Five Forces Driving the EUR/USD Lower

German business confidence improved marginally which should have been bullish for the euro, but unfortunately the most actively traded currency pair in the forex market has remained under pressure throughout the European and U.S. trading sessions. So if the EUR/USD is not responding to economic data then what is driving it lower?

Five factors:

1. U.S. Treasury Auction

One of the big focuses of foreign exchange traders this week is the massive Treasury auction. The U.S. government will be issuing a record $104 billion of 2 year, 5 year and 7 year Treasury notes between Tuesday and Thursday. The reason why currency traders are watching these auctions is because of its scale and also because it will shed some light on investor’s willingness to fund the U.S.’ large and growing budget deficit. The auctions will be a big hurdle for the U.S. dollar this week because if demand comes up short, the dollar could get hit but it is not that simple because at the same time, weak demand could drive up yields, which is dollar positive. Either way, over the next couple of days, there will be a lot of focus on the Treasury auctions.

2. First ever 12 month ECB refinancing

The ECB refinancing is the biggest story for the EUR/USD this week because the 12 month offer is seen by bond traders as a quasi quantitative easing effort by the ECB because the operations are most likely going to be collateralized by government bonds which can then be posted as collateral to the ECB for funding. Although ECB President Trichet warned that their monetary policy actions can be easily unwound if needed, he also said that policy makers must remain alert despite signs that the slump is decelerating because “there are still risks of a sudden emergence of unexpected financial turbulence.”

3. Fears that German Debt Could Explode

As for Germany, Deputy Finance Minister Werner Gatzer said that total new debt could exceed EUR100 billion next year, which would be much larger than this year’s record financing needs of EUR80 billion. Looking ahead, we could see further weakness in the EUR/USD if Tuesday’s PMI figures fall short of expectations. Despite the improvement in business confidence, which was driven entirely by the expectations component of the report, current conditions remain weak.

4. Comments from ECB President Trichet

Although ECB President Trichet warned that their monetary policy actions can be easily unwound if needed, he also said that policy makers must remain alert despite signs that the slump is decelerating because “there are still risks of a sudden emergence of unexpected financial turbulence.” These bearish comments came after ECB member Nowotny said this morning that interest rates could remain unchanged into 2010.

5. Tuesday’s PMI numbers

However in the near term, weaker economic data could keep the EUR/USD pressured. German industrial production, factory orders and retail sales have all declined which could prevent a meaningful pickup and possibly even deterioration in manufacturing and service sector PMI.

About Kathy Lien 235 Articles

Kathy Lien is an Internationally Published Author and Chief Strategist of DailyFX.com, one of the world’s most popular online websites for currency research. Her trading books include the highly acclaimed, Day Trading the Currency Market: Technical and Fundamental Strategies to Profit form Market Swings (2005, Wiley); High Probability Trading Setups for the Currency Market E-Book (2006, Investopedia); and Millionaire Traders: How Everyday People Are Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game (2007, Wiley). As Chief Currency Strategist at FXCM, Kathy is responsible for providing research and analysis for DailyFX, the research arm of FXCM. She also co-edits the BK Forex Advisor, an Investopedia.com Premium Service with Boris Schlossberg – one of the few investment advisory letters focusing strictly on the 2 Trillion/day FX market.

Kathy is also one of the authors of Investopedia’s Forex Education section and has written for Tradingmarkets.com, the Asia Times Online, Stocks & Commodities Magazine, MarketWatch, ActiveTrader Magazine, Currency Trader, Futures Magazine and SFO. She is frequently quoted by Bloomberg, Reuters, the Wall street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, CBS and Bloomberg Radio. She has also hosted trader chats on EliteTrader, eSignal and FXStreet, sharing her expertise in both technical and fundamental analysis.

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