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Choppy Forex Conditions and the Trading Week Ahead

Forex traders may be feeling a bit perplexed if they have blindly been looking for a weaker USD the past two weeks. While outlook for a bearish USD over the mid-term remains a theme from many analysts, day traders need to accept that intra-day results often create price fluctuations which make wagering on short and near-term perspectives dangerous. Trading conditions have been turbulent the past week and early this morning.

While analysis of monetary policies and economic data are vital, it is also important to remember there is a significant difference between the desires and needs of businesses functioning in global commerce, and the trading perspectives of speculators who are hoping to ride on the back of 'insights' provided by experts. It should also be considered that coming out of the holiday season many global corporations are now repositioning for 2024, and the financial institutions that work for these companies are also trying to get these outlooks aligned.


The USD has become stronger over the past day against many major currencies, but looking for a 100% reason to explain why this happened is likely misguided. Most U.S financial institutions were closed yesterday for the MLK holiday observance. While inflation data from the U.S Producer Price Index was weaker than anticipated last Friday and caused a brief spurt of USD bearishness, the greenback is lingering within the stronger realms of its near-term values against many currencies.


The idea that recent USD bullishness may simply be a sign that financial institutions believed the greenback had been oversold over the past couple of months may be correct, but this also opens the door for the potential of a reversal to develop and more USD selling as sentiment and economic data try to dance in a unified manner.


The week ahead may still prove to be choppy, but there are interesting bits of evidence that risk appetite lingers within the stomachs of many large investors. The slight rise in U.S Treasury yields recently may be worrying to some, but it should be acknowledged that the climb higher has been achieved while yields remain near mid-term lows. The same can be said for U.S equity indices which provided choppy conditions last week but certainly remain in highly valued realms.


Patience is a needed tool when trading, speculators looking for instantaneous results often lose money because they are being too aggressive. Risk taking tactics always have to be given importance.


Gold remains rather comfortable above the 2000.00 USD level. As of this writing the spot price for the precious metal is near 2050.00 USD. This is fascinating because it underscores the notion that long-term gold buyers appear to believe the USD will remain within weaker territory. But again, short-term and mid-term outlooks for speculative wagers are two very different things.


Tuesday, 16th of January, Canada Consumer Price Index - the inflation numbers from the 'North' are expected to be lower than last month's results.


Wednesday, 17th of January, China Industrial Production and GDP - recent economic reports regarding the deflationary troubles the nation is facing have been loud. The industrial and growth numbers should be monitored. The Shanghai Composite Index (SSE) is trading near values last seen in May of 2020, this is not a good signal.


Wednesday, 17th of January, U.S Retail Sales - the consumer data will have an affect on sentiment in the broad markets. The results are anticipated to match the Core Retail Sales gains from last month, and the broad number is expected to be slightly higher. Traders should be alert in case a surprise outcome occurs. If the statistics are close to the estimates, this could create some calm in Forex and perhaps set the table for USD weakness to be seen for a moment.


Thursday, 18th of January, Japan Revised Industrial Production - while the report is not viewed as a major piece of financial impetus in the speculative world, the USD/JPY has been rather dangerous for short-term traders caught on the wrong side of recent bullishness. If the number comes in at minus -0.9% as expected, it will then likely take USD centric bearish sentiment to cause a reversal lower. The past two weeks in the USD/JPY have been difficult for traders looking for downside momentum. A stronger than expected industrial number from Japan would likely help USD/JPY bearish outlooks.


Friday, 19th of January, U.K Retail Sales - the British consumer spending numbers are expected to come in weaker. The GBP/USD is currently trading near early January values as choppy short-term conditions persists.

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