EUR/USD Forecast Mar. 19-23 – Has euro-zone growth peaked?

EUR/USD traded in a narrow range and eventually ended the week lower once again. Will it extend its falls or bounce now? PMI data and business surveys stand out in a busy week.  Here is an outlook for the highlights of this week and an updated technical analysis for EUR/USD.

ECB President Mario Draghi called for patience and said that a strong euro weighs on reaching the inflation goal. Indeed, the final inflation report for February saw a downgrade from 1.2% to 1.1%. Data in the US was mixed as well, with inflation not going anywhere fast, retail sales falling again but consumer confidence on the rise. Speculation about the Fed’s decision and worries about trade dominated the headlines.

Updates:

EUR/USD daily graph with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:

  • Trade Balance: Monday, 10:00. The euro-zone has a wide trade surplus driven mostly by German exports. A small squeeze from 23.8 billion euros to 22.6 billion is on the cards for January.
  • German Bundesbank Monthly Report: Monday, 11:00. The German central bank’s monthly report may shed light on the economic situation and help answer the question: has euro-zone growth peaked? Updates on growth and comments on trade will be interesting to watch.
  • German PPI: Tuesday, 7:00. Producer prices rose relatively fast in January, 0.5%. The figure for February is expected to be a modest rise of 0.1%. Prices at factory gates eventually feed into consumer prices.
  • German ZEW Economic Sentiment: Tuesday, 10:00. Business confidence has been somewhat lower in February, with a score of 17.8 points and is projected to further drop to 13.1 in March. This early survey from ZEW may provide information about how trade fears are playing out among German businesses. The all-European number carries expectations for a slide from 29.3 to 28.1 points.
  • Consumer Confidence: Tuesday, 15:00. Eurostat’s 2300-strong survey had already reached positive ground, indicating optimism, but returned to 0 in February. The same score is likely in March.
  • Flash PMI data: Thursday: 8:00 for France, 8:30 for Germany, and 9:00 for the euro-zone. Markit’s final manufacturing PMI for February stood at 55.9 points, significantly above the 50-point threshold separating expansion from contraction. A small slide to 55.6 is on the cards now. The services PMI is expected to slide from 57.4 to 57 points. In Germany, the largest economy, the manufacturing PMI was at a strong level of 60.6 points and a drop to 59.8 is on the cards now. The euro-zone manufacturing PMI is forecast to slip from 58.6 to 58.1 points while the all-European measure carries expectations for a drop from 58.2 to 58 points.
  • German Ifo Business Climate: Thursday, 9:00. IFO is Germany’s No. 1 Think-tank. Its broad survey of around 7000 businesses showed a disappointing drop to 115.4 points. Another slide is projected to 114.7. Talk of the euro-zone growth peaking off may take center stage on a low outcome.
  • Current Account: Thursday, 9:00. The broad current account measure follows the trade balance by showing a wide surplus. An expansion is on the cards for January: from 29.9 to 30.2 billion euros.
  • ECB Economic Bulletin: Thursday, 9:00. The European Central Bank’s long document details economic developments in the euro-zone. While it usually consists of the messages already seen in the rate decision, small tweaks, especially about inflation, can make a difference.
  • Belgian NBB Business Climate: Thursday, 14:00. The broad survey from the capital of the European Union serves as a bellwether to the whole continent. Contrary to the German surveys, an increase is projected: from 1.9 to 2.1 points now.
  • * All times are GMT

    EUR/USD Technical Analysis

    Euro/dollar kicked off the week by clinging to the 1.2360 level (mentioned last week). It then advanced above 1.24 but never went too far, eventually tumbling down and closing the week below 1.23.

    Technical lines from top to bottom:

    1.2650 is where the long-term downwards resistance level dating from 2008 meets this month’s levels. Further below, the recent swing high of 1.2555 may serve as resistance.

    1.2450 was a swing high in March 2018. 1.2360 provided support to the pair in early February and now switches to resistance.

    1.2260 was a support line in mid-February. 1.22 is a round number and also a level of comfort in February. 1.2155 was the low point in early March.

    The 2017 peak of 1.2090 remains essential. 1.20 is the obvious round level and also worked as resistance in September.

    1.1950 was the high level seen in November and a stepping stone towards 1.20. 1.1860 capped the pair in August and in October while working as support in September.

    I am neutral on EUR/USD

    Things are not looking good on both sides of the Atlantic. The euro suffers from fears that growth has peaked while the Fed may not be as hawkish as some expect.

    Our latest podcast is titled The Powell Power Play.

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    Further reading:

    • GBP/USD forecast – Pound/dollar predictions
    • USD/JPY forecast – analysis for dollar/yen
    • AUD/USD forecast – the outlook for the Aussie dollar.
    • USD/CAD forecast – Canadian dollar predictions
    • Forex weekly forecast – Outlook for the major events of the week.

    Safe trading!


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