Whatever the market you are trading, either as an investor or as a speculator, having a view on the US dollar is key to longer term trading success, which is where the USD index steps in. The US dollar is the currency of first reserve and underpins all the principle capital markets, and the dollar index gives us a clear view of dollar strength or weakness against a basket of major currencies. As a result the daily dollar index chart gives us powerful signals as to the future direction for all the major markets, since all are interrelated by the associated currency flows both from and to the US dollar.
Over the last few months, the USD index has traded in a relatively narrow range, testing the 85 price point to the upside and the 81 region to the downside on the September futures contract. Much of this sideways price action was as a result of the markets waiting for some clear signals from the Federal Reserve, and Ben Bernanke in particular on any future stimulus for the US economy, which is still struggling to recover, with stagnant growth and a mountain of debt, coupled with insufficient new jobs. Indeed, whilst the headline unemployment rate is quoted at around 9%, the true figure is far more shocking, and believed to be well into double figures. Conservative estimates put the figure nearer 20% rather than 10%. It is against this backdrop that the FED has been waiting to act, hinting at a further round of quantitative easing, or QE3 – printing money which are then converted to bonds.
Friday’s long awaited statement from Mr Bernanke failed to deliver any clear statements, but merely hinted at further stimulus, and that the Federal Reserve was ‘ready to pull the rigger’. This was sufficient to weaken the US dollar on the daily chart, with the USD index closing the session at 81.21, it’s lowest level for three months, as the index now tests this key support region which is now a critical price level.
Hawkeye has been giving us strong signals of this bearish sentiment as far back as the second week in August when an aggressive Roadkill signal appeared on the chart. Since then the daily trend has continued to remain red, with the three day trend now moving into white congestion and likely to follow suit shortly. With bearish volume in both timeframes and further confirming Roadkill signals, the outlook is bearish for the US dollar, and this is likely to be reflected in gains for all the major commodities, as well as strength in the related currency majors, bullish equity markets and outflows from bonds.
If the index breaks and holds below the 80.00 level on the daily chart, then we can expect to see the dollar index move to test the 78.50 lows of earlier this year in due course.
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