Overall, yesterday's macro data was dollar-friendly. January US retail sales surged 3.8% MoM instead of 2.0% called for by the median consensus. The same gauge, excluding car sales, rose 3.3% MoM vs. 0.8% expected. This robust data halted the recovery in EURUSD at 1.1396 yesterday.
Markets continue to reassess the pace of monetary tightening by the US Federal Reserve. Analysts at Bank of America and Goldman Sachs upwardly revised their dot plot for the Fed funds rate and now expect to see 7 rate increases this year. JP Morgan analysts joined in, although previously they had forecast only five rate hikes in 2022. In addition, experts have largely abandoned their forecast for two intra-meeting pauses in this year’s tightening cycle.
On Thursday night, alarming reports came in about mortar fire on Wednesday night in eastern Ukraine (Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic). This news triggered a spike in defensive assets, including the US dollar against risk-sensitive currencies.
The EURUSD pair has exited the ascending channel, but then recovered, retracing to levels that preceded the pullback on the Ukraine news. A breakout from Wednesday's highs at 1.1396 would open the door to 1.1495. Under an alternative scenario, breaching Friday's lows at 1.1280 would signal a downside target of 1.1121.
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