US Dollar, S&P 500 Primed Ahead of Powell’s First FOMC Rate Decision

Talking Points:

– The vast object opposite tellurian markets is tomorrow’s FOMC rate decision, in that a travel appears to be roughly a foregone finish during this indicate with probabilities hovering during around 94.4% (via CME Fedwatch). More dire is either a Fed thinks they can get 4 full hikes by this year, as was alluded to by Mr. Jerome Powell during his Humphrey Hawkins testimony a few weeks ago.

– Mr. Powell’s initial vital coming during that Humphrey Hawkins testimony constructed some engaging moves, pivotal of that was debility in US equities. That greeting was difficult by a ‘tariff announcement’ that came-out shortly after he finished vocalization on day two, though that seemed to clean out Powell-fueled gains in a Greenback as a ubiquitous trend of USD-weakness continued into a subsequent week.

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Jerome Powell’s First Rate Decision: FOMC Is On Deck for Tomorrow

Tomorrow is all about a Fed. The rate preference is announced during 2PM ET, and a concomitant press discussion starts thirty mins later. This will be new Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s initial rate preference atop a bank, and in many ways, this will be markets’ initial event to see Mr. Powell in action. While he did have a open coming progressing this month with a Fed’s Humphrey Hawkins, his testimony was maybe a bit vaporous by a subject of tariffs that dominated a headlines after that week.

The net takeaway from Mr. Powell’s initial coming was US Dollar strength to go along with equity weakness. The SP 500 started a bearish annulment right as Mr. Powell began vocalization on a initial day of that testimony, and a sell-off continued by a week. The US Dollar, on a other hand, reason a discerning cocktail of strength around day one, and that strength continued until he finished vocalization on day two. But a tariff proclamation that came out shortly after Mr. Powell had finished his testimony topsy-turvy that strength, and sent a US Dollar in a tailspin that didn’t start to slow until support showed around 89.50 on a following Tuesday.

On a subsequent chart, we can see that three-day method in action. In blue, we have a top-side run in a Dollar that began around Mr. Powell’s initial day of testimony. And that ran all a proceed by his second day of testimony on Thursday, during that indicate a proclamation of tariffs on Chinese steel stole a headlines, and a annulment punched a Greenback right behind to where it was before Mr. Powell started speaking.

US Dollar around ‘DXY’ Four-Hour Chart: US Dollar Pops on Powell, Reverses on Tariffs

us dollar 4 hour chart

Chart prepared by James Stanley

The pierce in US equities was a bit some-more pronounced, and maybe even a bit cleaner as a vigour started around a time Mr. Powell got started and didn’t let adult until we neared a Friday close.

SP 500 Four-Hour Chart: Pressure in Stocks Around Mr. Powell’s Humphrey Hawkins Testimony

us dollar four-hour chart

Chart prepared by James Stanley

As we can see from a above chart, a bit of vigour has started to uncover again forward of tomorrow’s FOMC rate decision. Equities sold-off in around yesterday’s session, throwing a bit of support around 2700 as we neared yesterday’s US close. That support has mostly reason so far, though this competence not be a drop that equity traders wish to follow as we have a intensity for some lower-high insurgency inside of a 2750 area on a chart.

This can open a doorway for short-term bearish strategies or, for those that are looking to re-engage a bullish position with US stocks, these levels can offer barriers to re-open a doorway for topside plays.

SP 500 Four-Hour Chart: Confluence Around Lower-High Resistance Potential

sp 500 four-hour chart

Chart prepared by James Stanley

The US Dollar As We Near a Fed

The object that unequivocally seemed to grasp a courtesy of marketplace participants’ from Mr. Powell’s initial coming progressing this month was the awaiting of 4 rate hikes. Tomorrow’s rate travel is expected well-baked in a cake during this point, and a courtesy will be on either or not a Fed thinks we’ll get 3 or 4 hikes in a residue of this year. That means: Watch a dot tract matrix, as this will expected finish adult being a pivotal motorist around tomorrow’s Fed meeting, notwithstanding any intensity surprises that competence relief themselves in a press conference.

The backdrop around a US Dollar is rather difficult during a moment, as there appears to be dueling themes of both a financial and a mercantile variety. On a financial front: The Fed is hawkish and they wish to travel some-more to keep a US economy from ‘overheating’. This is something that’s routinely a certain for a currency, as marketplace participants follow a aloft rates and this, in general, expostulate banking flows.

The usually problem with that unfolding is that it hasn’t unequivocally been happening. While a US Dollar is one of a usually games in city for rate hikes (amongst vast Central Banks, during least), as has been a box for a past integrate of years, a Greenback stays in a midst of a poignant aria of weakness. That debility started final year and has seen as most as 15% of a value of a US Dollar erased; and this was maybe explainable when taken into comment with a Dollar-strength that had showed from 2014-2017.

US Dollar around ‘DXY’ Weekly Chart: As Much as 15% Wiped Out from 2017 High to 2018 Low

us dollar weekly chart

Chart prepared by James Stanley

But, as we’ve changed deeper into 2018, that tract has begun to thicken as we’ve also seen some poignant moves in US Treasuries, with yields on a 10-year spiking from a Dec tie of 2.4% to as high as 2.94%. Sure, this is only a half a percent; though when taken into comment with a distance of a US Treasury market, and also taken with a judgment of ‘convexity’, or a principal transformation in a bond for a given transformation in rates – and this is a outrageous move.

This debility in US Treasuries is expected associated to a determined debility that continues to expostulate a US Dollar on a longer-term basis. This expected relates behind to a maze of a mercantile accumulation that we’ll be saying over a subsequent few years as a US Government raises supports to compensate for spending initiatives and taxation cuts; and if you’re a bond trader, this is a elementary awaiting of supply and demand: More treasuries (supply) with even reduction direct (no some-more Fed QE, and now we have QT). Combine this with a rising rate sourroundings in that a Fed is looking to serve normalize policy, and a sourroundings is officious daunting for bond traders. Why reason US paper when a US supervision itself is on a other side of a trade, furnishing some-more supply and even reduction direct while also hiking rates? There are simply greener pastures elsewhere, or opposite a Atlantic, where Central Banks are still actively ancillary bond markets.

This helps to explain because a US Dollar has continued to be so impossibly diseased even as a Fed continues to tie policy. This also shows how mercantile army competence not accurately be on a same side of Dollar-bulls, during slightest for long; and any strength building around this year could be a bombardment to insurgency so that a Greenback can be sole again.

As we proceed tomorrow’s FOMC rate decision, a US Dollar stays in an expanding wedge, infrequently called a ‘megaphone pattern’. These will mostly show-up forward of a vast move, nonetheless they’re non-directional formations, so there’s no proceed of presaging that side prices will break. On a draft below, we’re looking during 3 opposite insurgency levels inside of a 2018 high in a US Dollar, any of that could open a doorway for short-side USD strategies, in currencies such as EUR/USD or GBP/USD. If we do mangle above a 92.64 turn that’s now portion as a 2018

US Dollar around ‘DXY’ Eight-Hour Chart: Potential Resistance Levels Inside of 2018 High

us dollar eight-hour

Chart prepared by James Stanley

To review more:

Are we looking for longer-term research on a Euro, a British Pound or a U.S. Dollar? Our DailyFX Forecasts for Q1 have a territory for any vital currency, and we also offer a engorgement of resources on a EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD and U.S. Dollar pages. Traders can also stay adult with near-term positioning around a IG Client Sentiment Indicator.

— Written by James Stanley, Strategist for

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