Knot Reaffirms Hawkish ECB Outlook
EUR has started the week on a strong footing following further hawkish ECB commentary over the weekend. Dutch ECB member Klaas Knot told reporters over the weekend that he believes the ECB will hike rates by a further .5% at both the upcoming February and March meetings. Furthermore, Knot warned that the bank would not be done following these adjustments and cautioned markets to expect more action in both May and June.
Looking beyond that, Knot said that it was hard to tell if the ECB would be done tightening by summer but suggested that of course there would come a time when the inflation outlook was more balanced. In that scenario, Knot suggested the bank could then step tightening back a level though said that the ECB is still far away from that point currently.
Knot’s comments come fresh on the back of last week’s comments from ECB chief Lagarde. Lagarde warned that inflation was still way too high in the eurozone, reaffirming the need for the ECB to keep pushing ahead with rates until CPI was back at its 2% target.
ECB Not Pivoting Anytime Soon
These recent ECB comments suggest a clear effort on behalf of the bank to push back against any speculation that it might be close to pivoting on rates. With the Fed mid-pivot and other central banks pivoting or close to pivoting, the ECB has reaffirmed its view here, making the lines around policy divergence between itself and other central banks quite clear. In light of this, EUR looks likely to stay well supported near-term particularly against USD and JPY.
The rally in EURUSD has seen the market pushing higher within a clear bull channel off last year’s lows. Price is currently testing above the 1.0785 level and, while it holds above here, the focus is on a further push higher towards the 1.1126 level next. However, we are seeing bearish divergence in momentum studies and should price slip back below the level, focus will turn to the channel support and 1.0346 next.