The recent USD and JPY weakness has reversed sharply, spoiling momentum trades in a number of crosses as 2020 gets underway. The source of the sudden change in direction – geopolitical concern on US assassination of an Iranian military leader in Iraq – strongly enhances the risk of a headline-driven market, often anathema for risk control and momentum trades, so traders will need to tread carefully here. Elsewhere, we are seeing the surge in oil prices on geopolitical drivers extending already notable strength in oil-linked currencies like NOK and CAD (although note that USDRUB is torn between the implications for oil prices and risk appetite from these developments). And non-oil linked, generally pro-cyclical currencies like SEK, AUD and NZD have all been suffering quite a beating after recent run-ups on hopes for a resurgent economy in 2020 and strong risk appetite from the Fed’s latest easing over year-end.
Today’s Breakout Highlight: EURUSD
This latest setback for EURUSD bulls is a familiar sight as the past eighteen months and more of the technical action has been marred by the inability of the pair to sustain a directional breakout for any length of time. It’s difficult to know at present whether this latest sell-off is merely a one-off kneejerk move or can quickly reverse, but we’ll keep our minds open – particularly given both the timing here over the transition to a new calendar year and that the market can quickly change its mind about the implications of headlines. Technically, though, the bulls need a quickly bounce back and close back above 1.1200 to be in business again for a fresh look higher. Note the key 200-day moving average in play as well.