This morning saw demand for USD rapidly pick up steam as US inflation data came in hotter than expected. Month-over-month CPI had been forecast to rise by 0.7% in May; at 8:30 am Eastern Time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that it had increased by 1%, or 8.6% year-over-year, a forty-year high. Likewise, Core CPI (which excludes food and energy prices) was forecast to rise by 0.5% month-over-month, instead hitting 0.6%. On this news, the DXY is up 0.8% and has risen over the 104 level intraday, as EURUSD is down 1% and the S&P 500 is down nearly 3%. With this context in mind, let’s discuss 3 ways to capitalize on inflation now.
Trade Major Pairs
This CPI news is a huge fundamental catalyst for USD pairs since it verifies that the US economy is indeed still overheating, validating further interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. This is very bullish for USD, which makes buying the USD against other currencies even more appealing. If traders are searching for optimal USD pairs to take positions in, a good place to start is by locating pairs where analysis leans in USD’s favor to the greatest degree possible.
Some such options include a) shorting GBPUSD and EURUSD, which receive -7 (‘strong sell’) and -5 (‘sell’) signals, respectively, from the EdgeFinder, and b) going long on USDJPY, which receives a 4 (‘buy’) EdgeFinder signal. Because USD experienced so much buying pressure this morning, conservative traders may want to find an opportune point of entry by conducting technical analysis, e.g., waiting for a pullback and retest of key support/resistance.
Though admittedly a controversial opinion, I am waiting for an optimal point of entry to purchase gold against USD. XAUUSD experienced quite the selloff this morning before a startling recovery, jumping from a low of 1825 to hovering around 1855 at the time of writing this. This jump was seemingly prompted by finding support around the 1830 level, a clear zone of support on a 1-hour timeframe.
I interpret fundamentals being bullish for XAUUSD due to demand for the precious metal in several different industries and its historical status as a safe haven investment in times of economic crisis. There have been periods where gold’s rise in value does not correlate with USD depreciating in value, which is helpful to consider in cases like these. According to the latest COT data, institutional traders are similarly long on both USD (76%) and gold (73.56%). I am planning to purchase XAUUSD if price action retests the trendline depicted on the 1-day timeframe above, though this opportunity may not come if demand continues to grow quickly.
Invest in the Stock Market
Though it may seem strange in the face of persisting hyperinflation and potential for recession, economic downturns and stock selloffs do present myriad buying opportunities for long-term investors. If you are not planning on retiring for decades, you can utilize dips in the stock market and indices to build wealth over time, assuming you are willing to sacrifice immediate results. For example, when the Dow plummets over 600 points like it has today, investors can seize these events as opportunities for cheap purchases that will yield returns years down the road.
If your investment portfolio keeps crashing in the meantime, this does not have to be discouraging since they are merely unrealized losses; they will likely grow in value through the decades if you are invested in index ETFs and other trustworthy funds. Any further selloffs present even more opportunities for regular, small purchases. (However, investing in individual stocks is a completely different story, and I personally believe that even the most skilled retail investors are not sufficiently equipped to handle the inherent risks involved.)
Most weekdays offer the release of a flurry of economic data that can influence price action in the financial markets. Due to the surplus of information available, it can be difficult to parse and locate which indicators are most helpful in terms of fundamental and sentiment analysis. Here, we explore a selection of important economic news today, which can be helpful for identifying fundamental catalysts, prepare for future volatility, and devise trade setups.
Japan: Economy Watchers Sentiment
Released by Japan’s Cabinet Office at 1 a.m. Eastern Time, this indicator gauges economic sentiment in terms of consumer spending by surveying a few thousand service workers in Japan’s economy. Anything over a score of 50 indicates economic optimism; the forecast had been 51.9, but the actual report was 54. This would usually indicate strength for JPY, as it could help push the Bank of Japan towards tightening monetary policy. However, considering their willingness to continue extreme dovishness, I interpret this as a bearish signal for JPY, since the BOJ may feel further emboldened by economic optimism to extend low interest rates.
Euro Area: Final Employment Change & Revised GDP (both q/q)
Released at 5 a.m. Eastern Time, both metrics of economic health were better than previously expected: employment was forecast to increase by 0.5% and ended up increasing by 0.6%, while GDP growth also clocked in at 0.6%, double the percentage expected. These especially contribute to a bullish case for the EUR, since the Euro Area is clearly dealing with an overheated economy, and the European Central Bank seems primed to potentially act and pivot into gradual hawkishness. We will be hearing from the ECB tomorrow.
United States: Final Wholesale Inventories (m/m) & Crude Oil Inventories
Released at 10 and 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, respectively, these two indicators may showcase some signs of a slowing US economy. According to the Census Bureau, there was a 2.2% increase in the value of goods in stock for wholesalers, where only 2.1% was expected. This reveals supply of such goods outpacing demand in an unexpected fashion. Likewise, according to the Energy Information Administration, the number of barrels of crude oil held in inventory by commercial firms increased by 2 million, whereas a change of -2.6 million had been expected. With crude oil already at staggering price levels, this indication of slowing demand has further implications throughout the US economy, perhaps as a proxy for consumer spending elsewhere. This is bearish news for USD.
China: USD-Denominated Trade Balance
Tentatively due today, the CGAC will be releasing data on China’s trade balance, which is frequently a surplus to some degree. While China is forecast to have net exported $58 billion, it could exceed expectations like prior months, despite China’s recent zero-COVID policy measures which limited economic activity. Not only do these growing margins signal CNY strength and continued economic growth for China, they also ostensibly indicate lower growth expectations for trade partners and economic competitors, such as the US, due to corresponding trade deficits. This information will come on the heels of lowered global economic growth forecasts from the World Bank and the OECD.
USDJPY saw a return to strong bullish price action this week as the pair jumped over 300 pips higher intraweek from Monday’s opening price of 127.13. This momentum has occurred despite recently released, better-than-expected economic data for Japan, including low unemployment numbers and higher retail sales figures year-over-year. At the time of writing this, USDJPY sits at 129.79 as buying pressure stalls today. Let’s take a closer look as we explore why USDJPY is still worth buying.
Japan’s economy is in a relatively unique situation compared to the US. At first glance, there appear to be many bearish fundamental indications for USDJPY: Japan’s unemployment rate is an impressive 2.5% (compared to 3.6% in the US), inflation has been climbing consecutively month-over-month, and the quarter-on-quarter GDP contraction in Japan was 0.2%, far less worrisome than the 1.5% contraction in the US.
However, this information is all secondary in light of the Federal Reserve’s hawkishness, as they pursue tight monetary policy through steadily raising benchmark interest rates to cool the overheated US economy, where year-over-year inflation is currently 8.3%. The Bank of Japan, on the other hand, is continuing their ultraloose monetary policy strategy; they are keeping their key short-term interest rate negative, as year-over-year inflation clocks in at a tolerable 2.5%.
In light of this contrast between urgent hawkishness and comfortable dovishness, with both tailored to their countries’ respective inflation threats, the biggest signs point to continued bullish momentum for USDJPY. If traders are waiting for a fundamental catalyst to determine an optimal point of entry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is revealing further significant employment and hourly earnings data for the US tomorrow, June 3rd. I am personally waiting for this news before entering a long position.
Despite a three-week downtrend, when looking at USDJPY at a 1-week timeframe, there appears to currently be little for bulls to be concerned about. After bullish momentum caused a massive breakout to the upside of the historic 126 resistance zone, not visited since 2015, price action has retested the zone as support, nearly in conjunction with 9 EMA. This retest has since been followed by a renewed surge in buying pressure, which has seemingly paused only in the face of today’s disappointing ADP Non-Farm Employment Change numbers in the US. As these support levels continue to hold, a continuation of the years-long bullish trend seems probable.
While sentiment analysis can sometimes be tricky to conduct due to ambiguity in COT data and uncertain economic climates, there is little nuance to be found in this case. The stars have aligned as the most recent COT reports show over 77% of institutional traders going long on USD, while only 12.5% are going long on JPY (though this is an increase of nearly 3%). This pairs well with retail sentiment, with only 23% of retail traders currently long on USDJPY, a bullish indication. This data is courtesy of A1 Trading’s EdgeFinder, a helpful tool for any trader aiming to improve their analysis.