Sage Investment Club

Currency markets continue to remain in a relative equilibrium with FX majors fluctuating in fairly narrow ranges. US broad equity indices also lack direction, the key benchmark of the market, S&P 500, after two mini-selloffs to 3900 and 3960 in January, remains tied to the level of 4000 points. Oil (WTI benchmark) has been rising since the beginning of the year, but so far without serious prospects, facing strong resistance in the area of 82-82.5 dollars per barrel.The macro picture of the market suggests that investors are clearly waiting for the easing of the Fed's stance in the first quarter of 2023 in response to slowing inflation and somewhat deteriorating activity data, but there is doubt on whether the reaction will be adequate to the risks that have arisen. On the one hand, if the Fed gets worried and signals a quick end to the tightening cycle, risk assets will continue to rise, and the dollar will go to new lows. On the other hand, if fears of an “inflation comeback” and confidence that the economy is strong enough among the policymakers, markets will likely price in the Fed’s policy error that will accelerate the onset of recession, what will clearly be risk-negative event. Hence the absence of pronounced trends in the market, since it is not clear what the Fed will put at the forefront in this situation. This uncertainty will likely be the key near-term trading theme until the middle of next week, when the Fed will hold a meeting on monetary policy.Thursday's economic calendar contained some interesting surprises, including an unexpected strong growth in January in US durable goods orders (5.6% YoY growth, 2.5% forecast) and fourth-quarter GDP (2.9% QoQ, 2.6% forecast). Employment in the US continues to inspire calm, initial applications rose by 186K against the forecast of 205K. Slightly higher than the forecast were long-term claims for unemployment benefits – 1.675 million, the forecast was 1.659 million:Despite waves of sales, the dollar index is offered a quite solid support at 101.50. It is worth noting that the buyers' confidence in the dollar's rebound is falling, which can be seen from the gradual decrease in the amplitude of upward corrections in January, which forms the “triangle” pattern. This figure in a downtrend is often interpreted as a trend continuation pattern:Today's data helped the USD to stage a mini-rebound that reflects reducing bets on a dovish outcome of the Fed meeting in February. However, the dollar index is unlikely to move into an uptrend now: bullish momentum can definitely lead to a breakout of the level of 102 with an upside correction to 102.2-102.3, however, the market is unlikely to take medium-term direction before the FOMC meeting outcome. A short-term tactic in this situation may be to short EUR, GBP and USDJPY with positions covered closer to the middle of next week.

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