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The Swing Overview - Week 18

In the war against rising inflation, central banks in the US, the UK and Australia raised interest rates this week. Britain, meanwhile, warned of the risk of a recession. The CNB also raised rates. They have thus reached their highest levels since 1999. The key interest rate in the Czech Republic is now 5.75%.
 
The main stock indices have weakened strongly in response to the monetary tightening policies of the major economies and are at significant support levels. The negative sentiment on the indices is confirmed by the VIX fear indicator, which is above 30. The US dollar, on the other hand, continues to ride on the winning wave.

The Fed raised interest rates by 0.5%

The Fed raised rates by 0.5% points on Wednesday as expected, the highest jump in 22 years. This took the interest rate to 1%. The Fed chief announced that further half a percentage point rate hikes will continue at the next meetings in June and July. Powell also stated that the US economy is doing well and that it can withstand interest rate hikes without the risk of a recession and a significant increase in unemployment.
 
In addition to the rate hike, the Fed announced that in June it would begin reducing the assets on the bank's balance sheet that the central bank had accumulated during the pandemic. In June, July and August, the Fed will sell $45 billion of assets a month, and starting in September it will sell $95 billion a month.
 
Although Powell ruled out a 0.75% rate hike at the next meetings, interest rate futures markets continue to expect that possibility with about an 80% probability.


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Figure 1: The CME Fed Watch tool projections of the target interest rate for the next Fed meeting on June 15, 2022


Based on these expectations, US 10-year Treasury yields continue to strengthen and have surpassed the 3% mark. The US dollar is also strengthening and it is at the highest level since January 2017 and approaching 104. 

swing 18-22 obr-2Figure 2: The US 10-year bond yields and the USD index on the daily chart
 

Equity indices remain under pressure

The SP 500 index initially rallied strongly following the announcement of the rate hike, after Powell ruled out a 0.75% rate hike in subsequent meetings. However, markets gave back all the gains the following day as interest rate futures continue to estimate an 80% probability that the next rate hike, which will take place in June 2022, will be 0.75%.  


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Figure 3: SP 500 on H4 and D1 chart


Thus, in terms of technical analysis, the US SP 500 index continues to move in a downtrend below both the SMA 100 and EMA 50 moving averages with resistance, according to the 4 H chart, at 4,308 - 4,313. The next resistance, according to the H4 chart, is 4,360 - 4,365.  Strong resistance is at 4,500. The current support is 4 070 - 4 100.
 

German DAX index

German industrial orders fell by 4.7% in March, which is more than expected. A major contributor to this negative result was a reduction in orders from abroad as the war in Ukraine hit demand in the manufacturing sector. The outlook is negative and some analysts suggest that the German economy is heading into recession. The reasons are the war in Ukraine, problems in supply chains and high inflation. The Dax index confirms these negative outlooks with a downward trend.


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Figure 4: German DAX index on H4 and daily chart

The index continues to move below the SMA 100 on the daily chart and on the H4 chart, confirming the bearish sentiment. The nearest support according to the H4 is 13,600 - 13,650. Resistance is 14,300 - 14,330. The next resistance is 14,592 - 14,632.
 

The outlook for the euro remains negative

HSBC bank on Thursday significantly cut its forecast for the euro, saying it expects the euro to weaken to parity against the US dollar this year, the first major investment bank to make such a prediction.
 
The post-pandemic economic environment, which has been damaged by the ongoing war in Ukraine, looks challenging for the European economy, potentially forcing the European Central Bank to tighten policy slowly compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve, which has begun an aggressive rate-hiking cycle.  This has raised the prospect of the single currency falling to levels not seen in two decades. HSBC said it expects the move to happen by the fourth quarter of 2022.
 
ECB board member Isabel Schnabel said this week that rates may need to be raised as early as July. The precursor to any rate hike must be an end to bond purchases and that could come in late June. Markets are pricing in a 90 basis point tightening in rates this year.

 


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Figure 5: The EURUSD on H4 and daily chart

The EUR/USD pair is in a clear downtrend with resistance at 1.0650 - 1.071. The important support is 1.05, but it has already been tested several times and could be broken soon. The next support is from January 2017 at around 1.0350 - 1.040.
 

The Czech koruna got another injection in the form of an interest rate hike

The CNB raised the interest rate by 0.75%, which exceeded analysts' expectations who projected a 0.50% rise. The current rate now stands at 5.75%, the highest since 1999. Consumer price growth continues to rise and by raising the interest rate the central bank is trying to dampen this growth by raising the interest rate. Inflation is expected to reach 15% by mid-year. The CNB has an inflation target of 2% and inflation is expected to reach these levels in 2024.
 
The problem is economic growth, which is slowing significantly.  But maintaining price stability is clearly more important than the negative effects of higher rates on the real economy.



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 Figure 6: The USD/CZK and the EUR/CZK on the daily chart

The Czech koruna has so far done best on the pair with the euro, as interest rates are zero on the euro. The koruna has been weakening significantly on the USD pair in recent days. The current significant resistance on the USD/CZK is CZK 23.50 per dollar and on the EUR/CZK it is 24.70. 
 

Bank of England warned of recession and more than 10% inflation

The Bank of England sent out a strong warning that Britain faces the twin dangers of recession and inflation above 10% when it raised interest rates by a quarter percentage point to 1% on Thursday. The pound fell more than a cent against the US dollar and hit its lowest level since mid-2020, below $1.24, as the gloominess of the BoE's new forecasts for the world's fifth-largest economy caught investors off guard. 
 
The BoE also said it was also concerned about the impact of renewed COVID-19 lockdowns in China, which threaten to hit supply chains again and increase inflationary pressures. 
 
The BoE's rate hike was the fourth since December, the fastest pace of policy tightening in 25 years. The central bank also revised up its price growth forecasts, which suggest it will peak above 10% in the final three months of this year. Previously, it had expected it to peak at around 8% in April.
Markets expect interest rates to reach 2-2.25% by the end of 2022.


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 Figure 7: The GBP/USD on weekly and daily charts

In terms of technical analysis, the GBP/USD is in a downtrend. The pound is trading at levels below 1.24 pounds per dollar and has reached to the support of 1.225-1.2330. The nearest resistance according to the weekly chart is at 1.2700-1.2750.