We can call the latest FOMC minutes a non-event for traders as the minutes revealed nothing fundamentally new. Several Federal Reserve policy makers argued against an April interest rate hike while some favored it. Although the minutes reflect inconsistency in terms of the timing of rate hikes, the Fed’s fundamental stance remains more hawkish than dovish. All Fed officials agreed on the relative health of the U.S. economy amidst persistent global risks. Nonetheless, several officials advocated a cautious approach as they worried that slowing global growth could hurt U.S. exports and reduce corporate investments.
While market participants see no chance of an April hike the odds increase slightly for a June hike but first top 50 percent for a rate increase in December. The market has a difficulty in pricing in rate hikes for 2016 but if future U.S. data show that the economy continues to improve, the dollar will begin to rally.
The British pound confirmed its bearish bias and showed that there is still room for a further decline ahead of the upcoming U.K. referendum in June. The currency pair tested the 1.40-support but was able to recover most of its losses towards the end of the day. For any bullish engagements the 1.4175-level should be of primary interest as a break above that level could send the pound towards 1.4230. However the trend is down and if GBP falls back below 1.4080, we could see another dip lower.
The euro is still captured between 1.1430 and 1.13 and every attempt to break significantly above 1.14 has resulted in a reversal. Once the 1.1440-level has been breached to the upside we might see an attempt to test the 1.1480/1.15 level. However, if the pair remains below 1.14 we will favor a bearish stance and focus again on a break below 1.1335 and further 1.13. A break below 1.1285 could drive the euro as low as 1.1240/20.
The most important risk event for the euro will be the speech by ECB President Mario Draghi in a meeting at the Council of State in Lisbon, Portugal. The speech is scheduled for around 14:00 GMT. The risk for the euro is to the downside as Draghi might take the opportunity to put pressure on the common currency.
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