March 21, 2020
First, a review of last week’s events:
- EUR/USD. The coronavirus pandemic continues to drive global markets. The oil wars between Saudi Arabia and Russia, which, of course, do not do without the active intervention of the United States, add to the nervousness. This country, whose shale oil is another target of attacks from Russia, may now act as a mediator in the price battle between the Saudis and the Russians.
Covid-19 has dealt a severe blow to the American economy, but the economies of other countries are suffering even greater losses. Since Thursday, March 18, the situation has been somewhat stabilized, the price of Brent oil, as well as the NASDAQ and S&P500 indexes have shown a slight increase. As for the dollar, it has been growing continuously for two weeks in a row, and this period can be called the best for it since the 2008 crisis. Since March 09, the US currency has strengthened against the euro by more than 800 points, while the dollar index has grown by more than 3.3%. The US Federal Reserve, which lowered the interest rate from 1.25% to 0.25% on Monday, has reopened swap lines for Central banks in many countries since Thursday, which, together with the mediation mission in the oil war, should somewhat calm the markets. Although, it is unlikely that anyone will undertake to give any guarantees here.
It is very difficult to analyze the situation now, standard techniques almost do not work, but the majority of experts (55%), supported by 85% of oscillators and trend indicators on H4, gave a correct forecast last week, predicting a further fall in the EUR/USD pair. However, the reality exceeded all expectations: experts named the February low of 1.0750 as the final goal, but the fall was even deeper and the pair reached the local bottom 100 points lower, and ended the five-day period at 1.0695;
- GBP/USD. The British currency has never fallen so low! 230 years ago, in 1791, the pound cost $4.555, in 1900 - $4.864, in 2000 - $1.515, on March 20, 2020 it was worth only $1.141. When we set the target for the pound to fall to 1.1960, we warned that this might not be the limit yet, and we were right. The weekly low was recorded at 1.1409. And if the pound lost about 1,900 points on June 23, 2016, following the results of the Brexit referendum, the GBP/USD pair has fallen by almost 1,800 points over the past two weeks. The latest downward push was facilitated by the news that the Bank of England is reducing the rate from 0.25% to 0.10% and expanding the quantitative easing program by £200 billion. As for the final chord of last week, it sounded at the level of 1.1635;
- USD/JPY. The forecast for this pair as a whole also turned out to be correct. Here, almost 70% of analysts voted that the Japanese currency would give up its positions, the pair would pass through the 108.30-109.75 zone like a knife through butter and reach the 112.00-112.40 level. Experts named the next 1-2 months as the deadline, but the pair passed the main part of this path in just a week, reaching the height of 111.50 at maximum and ending the trading session on the horizon of 110.70;
- cryptocurrencies. If the movement of EUR/USD in recent weeks repeats the movements on the charts of Brent, NASDAQ or S&P500 almost exactly, the BTC/USD pair seems to live quite an independent life. When the dollar plummeted in the week from February 24 to March 01, Bitcoin fell with it. From 02 to 08 March, the dollar continued to fall, while Bitcoin, in contrast, behaved quite calmly and even showed a small increase. Then, in the period from 09 to 15 March, the currency trend turned 180 degrees, the dollar began to grow no less rapidly, and the price of Bitcoin fell down, which could be explained by the fact that in the conditions of the growing crisis, people are dumping cryptocurrencies, converting them into real currency assets. And here is the week from March 16 to 22: the dollar still continues to grow, and Bitcoin first goes flat, and then even shows a small increase.
What does this mean?
We dismiss the option about BTC as a safe haven asset, which was so actively promoted by all sorts of crypto gurus. In just one month from February 12 to March 13, the main cryptocurrency lost 58% in price, dropping from $10,340 to $4,300. On some exchanges, the drop was even greater – up to $3,815 and reached 63%. Bitcoin lost up to half of its value in just one day from March 12 to 13, dragging the entire crypto market down with it, including such top altcoins as Ethereum (ETH/USD), Litecoin (LTC/USD) and Ripple (XRP/USD). Quite a safe haven!
But the use of the BTC/USD pair as a leading indicator is worth thinking about. Of course, this is still only a theory, but it has certain grounds. The transition of BTC/USD to a flat state in the conditions of continued super-volatility in other markets suggests that major players do not know what to do at the moment – buy or sell their crypto assets, and this may be a warning signal about a possible trend change (or a strong correction) for EUR/USD and other major dollar pairs.
As for the past week, the local low for Bitcoin was fixed at $4,465, and the high at $6,900 per coin. At the end of Friday, March 20, the market capitalization of Bitcoin rose from $91.459 billion to $103.590 billion, and the quotes of the BTC/USD pair are at the level of $6,140.
As for the forecast for the coming week, summarizing the opinions of a number of experts, as well as forecasts made on the basis of various methods of technical and graphical analysis, we can say the following:
- EUR/USD. In a truly universal crisis, the dollar has shown that it is it, not the euro or the yen, that is the most attractive protective asset for investors. Will it retain this status, and will it continue to grow?
On the one hand, the US Federal reserve has greatly narrowed its room for maneuver by lowering the rate to 0.25%, flooding the market with cheap liquidity and lending $1.42 trillion to banks every week. The growth of unemployment puts pressure on the dollar as well: instead of forecasted 9K, the number of new applications for benefits increased to 70K. California, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania have closed all the secondary businesses, and in the aggregate, these states provide up to 35% of US GDP. Coordinated actions of the G7 countries and Central banks of other countries can also hit the US currency if they simultaneously start to get rid of the dollar mass.
On the other hand, there remains President Donald Trump's stimulus package, which is likely to receive congressional support. And, most importantly, the economic situation in other countries is even worse than in the United States.
If you look at the charts of last Thursday and the first half of Friday, you can decide that the markets have started to calm down, the EUR/USD pair has reached the bottom, and it is time to open long positions on it. But the end of the working week dealt another blow to the bulls: in half a day, the euro gave up all the positions it had won back, returning to weekly lows. And this makes us think that the dollar's quotes have not yet reached their peak, and the pair's downtrend may continue.
Here again, much depends on success in the fight against the coronavirus. So far, 100% of the trend indicators and 85% of the oscillators on H4 and D1 are colored red. The remaining 15% of the oscillators are in the oversold zone.
As for the forecasts of analysts, it was not possible to collect their opinions in any specific forecast for the next week. But when switching to larger time frames, bull supporters get a fairly significant advantage: 60% of experts expect the pair to grow during the month, and 75%- during the quarter. The goal is to return to the 1.1000-1.1240 zone, the nearest resistance is in the 1.0800 zone.
The nearest support level, of course, is around 1.0600, and the next one is 100 points lower. The main goal for the bears is the 2016-17 low at the level of 1.0350, after which the path to the parity of the dollar and the euro 1.0000 will be opened;
- GBP/USD. In contrast to the euro, since March 18, the British pound has stabilized in the side channel 1.1450-1.1800 and is moving along the Pivot Point 1.1625. The channel width of 350 points may seem too large to some, but at present, when the daily volatility of the pair exceeds 500-600 points, this is not so much.
The majority of analysts (65%) hope that nothing extraordinary will happen in the coming week, and the pound will stay in the channel indicated above. At the same time, 70% to 80% of them expect that the pound will be able to return to the 1.2725-1.3025 zone during April-May. Resistance zones are 1.1800, 1.1875, 1.2125, 1.2325 and 1.2625. Supports are located in the areas of 1.1425, 1.1300 and 1.1200, but these levels are quite conditional, because, recall, the British pound has never fallen so low in the past 230 years;
- USD/JPY. The movements of this pair depend at the present moment, first of all, not on the yen, but on the dollar. The pair goes where it goes. The main factors that can affect the quotes of the US currency have been described above. In the meantime, the pair has won back all that it lost in the period from February 24 to March 09, and now the score is tied: for two weeks, 1000 points down, then, just for two weeks, 1000 points back. And now 55% of brokers are waiting for the upcoming week to reverse the trend and reduce the pair to at least the 108.50-110.00 zone. When switching to a monthly time frame, the number of bear supporters increases to 65%. The next target zone is 107.00-107.70.
Supporters of the US currency have the opposite goal: first to raise the pair to the level of 112.25 yen per dollar, then 100 points higher. The goal is a 2018 high of 114.55;
- cryptocurrencies. The Bitcoin Crypto Fear & Greed Index is almost exactly where it was a week ago, at the level of 9 points out of 100 possible. On the one hand, this is bad and suggests that investors are in a state of great fear. On the other hand, maybe this is a good thing, since the indicator did not fall to zero, but froze in one place – maybe the "lion" is preparing to jump, and we might soon see an impressive growth of this cryptocurrency?
This is possible because, on the one hand, thanks to the US Federal Reserve's easing program, there is an excess of dollar liquidity in the market, and on the other hand, interest rates on the dollar are now close to zero. And players who hit the jackpot on the growth of the dollar in the last two weeks may well transfer some of the cash to crypto assets.
45% of experts who expect to see the BTC/USD pair in the $7,500 zone agree with this development. The same number of analysts expect the pair to fall to the level of $5,000-5,500. The remaining 10% could not make up their minds about their prognosis, citing the unpredictability of the situation with the Covid-19 coronavirus.
NordFX Analytical Group
These materials should not be deemed a recommendation for investment or guidance for working on financial markets: they are for informative purposes only. Trading in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.