Sell into the USD/JPY rally, EUR bottoming out, GBP vulnerable

Following a week when risk measures continued to worsen there may not be much respite over coming days. The usual suspects will continue to direct sentiment including US fiscal cliff discussions, Greece’s next loan tranche and debt sustainability, the timing of any possible Spanish bailout request, and the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip. Added to this list are worries about economic growth.

Data releases this week are expected to be soft in general, with US existing home sales set to slip in October, weak readings for Eurozone flash purchasing managers’ indices and an eight consecutive drop in the German IFO business climate survey in November. Trading conditions will likely thin over coming days as the US Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday approaches.

Events over coming days will at least give further clues on the monetary policy front, with Fed Chairman Bernanke scheduled to give a speech at the Economics Club of New York, an event which may shed some light on Fed policy once Operation Twist ends. In the UK Bank of England minutes will also be scrutinised for clues on more QE, with a likely split decision set to be revealed. GBP continues to suffer from a bad combination of weak activity and higher inflation, leaving the currency vulnerable to further selling, especially against EUR.

Additionally, the Bank of Japan will decide on policy although a pause is expected this week given that easing measures were only announced at the last meeting at the end of October. The general election on December 16 may also complicate BoJ policy. USD/JPY’s upside potential looks limited from current levels and a lack of action from the BoJ tomorrow will likely undermine the current pair further. USD/JPY will find strong resistance around 81.78.

In Europe policy decisions will focus on developments in Greece, with the next loan tranche for the country to be decided and discussions on the 2014-2015 EU budget set to take place. The loan Greek aid discussions tomorrow ought to lead to an agreement to distribute EUR 31.5 billion in aid to Greece. The decision may help the EUR to edge higher, although EUR/USD will need to break above its 200 day moving average around 1.2807 before it can register more concrete signs of recovery.

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