Ahead of the ECB

by Ashraf Laidi
Jun 7, 2018 17:24 | 57 Comments

EURUSD posts its biggest weekly gain in five months despite ongoing uncertainty in Italy and fresh declines in Italian bonds and equity indices?  The main reason comments from several ECB policy makers, including the not-so hawkish chief economist and policy maker Peter Praet, who said on Tuesday that the June 14 meeting will contain the first formal discussion on winding down the remainder of the quantitative easing program, which began in 2015.

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Ahead of the ECB - Eurusd Daily Vs Weekly Change June 7 2018 English (Chart 1)

Unlike in the previous 3 meetings when the ECB made no references to the future course of the asset purchases program, today the central bank feels that the time has come to give markets more clarity.

Recall, the program began in March 2015 with a EUR 60 bln of monthly purchases of government and corporate bonds. In October 2017, the ECB announced it would cut QE by half to EUR 30 bn starting in January 2018 and extended the period of QE to September 2018.

Why now?

There are several reasons why the ECB is ready to begin managing market expectations about winding down the rest of the QE program:

  1. Inflation: Eurozone inflation jumped to 1.9% in May from 1.6%, nearing the central bank's 2.0% target. If the ECB gives no signal on QE or hint about interest rates, then the combination of further euro weakness and high oil prices will risk tipping inflation beyond the control of the hawks in Frankfurt.
  2. Time lag: Markets are forward-looking and inflation dynamics work with a 3-6 moths lag. Therefore, in order for the ECB to avoid any nasty surprises (sharp rise in bond yields and aggressive increase in the euro) it is best to communicate its intentions about the timing of terminating the QE program about 4-6 months in advance.
  3. Currency weakness: In light of the euro's decline from $1.25 to $1.18, the currency stands at a better position to discuss (publicly) about normalizing policy at a weaker exchange rate so that the inevitable euro rebound resulting from these discussions will not reach excessively high levels that are adverse to the Eurozone economy.
  4. US growth & rates momentum: As long as the US remains on the path of raising interest rates, the ECB is confident that the euro will not rise excessively fast against the US dollar when it begins signalling about ending QE and raising interest rates.


Once again: There will be no interest rate hike on Thursday and QE will not be ended on Thursday or next month or the following month. Instead, the ECB plans to use Thursday's meeting to lay out a more concrete the plan for ending QE and is more inclined to set off a more publicized discussion of its plans to manage the remaining EUR 30 bn of QE.  

What the market thinks

According to market expectations, the current round of EUR 30 bn per month in asset purchases -- will be reduced to zero by the end of this year. The market also thinks that the first interest rate hike from the ECB will take part in September 2019.

What about Italy?

One of the reasons to the strong increase in the euro this week following the remarks from the ECB is the situation in Italy? Markets were surprised the ECB would mention the end of QE at a time when Italian politics are in uncertainty and Italian sovereign bonds are selling off.

But as I mentioned in my earlier analysis here 7 reasons why we should not panic about Italy, there is a strong likelihood that the situation in the Eurozone's 3rd largest economy will not continue to cause a drag on the euro capital markets and the currency.

Can Draghi Handle it?

So how will the ECB and its president Draghi manoeuver Thursday's meeting without rocking causing damage in currency or bond markets?

  • I expect to see a modest upgrade in the ECB's revisions for growth and inflation
  • ECB would highlight the term “expansion” instead of “recovery” to an extent that a gradual reduction removal of the asset purchases program in September (such as a decline to EUR 10 bn from the current EUR 30 bn per month), before reviewing the program again in December for a complete unwind.
  • In order to not trigger a sharp rise in the euro and bond yields, the  ECB will emphasize that it will continue reinvest the proceeds of its existing bond holdings in the system. It will also highlight that there is plenty of surplus liquidity in the system (not just for Italy).

The Fed Factor

Do not forget that Thursday's ECB announcement will take place one day after the Federal Reserve decision, widely expected to raise rates. Since I expect the Fed to raise its revisions for growth/inflation and reiterate its willingness to allow inflation to rise modestly above the 2.0% target, I expect the euro to retest the 1.1600 around the Fed announcement/press conference, but recover above 1.17 on the day of the ECB decision.

1.15 level has proven to hold the 6-month trendline support and I reiterate my forecast for 1.27 before the end of year.

Comments (Showing latest 6 of 57) View All Comments
Central, Egypt
Posts: 0
4 years ago
Nov 19, 2019 22:33

Leading Diagonal

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When diagonal triangles occur in the wave 5 or C position, they take the 3-3-3-3-3 shape that Elliott described. However, it has recently come to light that a variation on this pattern occasionally appears in the wave 1 position of impulses and in the wave A position of zigzags. The characteristic overlapping of waves 1 and 4 and the convergence of boundary lines into a wedge shape remain as in the ending diagonal triangle. However, the subdivisions are different, tracing out a 5-3-5-3-5 pattern. The structure of this formation (see Figure 1-20) fits the spirit of the Wave Principle in that the five-wave subdivisions in the direction of the larger trend communicate a "continuation" message as opposed to the "termination" implication of the three-wave subdivisions in the ending diagonal. Analysts must be aware of this pattern to avoid mistaking it for a far more common development, a series of first and second waves. The main key to recognizing this pattern is the decided slowing of price change in the fifth subwave relative to the third. By contrast, in developing first and second waves, short term speed typically increases, and breadth (i.e., the number of stocks or subindexes participating) often expands.

Figure 1-21 shows a real life example of a leading diagonal triangle. This pattern was not originally discovered by R.N. Elliott but has appeared enough times and over a long enough period that we are convinced of its validity.
Amman, Jordan
Posts: 0
4 years ago
Nov 19, 2019 18:57
In reply to Ashraf Laidi's post
Hello dear Ashraf

How can I cancel my subscription?
Ashraf Laidi
London, UK
Posts: 0
4 years ago
Nov 11, 2019 10:45
In reply to davidmichaels's post

Thks for your input. EURUSD did well to hold above the 1.1030 horiz base, now eyeing another stab at 1.1110.

edmonton, Canada
Posts: 0
4 years ago
Nov 9, 2019 1:36
The euro has settled into a holding pattern ahead of the ECB meeting today. With a slide back to leave resistance at $1.1165/$1.1180, EUR/USD has unwound within the recent recovery trend. We have been discussing the importance of the market finding another higher low between https://docsbay.net/eurusd-settled-into-a-holding-pattern-ahead-of-the-ecb-meeting-today) $1.1075/$1.1100 and it was interesting to see yesterday’s low a shade above $1.1100. The support of a three week uptrend comes in at $1.1075 today to add to this confluence. Momentum remains strongly configured for little corrections to now be seen as an opportunity for the bulls rather than a threat. RSI is holding above 60, MACD lines rise above neutral and Stochastics are around 80. Getting past the ECB meeting today with these levels intact would be a real sign of more stable ground for the recovery. Above $1.1180 opens $1.1250.

Central, Egypt
Posts: 0
4 years ago
Mar 6, 2019 16:53
Kaufman's Adaptive Moving Average (KAMA) Usage and Signals
Chartists can use KAMA like any other trend following indicator, such as a moving average. Chartists can look for price crosses, directional changes, and filtered forex trading signals .
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And finally, chartists can combine signals and techniques. Chartists can use a longer-term KAMA to define the bigger trend and a shorter-term KAMA for forex trading signals . For example, KAMA (10,5,30) could be used as a trend filter and be deemed bullish when rising. Once bullish, chartists could then look for bullish crosses when price moves above KAMA (10,2,30). The example below shows MMM with a rising long-term KAMA and bullish crosses in December, January, and February. Long-term KAMA turned down in April and there were bearish crosses in May, June, and July.
SINGAPORE, Singapore
Posts: 0
5 years ago
Jun 19, 2018 10:35
Thanks, Ashraf Laidi.
This blog is helpful for the analysis.