FX Trading focus: USD bulls on the defensive ahead of key data. EURUSD squeeze risk picks up above 1.0100
EURUSD has squeezed back higher this morning, and looks ready for a poke above 1.0100 if the minor US data points ahead of Friday’s US jobs report (today’s Consumer Confidence survey and JOLTS survey and Thursday’s August ISM Manufacturing survey) don’t offer any drama. But conviction is lacking as long as EURUSD remains within the seeming tractor-beam pull of parity and it is tough to develop conviction until we have had a look at the Friday’s US jobs report (big Average Hourly Earnings surprises may carry more weight than payrolls due to the inflation angle of earnings), the ISM Services survey on Tuesday (completely at odds with the alternative S&P Global non-manufacturing survey in July when the latter showed a slightly contraction while the July ISM Services was still a robust 56+. The flash August S&P Global reading worsened further to 44.0.), and most of all the August CPI release on September 13, given that the Fed has pre-declared that it is willing to tolerate economic weakness if inflation is not yet under control.
ECB Chief Economist Lane was out yesterday arguing for a “steady” pace of “smaller” rate hikes rather than large moves – presumably a series of 50 basis point moves – to avoid “adverse effects” and as Lane believes that this would make it easier for ECB to course correct. This seemed to help cut short the EUR rally yesterday, but rate expectations for the ECB meeting next week are still around 50/50 for a 75-basis-point move, somewhat lower than they were at the peak yesterday after the hawkish speech from the ECB’s Schnabel at the Fed’s Jackson Hole conference at the weekend. The German flash August CPI will be out around pixel time for this article.
The US dollar backing off today and EURUSD pulls back above parity again after bobbing back and forth around that level yesterday and into this morning. The move likely only picks up likely order-driven momentum tactically on a move above 1.0100 and we face a further cavalcade of incoming data tests for the USD through the August US CPI figure as noted above, and for the EUR side of the equation, the test is next Thursday’s ECB meeting as well as whether Russia turns the gas back on next week after the purported maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in coming days. A squeeze scenario could see 1.0200, with anything above that beginning to suggest at least an intermediate challenge of the down-trend. Short term long option strangles are one way to trade for zany choppiness in coming sessions (A long strangle approach is an idea for the indecisive trader, or the one that believes that we might see a squeeze on a move above 1.0100 but one that won’t hold – for example long 1.0125 calls and long 0.9975 puts w/ expiry next Wed. or Thursday, or a trader can simply choose one or the other leg if biased.)