A relatively tame offering of second-tier economic data in European hours is likely to see traders looking ahead to the release of minutes from December’s FOMC meeting later in the day. The fateful sit-down marked the beginning of the much-anticipated process of “tapering” the Federal Reserve’s QE3 program, scaling down monthly asset purchases by a cumulative $10 billion.
While the new Fed policy status quo is widely known at this point, traders will be keen to read the minutes nonetheless to try to decipher precisely what variables proved pivotal in pushing the rate-setting committee into action. This may establish a framework for interpreting US economic news flow, helping investors gauge the probability of acceleration or deceleration in the stimulus reduction process.
A relatively hawkish tone stands to boost the US Dollar weigh on gold prices amid ebbing anti-fiat demand. It may likewise weigh on risk-sensitive assets, including crude oil. Needless to say, a softer lean that paints the decision to taper as having been particularly narrow may trigger the opposite dynamic.
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CRUDE OIL TECHNICAL ANALYSIS – Prices fell as expected after putting in a Bearish Engulfing candlestick pattern. A break below support at 92.91, the 38.2% Fib expansion, exposes the 50% level at 90.50. Near-term resistance is at 95.90, the 23.6% level.
GOLD TECHNICAL ANALYSIS – Prices turned higher as expected after putting in a Harami candlestick pattern. A break above resistance in the 1217.75-22.01 area, marked by the December 2 low and the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement, has exposed the 38.2% level at 1248.70. A further push beyond that aims for the 1261.28-70.28 region, bracketed by the October 11 swing low and the 50% Fib.
--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com
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