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Hawkish Fed Surprises

Dear Traders,

Incredible but true: The U.S. dollar finally ended the trading day unchanged against the euro and British pound after it came under strong selling pressure following the weak U.S. inflation report. Market participants sold dollars ahead of the FOMC decision on speculation the Fed could forgo raising interest rates again this year. Weaker than anticipated inflation figures have led to the assumption the Fed may grow less hawkish but the opposite happened. The Fed statement was overly hawkish with Fed Chair Janet Yellen noting that the Fed continues to see conditions favorable in place for inflation to rise. Policy makers maintained their outlook for one more hike in 2017 and set out some details of the central bank’s plans to reduce its balance sheet. While U.S. economic data came in on the negative side most recently, it is difficult for the market to trust more the Fed’s rhetoric than the current data output. This fact limited the greenback’s strength and led to an almost unchanged picture.

We went long in both currency pairs EUR/USD and GBP/USD ahead of the Fed statement but gains were limited to smaller targets with the upward trend failing to be sustained.

The euro reversed shy of 1.13 and preferred trending around 1.12. As long as there is no sustained breakout either above 1.1285 or below 1.11, the technical picture in the EUR/USD remains unchanged favoring a sideways trend.

The cable took a glimpse above 1.28 but was unable to hold onto this high level. Sterling traders will watch today’s Bank of England policy decision at 11:00 UTC. While the BoE is unlikely to change its policy, attention will be paid to the central bank’s future guidance. A neutral stance might be considered as positive for the pound whereas a dovish stance could increase the pressure on the pound.

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Market Ignored FOMC Minutes, U.S. Dollar Strength Is Still Awaited

Dear Traders,

Following the FOMC minutes, nothing has actually happened in the market and it appears that market participants have completely ignored the possibility of a Federal Reserve rate hike at the upcoming meeting. The minutes showed that Fed officials see a hike ‘fairly soon’, confirming the hawkish bias while nothing in that report directly suggested that a March hike is off the table. The market however, has interpreted the minutes to be less hawkish as Fed policy makers expressed confidence they can take their time raising interest rates as there is little risk of an overshooting of inflation.

In summary, yesterday was none of our favorite trading days as we have hoped for larger market movements and more profitable swings.

The euro bounced off the 1.0490-support and recovered some losses after the U.S. dollar failed to gain strength from the minutes. We now expect the EUR/USD to trade within a range of 1.0615 and 1.0450.

The technical picture in the GBP/USD remained virtually unchanged with the pound continuing to trade sideways. The risk is however tilted to the downside and if the pound drops back below 1.2425 we see a higher possibility of upcoming bearish momentum towards 1.2385 and 1.2350. On the upside, we will wait for a significant break above 1.25 in order to shift the focus towards higher price levels.

There are no major economic reports scheduled for release today and thus the price action could hinge on the appetite for USD. Given the fact that the Fed is currently the only central bank that is on track to raise rates, we generally expect further strength in greenback.

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We wish you good trades and many pips!

Any and all liability of the author is excluded.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2017 Maimar-FX.

www.maimar.co