found at 0.7219 and 0.7157 - these are likely to be tested in the build up to the election as traders get a bit spooked and could be smashed if a left wing government is elected at present. Either way strong levels and political uncertainty can give traders great opportunities for targeting.



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By Alex Gurr, Guest Analyst
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