The FOMC statement came in slightly more dovish than markets had expected, predicting two quarter-point rate increases by the end of this year. The Federal Reserve’s stance was generally friendly and while policy makers are still looking for two rate hikes in 2016 the statement pointed to risks to global economic growth, citing the impact from global risks on the U.S. economy. The market’s reaction to the Fed’s statement suggests that expectations were somewhat more bullish, focusing on the “dot-chart” of interest-rate forecasts which finally represented only two rate hikes instead of the expected three hikes this year. With regard to the so-called “dot plot” projections which were recently of considerable importance, Yellen tried to downplay the significance of those forecasts saying that they are neither a present plan nor a commitment.
On the bottom line, the Fed maintains its hawkish monetary policy stance even if the pace of further tightening slightly slowed. The probability of a rate hike in April is currently at 15 percent whereas economists see a 42 percent-chance of a rate increase in June.
Both euro and British pound benefitted from the dovish statement and rose towards next resistance levels. The EUR/USD bounced back from the next resistance level around 1.1250 but was able to remain above 1.12. For euro traders it was yet another day of huge profits and our monthly performance increased by 100 pips to 304 pips profit. Technically we see a next hurdle at 1.1280 before heading towards a test of 1.13 but traders should bear in mind that the euro is generally not the most attractive currency and can quickly give up on its gains as soon as risk appetite declines. Euro bears should wait for a break of 1.1050 and 1.10.
The British pound climbed towards 1.43 on the back of broad-based dollar weakness. Whether the pair will be able to break above 1.43 remains to be seen. However, concerning the technical picture the bias remains bearish and we will focus on current resistance from where the pound may bounce back.
The Bank of England will announce its monetary policy statement including the rate decision today at 12:00 GMT but no changes are expected. Let us have a look at the technical outlook.
Looking at the daily chart we see that the overall trend is bearish and that the recent upward move can yet be considered as correction within a downward trend. With a break above 1.4310 next resistances are seen at 1.4375 and 1.44. We expect the 1.4515- 1.4580 area to be a key resistance for the currency pair. Consequently we favor the downward trend sending sterling back towards 1.4040 and 1.40.
Further important economic data for today:
10:00 EUR Eurozone Consumer Prices
12:00 UK Bank of England Rate Decision
12:30 USA Philly Fed Index
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