US CPI and Fed Minutes on tap, USD/SGD trend testing key level

April 10, 2018 10:50 AM

With geopolitical theatre (trade war posturing, central bank comments, FBI raids of Presidential lawyers, etc) grabbing all the headlines this week, it’s easy to forget that there is still some potentially market-moving economic data scheduled for release. Early in tomorrow’s U.S. session, traders will get their first look at the March Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures from the U.S., followed by the release of the minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve meeting that afternoon.

On the inflation front, traders will be keen to see if the CPI confirms the solid +0.3% m/m (2.7% y/y) rise in average hourly earnings and today’s decent ProducerPrice Index (PPI), which also came in at +0.3% m/m (3.0% y/y). According to the CME’s FedWatch tool, Fed Funds futures traders are pricing in about an 85% chance of a rate hike at the central bank’s June meeting, so the scope for a recovery in the greenback may be limited, especially with two more NFP reports and CPI readings ahead of that meeting.

Indeed, tomorrow afternoon’s minutes from the March FOMC meeting may be even more impactful for forex traders. While we already saw the central bank’s infamous “dot plot” of interest rates expectations last month, the tone of the comments could provide more color to the dry Summary of Economic Projections. Specifically, traders will watch the wording and distribution of opinions around hot topics like the impact of last year’s tax cuts and simmering “trade war” tensions.

One off-the-radar currency pair to watch through this week’s U.S. data releases is U.S. dollar/Singapore dollar (USD/SGD) currency pair. As the weekly chart below shows, the greenback has been trending consistently lower against the Singaporean Dollar since the start of 2017. The primarily sideways price action so far this year has allowed the top of the channel time to “catch up” with price, providing strong resistance just above current levels.

Source: TradingView, Faraday Research

By zooming into the daily chart, we can see this year’s consolidation in more detail. After a false break above bearish trend line resistance last week, the pair has dropped back down to test key support in the mid-1.3000s ahead of tomorrow’s high-impact U.S. data releases. A “bearish USD” scenario (soft CPI and/or cautious Fed minutes) could lead to a breakdown through that floor, opening the door for a leg down toward 1.30 even or below next.

Conversely, bullish U.S. dollar developments tomorrow (hot CPI and/or a more hawkish Fed) could break both the near-term bearish trend line and the top of the longer-term weekly channel. If we see the scenario emerge, it could pave the road for a bounce back toward 1.3300+ as long-term bears reconsider their positions.

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