All seemed to be rosy for the single currency at the end of the Asian trading hours, when the cross was heading north in search of the key/psychological resistance of 1.3000, unknowing that a cliff was really lying ahead. And down it went.
The euro lost not only its profits made up to that moment, but it was also dragged to the boundaries of the 1.2900 mark, levels last seen on October 3. Market chat was claiming that Greece's creditors would be struggling to get their payments, taking a heavy toll on the cross.
… No news is good news?
The speech by ECB's President M.Draghi has not shed any light over the bleak panorama lying ahead for the eurozone. His words before the European Parliament were just a repetition of last statements, emphasizing the headwinds facing the bloc and the downside in the inflation figures towards levels below the 2.0% threshold. He also pointed out that the OMT program is unlimited but not unconditional, and that the ECB will only buy 1-3 year sovereign bonds in the secondary market.
Fanning the flames, the IMF has lowered its world economic growth forecast to 3.3% from 3.5% for the present year, and 3.6% for 2013, down from 3.9%. At the same time, the international lending organization warned EU leaders to rein in the ongoing debt crisis, in order to prevent its effects from spreading over the global markets and thus hampering any attempt of recovery. The U.S. "fiscal cliff" has also been mentioned as a tall hurdle to overcome, kicking the can down the road to U.S. politicians' backyard.
… Now 1.3000 looks smaller in the horizon
In the view of Beat Siegenthaler, analyst at the Swiss bank UBS, "We still believe that ultimately aggressive ECB intervention could push the euro substantially above 1.30, but this would require action soon. And even if the OMT does get activated, it now looks like on the way there we will have to see lower levels first".
In the same tone, Karen Jones, FICC Head Technical Analysis at Commerzbank, argues "we remain unable to rule out a re-challenge of the 1.3173/77 band, however we continue to favor failure there". Next support remains at 1.2905, exposing 1.2824/1.2738 if breached.
After another (expected) failure in the Ecofin meeting, and although it seems overoptimistic, hopes of a come-back to the 1.3000 mark are now deposited in the later meeting between Angela Merkel and Antonis Samaras. Good luck with that.
… No catalyst ahead?
Wholesale Price index in Germany and industrial production in France and Italy seem to be far away from being the trigger the single currency is after on Wednesday. On the other hand, volatility could come from the opposite direction, as the Fed's Beige Book is due in the evening.