FX Monthly Report

December 2015


















Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Technical Analysis

December was a month marked by high volatility. Starting on the 2 nd of December, the MACD went over the signal line by 6%, which is a
strong bullish signal. In fact, the market went up 4%, from 1.0549 to 1.0938, on the same day. After this huge increase, the quotation point
reached the maximum on the 15th of December (1.10580), finding an important resistance line on 1.1043. Besides this line, there were
also other important resistance lines, such as 1.0987, 1.0944 and 1.1041. The lines of support for December remained at 1.0802, 1.0871
and 1.0902. In the future, we predict that the EUR/USD will find an important support at 1.0829, as well as an important resistance at

Fundamental Analysis
In December, the EUR/USD inverted the downtrend and climbed from
1.0626 to 1.086. With the Eurozone unemployment rate coming out better
than predicted, as well as the PPI and the German ZEW Economic Sentiment,
the Euro strengthen. In the US the economic indicators came out worse than
expected - the manufacturing PMI, the non-manufacturing PMI, the trade
balance and the JOLTS Job Openings led the EUR/USD to 1.1015 (highest
value of the month). On the 16th the FOMC voted on the target interest
rate and it agreed, unanimously, to raise the target range from 0%-0.25% to
0.25%-0.50%. This was the first increase of the rate since June 2006. This rate
hike was not a surprise, as it was already predicted to happen since the
beginning of the year, but awaited to happen only at the end of 2015 (Yellen's
statement in May). Since the change of the FED interest rate was already
predicted, it didn’t plunged the pair immediately, but dragged it from 1.0874
to 1.086 in 14 days.


January 3rd – FOMC Member Speaks
January 4th – German Prelim CPI; Spanish
Manufacturing PMI
January 6th – US Trade Balance; FOMC Meeting
January 7th – US Unemployment Claims
January 8th – US Average Hourly Earnings;
Unemployment Rate
January 15th – US PPI; Retail Sales; UoM
Consumer Sentiment
January 20th – US CPI; US Core CPI
January 22nd – ECB Mario Draghi Speaks; German
Flash Manufacturing PMI
January 25th – ECB Mario Draghi Speaks
January 27th – FOMC Statement

Financial Markets Department | fm@fepfinanceclub.org | http://www.fepfinanceclub.org/

FED Rate Hike
On 16th December the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) unanimously voted to set the new target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25 percent to 0.5
percent, up from zero to 0.25 percent.
After seven years of the most accommodative monetary policy in U.S. history, one of the most important and riskiest decision has taken since Yellen became chairwoman
in early 2014. The biggest risk is that higher interest rates do not bite in predictable ways. Not only do they take time to pass through the real economy, but there is also
a difficult-to-foresee threshold at which the impact can suddenly shift from mild to severe.
The Fed’s task this time is even more complicated because other central banks are leaning in the opposite direction. The combination of lower rates abroad and rising
ones at home is making the United States dollar surge against other currencies. While that might be good for American tourists heading overseas, it hurts American
manufacturers seeking export markets and makes imported goods more competitive, undermining the country’s trade balance.
The decision marks the first increase since the FED pushed the key rate to 5.25 percent on June 29, 2006. In a succession of moves necessitated by the financial crisis and
the Great Recession that officially ended in mid-2009, the FOMC took the rate to zero exactly seven years ago, on Dec. 16, 2008.
“Americans should realize that the Fed’s decision today reflects our confidence in the U.S.
economy,” Yellen said. “While things may be uneven across regions of the country and
different industrial sectors, we see an economy that is on a path of sustainable
The Fed had been holding the funds rate near zero despite a steady but unspectacular
pattern of growth once the recession ended.
"Given the economic outlook, and recognizing the time it takes for policy actions to affect
future economic conditions, the committee decided to raise the target range for the federal
funds rate to ¼ to ½ percent," the FOMC's post-meeting statement said. "The stance of
monetary policy remains accommodative after this increase, thereby supporting further
improvements in labour market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation."
Unemployment, which is one part of the Fed's dual mandate, has fallen to 5 percent.
Inflation, the other part, has been less robust, registering just 1.3 percent growth most
Despite feeling it was time to hike rates, the quarterly summary of economic projections
showed Fed officials had not grown substantially more optimistic about economic growth.
Forecasts for gross domestic product growth were essentially unchanged since the
September meeting, with a modest improvement expected in 2016 from an initially
projected 2.3 percent to 2.4 percent.
Expectations for inflation actually edged lower, with the core personal consumption
expenditures index projected to 1.6 percent growth in 2016, down one-tenth from the
September forecast.
The rise in U.S. rates will have an impact on the global economy, but many emerging
markets have particularly good reason to be worried.
Their governments and companies borrowed heavily in dollars over the last decade,
because rates were so low. And investors were happy to pour money into places like
Turkey, Malaysia and Latin America in the hope of getting a better return. That flow has
reversed in anticipation of a Fed rate hike -- about one trillion dollars was withdrawn from
emerging markets between July 2014 and August 2015. Here are some countries most at
risk: (Source: CNN Money)
Brazil, that is in a deep economic crisis. Its currency -- the real -- has lost 31% against the dollar so far this year, and inflation is at a 12-year high.

Turkey, which saw a huge influx of foreign investment and its economy grew 9% in 2010 and 2011. But this year, the economy is expected to grow by just 3%.
South Africa, which is another country that is paying the price for borrowing heavily in dollars when they were cheap.
China is also likely to feel an impact, especially since the government has started to allow the Yuan to trade more freely. But unlike most emerging markets,
China's size, huge exports and foreign exchange reserves give it protection against possible shocks.
And other emerging markets like Russia, Venezuela and Nigeria also depend on commodities exports for big chunks of their government revenues. Because
commodities are traded in dollars, their prices could drop even further if the dollar strengthens.

There are concerns that a rise will compound that slowdown, as higher rates in the US could strengthen the dollar, the currency in which many countries and companies
borrow. It puts US policy at odds with that in Europe, where even easier borrowing terms are being implemented. (Source: BBC)
Still, the recovery has been disappointing for many. Household incomes remain lower than they were a decade ago when adjusted for inflation, and wages have climbed
only sluggishly even as firms hired back workers. Hourly earnings have risen by about an average 2.2 percent annual pace over the past seven years, compared with 3.3
percent in the 20 years through 2008. (Source: Bloomberg)
Beyond the psychological signal, the Fed's decision changes what banks charge each other for overnight loans. Because banks and other lenders use the Fed benchmark to
determine the rate on loans from mortgages to credit cards, consumers will see a difference, albeit a small one.
After years of making little return on loans, banks are expected to raise rates on loans more rapidly than on deposits. Homeowners with fixed-rate mortgages won't see
any change in their monthly payments, but a borrower with an adjustable-rate mortgage is likely to see an increase at the next adjustment
Shortly after the Fed's rate decision, major banks including Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and U.S. Bancorp (USB) announced hikes
in their prime lending rate, from 3.25 percent to 3.50 percent. (Source: CBSNews)
Financial markets took the news calmly. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rose 1. 5 percent to close at 2,073.07. The yield on two-year Treasuries, closely tied to
short-term interest rates, closed above 1 percent for the first time since April 2010. (Source: NYTimes)
The Fed statement and its promise of a gradual path represented a compromise between policymakers who have been ready to raise rates for months and those who feel
the economy is still at risk from weak inflation and slow global growth. Yellen will now face the challenge of maintaining an internal consensus over the pace of rate
increases amid considerable economic uncertainty and the political pressures of a presidential election year.

Contacts – FEP Finance Club FX Team
Charlotte Hoefner
Director of Financial Markets, Head of FX

Pedro Guimarães
Analyst & Trader

Álvaro Leal

Rui Ramos

Analyst & Trader

Analyst & Trader
Financial Markets | fm@fepfinanceclub.org | http://www.fepfinanceclub.org/

Hugo Sanches
Analyst & Editor

Joana Silva
Analyst & Trader

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Financial Markets Department | fm@fepfinanceclub.org | http://www.fepfinanceclub.org/