NTGUSD prediction for this month

NTGUSD prediction for this month

Natural Gas FOREXCOM:NTGUSD


As you can see on the chart, this strong support line marked in red has 4 monthly wicks coming into contact with it and all being rejected above the 2.74 level marked in blue. No different for this months candle imo             , TP @ 2.7 – Positions opened @ 2.56 and buying any dips

Gold in Holding Pattern Ahead of Federal Reserve Minutes

Gold is steady in the Wednesday session, following sharp losses on Tuesday. In North American trade, the spot price for an ounce of gold is $1329.08, down 0.05% on the day. On the release front, all eyes are on the Federal Reserve, which will release the January minutes later in the day. Earlier, Existing Home Sales disappointed, dropping to 5.38 million. This was well short of the estimate of 5.61 million. On Thursday, the US will release unemployment claims.

Gold prices remain under pressure, as the metal has lost 1.5% this week, erasing much of last week’s gains. Concerns that strong US numbers could stoke inflation and more rate hikes sparked the recent turbulence in global stock markets. This has triggered volatility in gold, as gold prices are sensitive to moves (or expected moves) in interest rates. The Fed is currently projecting three rate hikes this year, but if inflation continues to move upwards, many analysts are expecting that the Fed could press the rate trigger four, or even five times in 2018. Traders should be prepared for some movement from gold later in the North American session, as the minutes could provide some clues regarding future rate policy.

It’s been a busy start for Jerome Powell, who has just commenced his stint as chair of the Federal Reserve. Strong US data in recent weeks has raised speculation that the Fed may need to accelerate the pace of interest rate hikes in 2018.  Meanwhile, concern over higher inflation and more rate hikes sent the stock markets into a frenzy earlier in February. Powell sought to reassure the markets that the Fed was monitoring the situation, but it’s doubtful that the Fed can do much to prevent volatility in the markets.

XAU/USD Fundamentals

Wednesday (February 21)

  • 9:45 US Flash Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 55.4. Actual 55.9
  • 9:45 US Flash Services PMI. Estimate 53.8. Actual 55.9
  • 10:00 US Existing Home Sales. Estimate 5.61M. Actual 5.38M
  • 14:00 US FOMC Meeting Minutes

Thursday (February 22)

  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 230K

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

XAU/USD for Wednesday, February 21, 2018

XAU/USD February 21 at 12:35 EST

Open: 1329.66 High: 1333.04 Low: 1325.27 Close: 1329.08

 

XAU/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1260 1285 1307 1337 1375 1416
  • XAU/USD posted losses in the Asian and European sessions. The pair continues to lose ground in North American trade
  • 1307 is providing support
  • 1337 has switched to a resistance role following losses from XAU/USD on Tuesday
  • Current range: 1307 to 1337

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1307, 1285 and 1260
  • Above: 1337, 1375, 1416 and 1433

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

XAU/USD ratio is showing slight movement towards short positions. Currently, short positions have a majority (60%), indicative of trader bias towards XAU/USD breaking out and moving lower.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

GBP/USD – Strong UK Employment Numbers Fail to Rally Pound, Fed Minutes Loom

The British pound has posted losses in the Wednesday session. In North American trade, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3946, down 0.37% on the day. On the release front, British employment numbers were solid. Wage growth remained at 2.5%, matching the forecast. Unemployment rolls declined 7.2 thousand, crushing the estimate of a 2.3 thousand gain. However, the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4%, above the estimate of 4.4%. In the US, the key event is the Federal Reserve minutes from the January meeting. Earlier, Existing Home Sales disappointed, dropping to 5.38 million. This was well short of the estimate of 5.61 million. On Thursday, the UK releases revised GDP for the fourth quarter as well as Preliminary Business Investment. The US will publish unemployment claims.

The Bank of England has been hinting that it could speed up the pace of rate hikes, and this was further reinforced on Wednesday, as BoE Chief Economist Andy Haldane said that interest rates might need to climb faster than previously expected, in order to bring down inflation to the BoE’s target of 2 percent. The Bank has been reluctant to raise rates in order to lower inflation, but may be running out of options, as inflation hovers at 3 percent and continues to erode the purchasing power of consumers. The Bank has taken pains to be transparent with the markets, stating recently that the pace of rate hikes could be accelerated and larger hikes than previously forecast could be on the way.

It’s been a busy start for Jerome Powell, who has just commenced his stint as chair of the Federal Reserve. Strong US data in recent weeks has raised speculation that the Fed may need to accelerate the pace of interest rate hikes in 2018. The Fed is currently projecting three rate hikes this year, but if inflation continues to move upwards, many analysts are expecting that the Fed could press the rate trigger four, or even five times in 2018. Meanwhile, concern over higher inflation and more rate hikes sent the stock markets into a frenzy earlier in February. Powell sought to reassure the markets that the Fed was monitoring the situation, but it’s doubtful that the Fed can do much to prevent volatility in the markets.

 

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Wednesday (February 21)

  • 4:30 British Average Earnings Index. Estimate 2.5%. Actual 2.5%
  • 4:30 British Claimant Count Change. Estimate 2.3K. Actual -7.2K
  • 4:30 British Public Sector Net Borrowing. Estimate -11.5B. Actual -11.6B
  • 4:30 British Unemployment Rate. Estimate 4.3%. Actual 4.4%
  • 9:15 British Inflation Report Hearings 
  • 9:45 US Flash Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 55.4. Actual 55.9
  • 9:45 US Flash Services PMI. Estimate 53.8. Actual 55.9
  • 10:00 US Existing Home Sales. Estimate 5.61M. Actual 5.38M
  • 14:00 US FOMC Meeting Minutes

Thursday (February 22)

  • 4:30 British Second Estimate GDP. Estimate 0.5%
  • 4:30 British Preliminary Business Investment. Estimate 0.5%
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 230K

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

 

GBP/USD for Wednesday, February 21, 2018

GBP/USD February 21 at 12:10 EDT

Open: 1.3996 High: 1.4009 Low: 1.3994 Close: 1.3946

 

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.3744 1.3809 1.3901 1.4010 1.4128 1.4271

GBP/USD edged lower in Asian trade and posted stronger losses in the European session. GBP/USD has posted small gains in North American trade

  • 1.3901 is providing support
  • 1.4010 is the next resistance line

Current range: 1.3901 to 1.4010

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3901, 1.3809 and 1.3744
  • Above: 1.4010, 1.4128, 1.4271 and 1.4345

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio is almost unchanged in the Wednesday session. Currently, short positions have a majority (57%), indicative of trader bias towards GBP/USD continuing to move to lower ground.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

FOMC Minutes Preview: Just One Question – 3 Or 4 Hikes In 2018?

In his preview of today’s release of the January FOMC Minutes, which as a reminder were Janet Yellen’s last and took place just before the February market correction, Rafiki Capital’s Steven Englander wrote that “the most likely surprise in the Fed Minutes tomorrow is that they may be leaning to four hikes in 2018, but the biggest surprise would be growing support to aim for above two percent inflation temporarily to make up for previous misses to the downside.”

As a reminder, after tumbling to 4 year lows, the Dollar has been on a steady uptrend in recent days, while rate hike expectations are now at their highest of the cycle – 2.76 hikes in 2018 are priced in (despite stocks still not being anywhere near back to pre-Powell-put-implied levels).

Commenting further on the “most likely surprise”, Englander – the former head of FX at Citi – added the following:

The three versus four hike debate is already in the open with several FOMC participants referring to the possibility of four hikes. About 70bps are now priced in, versus around 65bps just before the meeting. The FOMC meeting occurred before high AHE and inflation prints, but in recent meetings the MInutes’ discussion has become more confident that inflation is picking up.  I think the risk is much greater that they signal growing confidence on inflation moving towards target more quickly than any indication that two hikes might be more appropriate than three.  This would not mean a strong, overt signal of four hikes but it is likely they could convey ‘three, maybe four’ as their stance.  They are unlikely to go full hawkish in the Minutes as there have been only moderate hawkish signals since, and monetary policy was probably discussed in between tinkling champagne glasses at Fed Chair Yellen’s last meeting.

Throwing his 2 cents into the hat, in his latest letter Dennis Gartman also lays out what he will be watching:

there are two words in them that we shall need to pay heed to: “Few” or “several.” That is, will the minutes suggest that there will be “few”… meaning three… rate increases through the remainder of this year or will there be “several” … meaning four. We hold with the latter.

While hardly as simple as that, these two excerpts effectively frame the big unknown behind today’s FOMC minutes, and the linguistic nuances that analysts will look for in the text: 3 or 4 rate hikes.

* * *

Number of rate hike aside, here’s what else to look forward to in today’s minutes, courtesy of RanSquawk.

BACKGROUND

The last FOMC meeting under Yellen’s tutelage saw the FOMC keep interest rates unchanged at 1.25%-1.50% and pave the way for further gradual rate hikes going forward. The statement was more hawkish than some had anticipated as the Fed altered their language around inflation, removing the phrase that inflation was “to remain somewhat below 2% in the near term.” The other important change was the addition of the word “further”, as in “further gradual increases” will be necessary.

“Given that the January FOMC statement upgraded the inflation language and the characterisation of economic activity, we would not be surprised to see the January Minutes also having a hawkish tone,” writes Société Générale. “Given that market participants are worried about the fact that the Fed may end up hiking four times in 2018 versus the median projection of three hikes, a hawkish tone in the January Minutes would be unsettling.”

The comments on inflation will likely take much of the focus given the language change in the statement as market watchers try to gauge how the much confidence they have in the inflation outlook. The January meeting pre-dates the latest CPI data from the US which saw the Y/Y rate hold at 2.1% despite expectations of a dip to 1.9%.

“It is clear that underlying inflation is accelerating,” said Capital Economics. “There are good reasons to expect this pick up in core inflation to run further in 2018.”

Markets are currently pricing in a near 100% chance of a rate hike at the March meeting and the Minutes will likely reinforce expectations of a 25bps hike if they appear positive on the inflation outlook

OTHER TOPICS

Capital Economics question whether there will be any discussion by the Committee on potentially reconsidering the Fed’s policy framework. Currently the Fed’s mandate is achieve 2% inflation and full employment in a balanced manner but recently some Committee members have voiced concern over that approach. Boston Fed’s Rosengren has suggested replacing the 2% target with a target range of between 1.5% and 3.0% while others have suggested targeting an average of 2% or even raising the target to 4%.

Another point to be aware of is the publication of new Fed Chair Powell’s first monetary policy report on Friday (Powell does not testify to Congress until 28th February). Powell’s Fed is widely expected to follow the same path that Yellen’s Fed had undertaken – gradually normalising rates – but this will be one of the first opportunities for Powell to stamp his mark on the Committee. Since the last meeting, US wage and inflation data has been stronger than expected, prompting some volatility in markets but it’s worth noting that the Fed will have another set of labour market data before the next meeting in March, which should show whether the higher than expected earnings in January were an anomaly or the beginning of an upward trend.

The recent market “turmoil” came after the Fed’s January meeting and so there should be no comments on the volatility that was seen in the first weeks of February.

MARKET REACTION

Markets are currently pricing in approximately 65% chance of three hikes in 2018 and 22% chance of four hikes this year. If the FOMC Minutes reaffirm the latest statement and show they are confident in the inflation outlook, markets may begin to fully price in four hikes in 2018 and US yields could continue the meteoric rise seen recently. However, the correlation between rates and the USD has broken recently and higher yields may not necessarily translate into a stronger USD. ING note that as long as the rise in yields is orderly, this is likely to translate into ongoing broad-based USD weakness, while EM FX should retain support.

* * *

We close with an anecdote from Dennis Gartman, highlighting that if the Fed really wants to shock inflation into submission, it will certainly try:

… we’ve all grown far too accustomed of late with rates moving 25 bps when in the past rate changes were many times 50 and 100 bps… or more! Indeed, there were times when the o/n fed funds rate moved 200 bps as happened at the July meeting in ’71 when the funds rate rose from 3.5% to 5.5% and in August of ’73, moving several times from the level prevailing at the April meeting of 7.25% to 11.0%! In ’74, between the February meeting when the funds rate was 9% it rose to 13%, and it fell to 8% by the December meeting.

Further still, there are other examples of such now seemingly “impossible,” material changes in the funds rate. Thus, it is worth remembering that from the  April meeting in ’79 when the funds rate was 10.25% it rose in large increments to 15.5% by the October meeting. Finally and most impressively from the January meeting in ’80 through the March meeting… a scan six weeks… the Fed funds rate soared from 14.0% to 20.0%. We remember it well for it set the stage for an even larger rise between the June meeting when the funds rate had fallen to 8.5% to 20% again at the December meeting.

We bring these “tales” of volatility to the fore this morning for the simple reason that we have all become too complacent when it comes to the Fed’s history. The past decade’s non-volatility is an anomaly… a long one to be certain, but an anomaly nonetheless. When we said several weeks ago for the first time that we thought the o/n fed funds rate would be taken higher four times this year and that it would move in the aggregate by more than 100 bps we were laughed at. We stand by our forecast, laughter be damned.

And with that in mind, it is perhaps time to start worrying about the Fed cutting rates in the not too distant future…

The post FOMC Minutes Preview: Just One Question – 3 Or 4 Hikes In 2018? appeared first on crude-oil.news.

The Calm Before The Inflationary Storm

Via GoldTelegraph.com,

The economy has been showing great gains, and that positive trend is fueling fears of a surge in inflation. The Consumer Price Index, the key predictor of inflationary trends, rose .05 percent in January, which greatly exceeded the anticipated rise of 0.2 percent. The market reacted as expected as stocks fell, and government bond yield rose.

The Fed is keeping a close eye on these developments, and that could fuel the inflation fears. The fear of rising prices includes most economic sectors, from gasoline, housing, food, healthcare, to clothing.

Predictably, the market reacted immediately to the CPI rise with a 100-point loss after opening, even though the decline was quickly reversed. Investors are anticipating that the Federal Reserve could raise their interest rates three or more times by year-end.

As the economy continues to grow, unemployment has fallen to a record low and the sale of tangible goods is up. Economists are anticipating the economic upswing to continue as the GDP is expected to grow by 3 percent, faster than anticipated. Since 2009, the GDP has only risen by an annual average of 2.2 percent. As a result, prices for consumer goods have risen predictably and steadily. The Federal Reserve is setting policy with a 2 percent inflation in mind. A higher-than-anticipated inflation rate could raise interest rates, making it more difficult for companies to borrow needed funds. Following the passage of a $300 billion spending package, market-watchers are now convinced of a 62 percent chance that the Feds will raise interest rates three times by December. Rate hikes in March and June are almost a certainty, with the third hike a high possibility. A fourth hike is not out of the question and becoming more likely. This is seen by many as the real problem.

On top of the $300 billion spending package, the government has signed off on a $1.5 trillion tax cut over the next ten years. President Trump has also promised more funding for large and long-overdue infrastructure improvements.

All the signs for economic growth are in place, and economists such as Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors, Inc. are anticipating the consequences of “too much of a good thing” to be rising costs and rapid inflation.

Between 2000 and 2016, food prices have increased by almost 40 percent. This number is within the norm as it comprised a reasonable 13.1 percent of household income in 2016. For a household in a lower-income bracket, however, this amount jumps to 36.6 percent, making it far more significant to poorer consumers. The chart below from zerohedge depicts the rise in food prices since 2007 and the actual impact of inflation for staples at the dinner table.

Chart by Zerohedge

Only a handful of food items fell in price, with meat prices increasing by an average of 50 percent.

Consumers are also subjected to higher prices due to tariffs on imports. As a matter of fact, tariffs can double the cost of certain items. The price of certain fruits and vegetable, leather goods, chocolate and dairy products, to name a few, are inflated due to import taxes, or tariffs. The government imposes these tariffs to protect local industries and jobs from unbridled foreign competition.

The import of steel and aluminum has some major financial and security implications. The US is a major steel buyer from across the world, while we only export 25 percent of the amount of the steel we produce. That makes the US a major global player in the steel market. President Trump is considering a tariff of up to 25 percent for worldwide steel imports and a 53 percent tariff for steel imported from 12 specific countries. Aluminum will face a general worldwide tariff of around 8 percent and a 23.6 percent tariff from specific countries. Both steel and aluminum imports will also face import quotas, thus raising prices even more.

Global steelmaking capacity is up 127 percent from 2000, but the demand for steel has not kept up with capacity. Currently, the worldwide capacity for steel production is at 700 million tons; however, this number is 7 times the amount of steel used in the US.

China is the world’s major steel exporter. Its monthly steel production equals the US’s entire annual production of steel. This situation has lead to the demand for a 53 percent import tariff and quotas on all major steel producing countries, including China, Vietnam, Brazil, Thailand, Costa Rica, Turkey Malaysia, Russia, Egypt, Republic of Korea, India, South Africa and India. The purpose of these strict new measures is to increase US steel production from its current 73 percent capacity to 80 percent.

During 2013 to 2016, aluminum suffered the loss of 6 smelters in the US as demand fell by 58 percent. New plans for an improved infrastructure should raise demand considerably. Currently, the government is recommending a minimum 7 percent tariff on all aluminum imports, with a 23.6 percent for aluminum imported for Vietnam, China, Russia, Hong Kong and Venezuela. Imports from all countries can expect an import quota.

All these anticipated measures are expected to benefit the US steel and aluminum industries and raise consumer prices for commodities using these materials. While prices drop in the US, the quotas will help decrease aluminum prices in China, thus allowing for cheaper exports of items manufactured with steel and aluminum. Our policies focus on manufactured good rather than raw material, so the US needs to consider that the quota of these materials will result in cheaper products. The usual remedy is higher tariffs to allow competition with locally-produced goods.

These signs of impending inflation have investors taking another look at gold as the historically most reliable hedge against inflation.

We could be facing a major gold bull market soon. This one will be quite different from the bull markets in the 1970s or the post-2000 market. An entirely new factor is being introduced into the global gold markets with potentially huge consequences. This time, it includes the Islamic factor in the gold trade. One-quarter of the world’s population is Islamic, and investing in gold has been against Islamic law. This is changing, and one-quarter of the world’s population could be infusing the gold market with $3 trillion of investments.

In addition, China has opened the Shanghai Gold Exchange. China has huge gold reserves and wants prices set in actual gold value instead of paper futures. Currently, for each physical ounce of gold, there are 252 ounces of contracted futures on paper. This could change drastically if China has its way, and it could create a gold bull market of historic proportions.

Our growing economy, along with anticipated changes in tariff regulations and entries into the gold market make inflation in 2018 almost a certainty.

The post The Calm Before The Inflationary Storm appeared first on crude-oil.news.

Conservatives Furious After Twitter Purges Thousands Of Accounts

One month after Project Veritas revealed that Twitter was indeed “shadow banning” and blocking views critical of Hillary Clinton, the social network appears to have done it again, and overnight Twitter appears to have suspended thousands of accounts overnight, infuriating conservatives on the platform.

As Bloomberg reports, prominent conservative pundits and activists said Wednesday that thousands of their followers had been deleted overnight.  Other users said they received messages from Twitter asking them to confirm they were real people before being allowed to keep using the service.

“The twitter purge is real,” conservative podcast host Dan Bongino said on Twitter. “Twitter blocked me from twitter ads last night and purged thousands of followers.”

Conservatives have long accused – and in retrospect, with reason – Twitter of targeting them specifically. EvenAjit Pai, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission, has said the service discriminates against conservatives. On the flip side, progressive users say Twitter doesn’t do enough to stop harassment against women and people of color. Some argue President Donald Trump, Twitter’s most influential users, should be banned for bullying opponents.

While Twitter has yet to make a public statement about the issue, Gizmodo reports that right-wing users believe that they’re being targeted in a mass purge of suspected conservatives under the guise that they are “Russian bot” accounts.

As Bloomberg adds, Twitter has been seeking out and shutting down automated accounts that pretend to be real people as pressure mounts to purge the service of “bots” that artificially inflate follower counts and advertising metrics.

Other fake accounts have been traced to Russian-backed agents that the U.S. government says are working to sow political discord in the country. Researchers say as many as 15 percent of users could be fake, a number Twitter says is much lower.

It’s unclear if the latest loss of followers is related to bots. A Twitter spokesperson didn’t immediately return a request for comment

In response, a hashtag called #TwitterLockOut was launched by conservatives to talk about the purge, with some claiming that real people (as opposed to bots) were locked out of their accounts. On Wednesday morning The hashtag “TwitterLockOut” was trending in the U.S.

Everyone from well known figures of the alt-right, like neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, to people with Twitter handles like @Isa4031AMP, @DonofJustice, and @Patriotsavior seem to have been impacted by the move—at least when it comes to their follower counts.

As has happened on previous occasions, conservatives claim that they’ve lost hundreds and sometimes thousands of followers overnight.

Bill Mitchell, a popular voice within the community known for his tweets defending President Trump, claims that he lost roughly 4,000 followers overnight.

Many people who are angry with Twitter are advocating for a move to Gab, a competing social media platform that has become the preferred alternative to Twitter among conservatives.

Some Trump supporters have even blamed the Twitter account purge on Russia.

Mike Flynn Jr., son of the former Trump national security advisor, also claims that Twitter is targeting conservatives, though he claims he’s given the company the “benefit of doubt.”

Gizmodo said it has reached out to Twitter and will provide an update if @Jack’s company – whose stock in recent days has soared on the back of its first ever profit and a short squeeze – responds.

The post Conservatives Furious After Twitter Purges Thousands Of Accounts appeared first on crude-oil.news.

Big Bitcoin Bat?

Big Bitcoin Bat?

Bitcoin / Dollar BITFINEX:BTCUSD


Soo let me start this off with the standard comments and disclaimers 🙂 I personally am not trading Bitcoin             at this time and am not advising anyone to enter any trades off the back of this post.All that aside, in going through some analysis on the chart there is an area of interest developing that if we were able to come down to, could provide some good opportunities for long entries.

After the accelerated move up to 20k at the end of last year we have seen a huge correction of late. IMO             , even without doing any chart analysis I think fundamentally BTCUSD             is still headed lower before it starts to really climb again, but when we go through the motions and start taking a closer look at the chart we can see that there might be some other technical hints to that end as well. On the H4 and D1 charts, there appears to be a potential bullish bat pattern currently in formation. The D point for entry is down around the 5k level, which I think in and of itself is an interesting place to be but then we can add in another Fib level, that being the 161.8% extension of the A-B leg, and we find it right down around the same level.

The traditional Bat pattern target 1 IF we get down there, would be around the 10k level which has its own significance already, and then a further T2 level around 14-15k – nice clean numbers which could be of some importance.

Anyways, as mentioned before, I am not a BTCUSD             trader, but just putting out a potential idea for anyone who might be looking to flesh out any of their existing analysis on this instrument. All that being said, watch BTCUSD             now just sky rocket and never come back to touch the 5k level again 😀