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Forex Weekly Outlook September 12 – 16

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Early last week the US dollar slid after data revealed that the services sector that have been supporting the economy contracted from 55.5 in July to 51.4 in August, before gaining back part of its losses as the odds of the Federal Reserve raising rates this month increases. While the majority of analysts have favoured September rate hike, I have my reservation for several reasons, one, the weak manufacturing sector and contraction in the activities of the services sector are some of the key criteria mentioned by the Fed Chair Janet Yellen during Jackson Hole speech for rate decision.

Two, even though the unemployment rate (4.9%) is near a record low and employers are said to be having trouble finding qualified and skilled workers, and are hesitant to dismiss employees, average hourly earnings rose less than expected in August. All these coupled with worse than expected second quarter economic growth rate (1.1%) are likely to compel the Federal Open Market Committee to hold back, at least to monitor improvement this third quarter before increasing borrowing cost.

Nevertheless, the retail sales that came out flat (0.0%) in July is due this week and expected to drop even further to -0.1 percent by economists, while the producer price index that measures consumer inflation is expected to rise just 0.1 percent in August from July 0.4 percent decline.

China, the world’s second largest economy, consumer price inflation dropped to its weakest in almost a year last month, but the producer price index moderated slightly from -1.0 percent to -0.8 percent in August. Also, China’s imports rose for the first time in almost two years last month as businesses restocked and wholesale inflation expectations rose. While, some analysts have interpreted it as a sign of steady economy, it is too early to deduce the direction of China’s economy, especially with exports slowing and credit risks rising as the People’s Bank of China continued to expand monetary easing.

In Australia, the seemingly positive Chinese data briefly aided Aussie dollar to 77.31 against the US dollar, before slumping nearly a whole cent to 75.36, after the RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said any further appreciation in the local currency could give Australia trouble. This, with a slowdown in economic growth rate in the second quarter to 0.5 percent and housing issues in some of the biggest Australian cities are issues the incoming RBA governor must address. This week, Australian unemployment rate, employment change and NAB business confidence are due.

The European Central Bank shocked the markets last week when Mario Draghi said the central bank doesn’t need to commit to fresh stimulus and left interest rates unchanged, even with inflation below 2 percent target and progress slowing as Brexit continued to weigh heavily on the world’s single largest market just six months to the end of the current Quantitative Easing. The 25-member Governing Council has decided to keep its main refinancing rate at zero, the deposit rate at – 0.4 percent and asset purchases at about 80 billion euros ($90 billion) a month until March 2017.

Draghi knows what has to be done — asset purchases will have to continue beyond March 2017 — but it seems too many of the council want to delay the decisions over what to buy and for how long,” said Richard Barwell, senior economist at BNP Paribas Investment Partners in London. “In the meantime, Draghi struggled manfully not to raise expectations of the inevitable.

This week, I will refer to the analysis of AUDUSD and EURUSD Forex three weeks ago.

AUDUSD

Three weeks ago, I said Australian dollar is overpriced. Below are my exact words.

audusddaily

Click to enlarge

For a while the Australian dollar has been overpriced, but yet continued to gain against the US dollar and its peers. Last week, sellers jumped on the pair immediately Fed officials signals possibility of the Federal Reserve raising rates later in the year, and break the ascending channel started on May 30. This week, if the markets continue to price in that possibility, the strong dollar will likely weigh on the pair and may finally give us 0.7505 as explained last week. I believe a technical break below the ascending channel should be enough to force traders to start pricing in the 25 basis points cut. This week, I am bearish on this pair as long as 0.7673 resistance holds.

EURAUD

This week, the ECB further strengthen our position by keeping rates unchanged and downplaying stimulus expansion.

eurauddaily

Click to enlarge

This pair has gained 487 pips since Aug 11th, and positioned for even more. Here is why I think this pair may offer buyers opportunity, the Euro-area has shown resilience since the U.K exit the European Union, and has complemented its moderate fundamental with strategic monetary policy. Another reason is the U.K post-Brexit retail sales report released last week, would likely reduce the heavy negativity surrounding the Brexit and boost the business activities of the Euro-area.

Technically, after breaking 1.4665 resistance on Wednesday, the Thursday’s candlestick that closed as a bullish pin bar on the daily time frame was the first sign of bullish continuation. While the morning start pattern formed on weekly time frame validate this stance. This week, as long as 1.4665 support holds, I am bullish on this pair with 1.5008 as the Forex target.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Naira

Naira to Dollar Exchange Rate Improves Slightly to N414.07/US$1

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Naira Notes - Investors King

Naira to Dollar exchange rate improved further at the official foreign exchange window on Wednesday despite the ongoing economic uncertainties.

The local currency opened the day at N414.18 to a United States Dollar before closing at N414.07, representing an improvement of 0.16 percent gain.

During the day, Naira plunged to as low as N442 to a United States Dollar at spot fx market. While at the fx future market it was fairly stable at N419. Forex traders exchange $334.97 million on Wednesday.

However, the Central Bank of Nigeria published exchange rates revealed that the United States Dollar was sold at N410.89 on Wednesday to banks. The British Pound and Euro were sold at N565 and N477.74, respectively.

Central Bank of Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange Rate

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Naira

Naira Gained 0.08 Percent to N414.73 Against the United States Dollar on Monday

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Naira - Investors King

The Nigerian Naira gained against the United States Dollar on Monday after falling to a record low of N422 per US dollar on Friday at the official forex window.

The local currency opened at N414.46 to a United States Dollar, a 0.15 percent improvement from Friday’s closing price.

Naira dropped as low as N425 to a United States Dollar at the spot forex market and to N429.50 at the forward forex market before closing at N414.73 to a United States Dollar at the spot forex market. Forex traders traded $172 million at the official forex window on Monday.

Forex scarcity across key foreign exchange segments and the decision of the central bank of Nigeria to halt the sale of forex to Bureau de Change operators continue to impede forex access in Africa’s largest economy.

Vice President Osinbajo had suggested that the apex bank should look to adopt a new forex policy to better close the gap between the black market and official rates. At the unregulated black market, traders are selling at N570 to US dollar.

This, the Vice President said was what was sustaining the black market.

For context, the Vice President’s point was that currently the Naira exchange rate benefits only those who are able to obtain the dollar at N410, some of who simply turn round and sell to the parallel market at N570. It is stopping this huge arbitrage of over N160 per dollar that the Vice President was talking about. Such a massive difference discourages doing proper business, when selling the dollar can bring in 40% profit!, stated Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President.

“This was why the Vice President called for measures that would increase the supply of foreign exchange in the market rather than simply managing demand, which opens up irresistible opportunities for arbitrage and corruption.”

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Naira

Naira Plunges to Record Low of N422/US$1 at Official Market

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Naira Dollar Exchange Rate - Investors King

The Nigerian Naira extended its decline to N422 to a United States Dollar at the official forex market, the investors and exporters forex window managed by the FMDQ Group.

Naira opened the day at N413.50 to a US Dollar before plunging to as low as N436 at the spot forex market and N446 at the forward market. The local currency eventually closed the day at N422.07 per US Dollar.

Investors at the window traded $141.94 million during the trading hours of Thursday.

The decline was after Vice President Osinbajo asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to rethink its current forex policy and allow the Naira to reflect market conditions. This, the Vice President said will help close the current gap that exists between the official rate and black market rate.

Media outlets had interpreted the Vice President position as a call for further devaluation of the Nigerian Naira. However, in a statement signed by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Akande explained that Osinbajo is simply calling for a single forex rate to dislodge the activities of speculators and hoarders at the various unregulated black market.

He added that the 40 percent or N160 arbitrage difference between the official rate of N410 and N570 offered at the black market will continue to encourage corruption in the forex market.

“For context, the Vice President’s point was that currently the Naira exchange rate benefits only those who are able to obtain the dollar at N410, some of who simply turn round and sell to the parallel market at N570. It is stopping this huge arbitrage of over N160 per dollar that the Vice President was talking about. Such a massive difference discourages doing proper business, when selling the dollar can bring in 40% profit!

“This was why the Vice President called for measures that would increase the supply of foreign exchange in the market rather than simply managing demand, which opens up irresistible opportunities for arbitrage and corruption.”

At the black market, traders exchanged Naira at N565 to a United States Dollar on Thursday.

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