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Euro eyeing out 1.18 against the dollar

The Euro has been on a tear recently, up 8.55% against the US Dollar over the past three months as investors become increasingly more confident in the continent.

Euro against the US Dollar over the past three months

Euro advancing on positive and united Coronavirus response

The European Union recently has had many tailwinds as of late: Containment of Covid-19, general alignment in how to combat the Coronavirus, and their 75 Billion euro recovery package lead investors to believe that Europe is where outperformance is.

Given the recent expansion in the valuation of US equities, specifically tech stocks in the NASDAQ, the premium for owning non-cyclical internet businesses have been quite expensive. The NASDAQ trades at a 29.88 multiple, making value stocks such as banks in Europe look dirt cheap. For example, UBS and Deutsche Bank have a price/earnings ratio at 9.69, and Deutsche Bank has a negative P/E ratio with both trading at price/book value of less than 1. Therefore, the Euro may be getting a boost from US investors pulling their money out of the local market and investing in companies in Europe.

There has been an increase in technical factors pushing the Euro higher. Recently, we have seen the EUR/USD push above its 200-day moving average during its recent push past 1.17. The last time the Euro pushed past the 200-day moving average was in 2018. We may see Euro gap 1.18 on worsening US macro conditions and a more pessimistic view from the Fed than was expected this coming week.

US Dollar Index

However, the Euro’s strength may be partially due to the weakening in the US Dollar. The Dollar index is down 6.58% in the past three months. With the US still pumping cases across the states with no official Coronavirus plan, investors have lost interest in the US Dollar safe-haven trade as value pops up across Europe. With that said, the US reported 65,809 daily cases, a 1.6% decrease from the previous weeks’ 7-day moving average. This is a positive sign for US strength; however, this is still miles away from flattening the curve, as many other countries have done.

Anish Lal, an analyst here at BlackBull Markets did an excellent overview on the 200 day average for the Euro/US Dollar. You can watch it here.

How soon will Brent cover the gap?

With price wars between Saudi and Russia, to negative oil prices all during the Coronavirus, Oil has had one of its most turbulent year to date. However, deep cuts from OPEC and a resurgence in oil demand has helped oil prices stabilize around the $40 mark – with Brent peaking just under $43.929, just short of the psychological $44 mark. However, this is shy of the $45.5 mark required to close the gap pre-coronavirus.

WTI in Blue, Brent in Orange

Brent's losses are lower to its American Counterpart

It is interesting to note that Brent Crude is down 2.29% today; however, the American equivalent, WTI Crude, is down 3.1% today. This shows that the market is slowly, but finally, pricing in risk for different macro conditions. It makes sense that WTI, the grade of oil many American companies and citizens depend on, is lower due to Coronavirus cases continuing to climb in many large fuel consuming states such as California, Texas, and Florida. However, Brent Crude, the oil grade used worldwide, is down slightly due to the majority of the global population slowly emerging out of lockdown after relatively successful lockdown measures.

With oil shale companies taking on vast amounts of debt only serviceable with oil prices being at $60, low oil prices have been devastating for US shale producers. This is on Whiting Petroleum and Chesapeake energy filing for bankruptcy after they could not service their debt. Andy Lipow, president of Huston based consulting firm Lipow Oil Associates, stated that he does not “think $40 oil is enough to turn the shale industry” and that “the price is not enough to cover all the debt and costs that have been incurred during the boom.”

Bullish or Bearish on Brent?

However, not everyone is so bearish on the Black Gold. Christyan Malek, JP Morgan’s leading oil equities analyst state that there could be a supply gap around 2022 from delayed infrastructure projects and restricted supply, stating that “Covid-19 has increased the chances of much higher prices,” and that “the next oil supercycle” is on its way.

This pattern of market pricing in risk is not only limited to the oil markets. Today the NASDAQ closed higher, while the Dow Jones and the SP500 both closed lower as tech stocks and their balance sheets show their resilience in the Coronavirus era compared to more traditional businesses.

For now, however, we are likely to see oil range between the $40-$43 marks and $38-$40 marks for Brent and WTI respectively until positive signs show that oil demand is entirely on the road to recovery.