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The pound suffers after the UK retail sales report

The market mood took a distinct turn for the worse into last night's close. Traders will be licking their wounds this morning and trying to position for the further bad news. The UK retail sales for December 2021 were particularly bad and the pound's decline was to be expected.

Market Brief

UK Retail sales volumes fell by 3.7% in December 2021 but were 2.6% higher than their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) February 2020 levels. Non-food stores sales volumes fell by 7.1% in the last month of 2021, with falls in each of its sub-sectors (department stores, clothing stores, other non-food stores, and household stores) following strong sales in November. The Omicron variant, which increased rapidly during December, was reported by some retailers as impacting retail footfall. As the government’s Plan B restricted unnecessary movement, automotive fuel sales volumes fell by 4.7%. This led to the proportion of retail sales online rising slightly to 26.6% from 26.3% month-on-month.

UK consumer confidence also fell in January amid inflation concerns, rising fuel bills, and interest rates. The Gfk consumer confidence dropped to -19 from -15 the previous month.

The GBPUSD has heavily fallen this morning and is targeting the daily 200 ema and possibly the 1.3500 round number. That would then be a test of an old resistance swing high from November 2021.

Following on from the bearish Wall St. close last night, this morning’s forex heatmap is indicating that the currencies are positioned for risk-off. The CAD in particular has weakened after the build in crude stocks as reported by the EIA.

On the daily chart, the 50 ema was bought and the contract is trading back above the $86 level in early trading. The Commitment of Traders report shows that the non-commercials Managed Money / Large Speculators are buying into this rally. The actual producers are now also net long. If we see an addition to the shorts in the Commercial cohort it would signal that the $83-$86 zone is a good value price. The worry for anyone long should be that another build in inventories or a report from one of the majors showing an oversupply and the hedge funds and speculators will ditch their long position and we’ll get a fast decline.

This afternoon we hear from ECB President Lagarde who will be speaking on the Global Economy Outlook. We also have Canadian retail sales data which is expected to come in worse than the previous month's reading.

The ActivTrader sentiment indicator shows that 70% of traders on the platform are bearish the EURCAD which is understandable as we have seen the EURCAD decline since the end of last year. However today we see the price action test a previous swing high which could signal a change in trend.

The H4 chart for EURCAD shows momentum is to the downside as the 3 EMA’s are all stacked in a bearish formation. 1.42090 is the significant high and a close above there today would confirm that the bears are loosening their grip on this pair.

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