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The Weekly Close Out

Luke Suddards
Research Strategist
10 Dec 2021
A fairly muted week with today's inflation numbers not hitting 7% keeping markets in a holding pattern until next week's crucial central bank meetings.


Pfizer and BioNTech released the results of their recent laboratory study which found that their vaccine’s antibody response is capable of neutralizing omicron (levels similar to 2 doses against previous strains) after three doses. There was a more than 25-fold reduction in the efficacy of the vaccine however, showing the 32 mutations in omicron does certainly have an impact. The vaccine induced T cells are not affected by omicron and should therefore still provide protection from severe symptoms. To finish off a Japanese study showed that omicron was 4.2 times more transmissible than delta in its early stage. We know that omicron was far more transmissible already so this isn’t a major shock, however, the issue with higher transmissibility is the opportunity for further new variants to arise which (hopefully) will not increase in lethality.

Dollar Index (DXY):

The greenback is basically flat from where it started the week as traders remain hesitant to push price in a new direction until today’s CPI result is out the way. Omicron news as mentioned above has been on the positive side so risk-off flows derived from that side of things has been non-existent. However, where we could see more safe haven bids for the dollar is from any escalation in the Russia Ukraine tensions, with an invasion very likely seeing risk-off ensconcing markets. This would clearly benefit the dollar on the lhs of the smile (risk-off).

Data wise, job numbers filled the rather quiet calendar throughout the week with vacancies reaching new records as well as jobless claims breaching the 200k mark, coming in at 184k. We also had bond auctions coming to the fore, beginning with the front end of the curve, 3-year auctions showed strong demand despite today’s inflation numbers; moving to the back end of the curve the 10-year also showed relatively robust demand. It was the 30-year bond which was very weak with yields spiking higher leading to fears over today’s inflation numbers being the main driver. Inflation numbers were smack bang in line with consensus at 6.8% YoY (highest since 1982) and 4.9% YoY for core. The initial market reaction saw the dollar softer as short term rates fell (clearly the market was positioned for 7%), but that initial dollar weakness is now being retraced as it's still a solid number (Fed won't change path) with prices increases broad based.  Next week the focus will be on the Fed meeting where the risks are definitely tilted towards the hawkish side for the dollar.


(Source: TradingView - Past performance is not indicative of future performance.)

The dollar is ever so slightly above its upper trend line and the 21-day EMA has provided good dynamic support. The RSI has bounced off the 55 support level too keeping the uptrend momentum in tact. There is some resistance at 96.5 to monitor and on the downside the 21-day EMA would be important to watch if price slides.


The euro continues to tread water as it faces headwinds on multiple fronts. The week began with fairly positive ZEW sentiment reading with current conditions missing (expected with covid restrictions), but the main index reading more positive than expected. Olaf Scholz has now been inducted as Chancellor of Germany with the end of Merkel’s reign officially coming to an end. European gas has been soaring again as tensions between Russia and US led to reports than Biden could implement sanctions on Russia. Europe is highly exposed to the price of natural gas so this could be one to watch for sure. Next week sees a very important ECB meeting with a fresh set of economic projections out (I’ll be watching their inflation forecasts particularly) as well as insights into how they’ll navigate the completion of their PEPP programme and transition. I’ll be providing a preview next week. 


(Source: TradingView - Past performance is not indicative of future performance.)

EURUSD moves sideways with a slight tilt towards the downside capped by the overhead 21-day EMA. 1.135 resistance has formed as the one to watch. The price support at 1.125 should be on your radar too. The RSI has rolled over a touch and pointing lower. The former low around the lower trend line at 1.12 could be very important over the next week.


Sterling has been under pressure as multiple factors line up against it. The week began with centrist Ben Broadbent’s speech which didn’t drop any hints on what the BoE may do at their December meeting. UK GDP data was disappointing with missed expectations on a monthly time frame as well as YoY and 3-month average. Plan B restrictions have now been implemented - guidance to work from home from Monday, and an extension of face masks to most public indoor venues (public transport etc). Mandatory Covid-19 passes will now be needed for entry to places such as nightclubs and venues with large crowds. With Plan B restrictions and softer GDP data, markets are all but certain a BoE hike will not happen at next week’s meeting, opting to rather wait until February for a move. I’ll be providing a preview for this event, but we shouldn’t be getting any curve balls as expectations are widely baked in for no hike, leading to very muted reactions in GBP crosses if any.

UK opinion polls have moved against Boris Johnson after the uproar caused by allegations of his rule breaking Christmas party. Labour is now ahead in a variety of polls, which hasn’t occurred for a long time. If the fallout continues the Conservative MPs may decide to trigger a vote of no confidence in him which may inject some political instability. Article 16 could be used as a deflection and distraction tactic to turn the spotlight away from himself.


(Source: TradingView - Past performance is not indicative of future performance.)

GBPUSD looks technically weak as it trades below the lower trend line of its descending channel. The RSI hovers just above oversold. 1.315 on the downside would be key for a move lower while 1.32.5 - 1.33 on the upside just below the 21-day EMA would be key.


The yen continues to come under pressure as the US 10-year yield moves higher and risk sentiment leans on the positive side, reducing the need for risk-off hedges. Tensions over Russian invading Ukraine will need to be monitored though as this could see flows directed towards the yen.


(Source: TradingView - Past performance is not indicative of future performance.)

USDJPY continues to be bid around its 38.2% Fibonacci level and mini range support around 113.5. The 50-day SMA and 21-day EMA are bunched up right together on the price candles. The RSI edges above the 46 level of support. Targets wise, on the upside 114-114.5 will remain key while on the downside 112.5 will be important to watch.


Omicron variant positive news flow is taking the allure away from gold for safe haven flows, however, rising tensions between the US and Russia is helping to offset that. Real yields have also been rising higher of late which will pressure gold as well as a stronger dollar. Gold is a tad stronger on the inflation release as traders had most likely positioned for a 7% print and this not being the case has led to some bids flowing through. 


(Source: TradingView - Past performance is not indicative of future performance.)

Gold remains trapped in a tight range with today's inflation data a potential catalyst for a more directional move. Price is now just above the $1775 support level. The RSI has turned back upwards, but remains in no-man's land. The important level on the upside will be $1800 just above all the key moving averages.


Oil certainly saw some new hot money coming back in to drive the recent recovery up from the $68 support area. Beginning the week we saw Saudi Arabia decided to hike their selling price to Asia and the US, indicating that they believe demand will remain robust despite omicron restriction fears. So far omicron news has been positive enough not to lead to expectations of serious demand destruction. Plan B work from home guidance has probably led to some slight weakness in crude, but we’ll need to watch what airlines decided to do in the next few weeks for jet fuel demand. Official US inventory data showed a modest reduction in inventory levels, but nothing to get excited about. Iranian talks are continuing ahead with nothing of anything major to report back on


(Source: TradingView - Past performance is not indicative of future performance.)

Oil now between its 200-day SMA and the 21-day EMA, is looking for its next direction. Support comes in around $73.50 with the 200-dauy SMA just below there. On the upside $76 provides resistance aided by the 21-day EMA. The RSI, has turned upwards and will need to continue in that direction for bulls to be satisfied.

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