Where is the EURUSD headed amid the EU and US inflation lag?

We hope everyone had a great start to the year! As we think about the year ahead and some of the major themes that might play out, the EU vs US inflation story is among those catching our eyes now in particular.

“Inflation” & “Rate Hikes” were the main talking points for the US Economy in 2022 as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) reacted and adjusted to stubborn inflation. On the other side of the Atlantic, a similar situation is playing out, albeit with a 4 to 7 months lag behind the US.

Measuring the difference between the turning points, we can roughly determine the lag between the economic indicators. Headline Inflation (top chart) in the US moved up close to 7 months before the EU’s. Core Inflation (middle chart) in the EU lags the US by 5 months. Policy reaction (bottom chart) of the European Central Bank (ECB) lags the Fed by 4 months.

This dynamic is important when trying to understand the path forward for the EURUSD currency pair as central banks watch inflation figures and adjust policy rates accordingly.

EU & US policy rate differentials help us sniff out major turning points for the EURUSD pair. As seen in the chart above, the yield differential measured using CME Eurodollar and Euribor futures, started to widen in September 2021, which marked the EURUSD tumble from 1.160 all the way to 0.987.

But now it appears the reverse is happening. Yield differentials are starting to close as markets adjust to slower pace of rate hike environment in the US while ECB still battles stubbornly high inflation. Using CME’s Fed watch tool as well as Bloomberg’s OIS Implied Euro interest rate probability tool, we can estimate the market implied forward path for the 2 major central bank’s policy rates. With the market expecting the Fed to pause rate hikes in March, while the ECB is expected to only pause in July. Interestingly, the difference in expected rate pivot is in line with the 4 to 7 months lag in economic conditions we established from the analysis above. As the ECB continues to hike while the Fed pauses, yield differential is likely to close, helping to boost Euro’s attractiveness against the USD.

Coupled with the dollar’s downward momentum, This could favor further strength in the EURUSD pair.

On the technical front, we see a golden cross with 50-day moving average crossing above the 200-day moving average for the pair. Coupled with an uptrend and spike in the RSI, it has marked the recent up trends remarkably well. If this historical behavior holds, the EURUSD pair could still have further room to run.

For those who use Parabolic SAR, the current chart has just flipped back to a buy signal after the recent price consolidation.

Given the ECB’s policy lag, dollar weakness, and a bullish technical setup, we lean on the buy side for the EURUSD pair. We set our stop at the 1.0520 level, and take profit level at 1.12800, with each 0.00005 increments per EUR in the EURUSD futures contract equal to 6.25$.

Do also check out our previous EURUSD idea which played out nicely:

The charts above were generated using CME’s Real-Time data available on TradingView. Inspirante Trading Solutions is subscribed to both TradingView Premium and CME Real-time Market Data which allows us to identify trading set-ups in real-time and express our market opinions. If you have futures in your trading portfolio, you can check out on CME Group data plans available that suit your trading needs

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