Euro and sterling traders had no reason for rejoicing, even though we saw a slight increase in volatility on Wednesday. Yet there were no breakouts in both major currency pairs and while the cable rose to a high of 1.25, the currency pair was unable to overcome that hurdle, at least until now. The euro – how could it be different – remained sideways between 1.07 and 1.0630. With elections looming in France, investors are risk-averse and refrain from making any new investments in the euro until the political situation becomes more stable. This explains the moderate price development.
The FOMC minutes did little to alter the market’s view on the Fed’s 3-hike total policy outlook in 2017. While minutes restated an optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy, the discussion on shrinking the U.S. central bank’s balance sheet later this year drew most attention. There is speculation that the balance-sheet reduction could damp the need for further tightening from the Fed. The U.S. dollar weakened in response to the Fed’s comments on its balance sheet policy.
From a technical view, there is nothing new to report. We are still waiting for sustained breakouts in both EUR/USD and GBP/USD. With no fresh impetus to the market we expect the cable to remain between 1.2520 and 1.2430, whereas trading the euro only becomes interesting if the pair breaks above 1.07 or below 1.06.
Apart from a speech of ECB president Mario Draghi in the morning at 7:00 UTC, the U.S.-China summit will be of high importance.
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