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Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. You could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. You could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose.

EUR/USD price analysis: euro falls on ECB meeting

The euro-dollar market is facing a significant decline despite the European Central Bank's decision to maintain interest rates and adopt a hawkish stance. Find out what could be in store for EUR/USD.

Source: Bloomberg

Key points

  • EUR/USD down 200 pips from recent highs
  • ECB left rates unchanged at January meeting
  • "Premature to discuss rate cuts" - ECB President Lagarde

In recent financial discourse, attention has turned to the euro-dollar market, which has been experiencing a notable decline. This movement comes on the heels of the European Central Bank's (ECB) latest meeting—the first of the year—where President Christine Lagarde and other European central bankers maintained interest rates but signaled a hawkish stance. Contrary to expectations, the euro has weakened, intensifying the scrutiny on the currency pair as it hovers around the 1.0800 mark, a level not seen since mid-December following the Federal Reserve's last meeting of the previous year.

EUR/USD price action

Source: IG

Traders have observed the euro's descent from above 1.1100 to near 1.0800, shedding almost 300 pips. This trend is not isolated; the euro's performance has been lackluster compared to its peers, with the Canadian dollar (CAD) and Australian dollar (AUD) showing relative strength, and the British pound (GBP) and Japanese yen (JPY) also outpacing the euro.

January European Central Bank meeting

The ECB's decision to hold rates steady was accompanied by discussions of potential rate cuts as early as spring or summer. This rhetoric, however, did not bolster the euro, which weakened in response. This dynamic between central bank signals and market reactions underscores a constant tension where the market often challenges central bank projections.

The broader context of this currency dynamic involves the interest rate differentials between economies. The US, for example, has an interest rate of 5.5%, while the euro area is at 4.5%. The US dollar (USD) has seen increased demand due to these higher rates, especially when compared to the negative interest rates in Japan, leading to a strategy where investors borrow in yen to invest in higher-yielding dollar assets.

Looking ahead, central banks, including the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the Bank of England (BoE), are not expected to alter rates in January, but speculations for March suggest a nearly even split between expectations for rate cuts or holding steady. The US dollar's strength has been partly attributed to the market pricing out some expected rate cuts in the US while pricing more into the euro area. This is reflected in the recent uptick in U.S. Treasury yields, with the 30-year yield rebounding from below 4% to around 4.3% to 4.5%.

The ECB aims to maintain "sufficiently restrictive" rates to achieve its 2% inflation target, but with the last inflation readings in the mid-two percent range, there is speculation that they might be closer to easing rates. In contrast, the U.S. has some inflation readings pending, which could influence the Fed's decisions.

The euro's trajectory has been influenced by the narrowing interest rate differential with the U.S., which has shrunk from two percentage points to one. Moving forward, the currency pair's direction may hinge on the relative pace of rate cuts by the ECB and the Fed. If the ECB cuts rates more aggressively, the euro could weaken further, potentially revisiting parity with the dollar. Conversely, if the U.S. leads in rate reductions, the euro could regain ground, possibly reaching levels not seen in two years.

Traders are now watching closely as central banks navigate their monetary policies amid potential rate cuts. With the possibility of inflation reemerging and geopolitical uncertainties, the forex market remains a fertile ground for vigilant traders to capitalize on the shifting tides of currency valuations.

How to trade EUR/USD

  1. Open an account to get started, or practice on a demo account
  2. Choose your forex trading platform
  3. Open, monitor, and close positions on EUR/USD

Trading forex requires an account with a forex broker like IG. EUR/USD can be found in the "Major" pairs tab. Many traders watch other major forex pairs like GBP/USD and USD/JPY for potential opportunities based on economic events such as inflation releases or interest rate decisions. Economic events can produce more volatility for forex pairs, which can mean greater potential profits and losses as risks can increase at these times.

You can help develop your forex trading strategies using resources like IG’s YouTube channel. Our curated playlists can help you stay up to date on current markets and understanding key terms. Once your strategy is developed, you can follow the above steps to opening an account and getting started trading forex.

Your profit or loss is calculated according to your full position size. Leverage will magnify both your profits and losses. It’s important to manage your risks carefully as losses can exceed your deposit. Ensure you understand the risks and benefits associated with trading leveraged products before you start trading with them. Trade using money you’re comfortable losing.

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG US LLC. This material does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. You should not treat any opinion expressed in this material as a specific inducement to make any investment or follow any strategy, but only as an expression of opinion. This material does not consider your investment objectives, financial situation or needs and is not intended as recommendations appropriate for you. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the above information. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. See our Summary Conflicts Policy, available on our website.

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