The FX market appeared to be taking a breather at the beginning of the week with market participants cautious ahead of today’s Federal Reserve policy decision. Consequently, there was nothing to gain for FX traders but this could possibly change today with traders bracing for higher volatility around the Fed’s statement.
The Federal Reserve is expected to announce it will begin trimming its monthly asset purchases before the end of the year but it will leave asset purchases untouched for several more months.
Nonetheless, the most likely scenario is that today’s FOMC decision will be an uneventful one since Fed President Jerome Powell is unlikely to hint at the timeline for tapering at this meeting, given that U.S. economic data has only just begun to pick up momentum and the U.S. Treasury market has calmed. But as the economic recovery continues, the Fed could soon send a signal.
In the unlikely event of a hawkish signal during Powell’s press conference or if he provides any clues about the tapering timeline, we will get a strong market reaction with the U.S. dollar rising. However, the Fed is not expected to follow the Bank of Canada that surprised the market with a hawkish tilt last week.
As for the tapering, most economists expect a taper to happen in the first quarter of next year with the Fed starting to signal tapering from the July semi-annual testimony.
EUR/USD: The pair remained in a tight trading range, increasing the chances for price breakouts to either side. For bullish momentum to accelerate we need to see a renewed break above 1.2115 or on the downside, a test of the current support zones at 1.20 or 1.19. If the pair remains however unable to overcome the 1.2110-barrier, chances are in favor of the bears with the focus being on the 1.1950-1.19-support zone.
GBP/USD: The cable failed to gather momentum and remained in a narrow sideways trading range between 1.3930 and 1.3850. If the pair falls below 1.3850, we will focus on a lower target at 1.38. A break below 1.3770 could even open the door to a deeper correction towards 1.3670. Sterling bulls on the other side, will have to wait for a significant break above 1.3930 and further 1.3960 in order to expect a higher target at 1.4070.
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