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Amid the absence of any strong catalyst to shake the EUR/USD out of its 'too familiar' levels, the market continues being held hostage by stop-loss hunters and short-lived spikes, hardly a receipt to establish much of a technical bias as far as October price action goes.

We opened the present month stuck in a 1.3172 -1.2810 range, and looks like the big traders, not keen to join the choppy trading conditions, will fail to challenge and change the technical landscape in coming days. Neither a pallid Fed policy meeting nor Draghi's speech before the German Bundestag produced much excitement yesterday (Wednesday), with buyers losing the 1.30 technical level on downbeat German IFO and EU PMI, the main take away.

Don't hold your breath for range break just yet

There are two main factors driving the EUR/USD price these days. One is Spain and the other is how aggressive the Fed QE3 can be. As things stand, lack of clarity on both ends results on the current stalemate.

Yesterday, the Spanish Treasury chief said the country has pretty much completed its funding needs for 2012, raising doubts on any immediate bail-out request, while sparkling fresh media and bank research speculation on holding a request until Q1 2013. The news should keep the euro top-heavy as the ECB OMT-led gains are priced out for now.

On the other side of the pond, the FOMC policy warned again on poor labor market conditions, building the case for further asset purchases through December. According to Capital Economics Strategists,

if [the] jobs market doesn't improve substantially, we wouldn't be surprised to see the Fed add monthly purchases of $40 billion of Treasury securities, matching the $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities it is already buying.

EUR/USD, as 'range' as it gets

In the technical domain, Ivan Delgado, Head of Asian Editors at FXstreet.com, notes:

The mild downside push in EUR/USD barely changes little the technical landscape, with the pair still populating around the usual suspect levels. While trading on Wednesday saw bulls in check by 1.3000/10 offers, the slide through European hours also managed to hold a trendline coming off July lows. Current market conditions remain largely driven by stop loss hunting.

Valeria Bednarik, Chief Analyst at FXstreet.com, emphasizes the messy conditions, as "buyers and sellers still battling around, with no visible winner yet" he says. The failed attempt to break below the daily ascendant trend line, which Valeria sees still offering support around 1.2960, together with a 61.8% retracement of latest daily run lays at 1.2950. "Price needs to clearly establish above the 1.2980/1.3000 area to be able to erase those bearish readings and attempt further gains" Valeria adds.

Fan Yang, FX Times Technical Chief, holds a slight bearish bias on the pair, saying that after it held under 1.30,

the EUR/USD will have focus now on the rising trendline from July, which it is likely to meet around 1.2850, so there is still further room to the downside before we have to consider major support.

Source: EUR/USD Stops Come First, Technicals Later