US30 Supported As Markets Await Powell, Monitor Ukraine

  • US30

Russia Sanctions

Western countries have imposed increasingly harsher sanctions for invading Ukraine, with the exclusion of some Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system and ban on the Russian central bank, standing.

There is no block to imports of oil and gas but current measures seem to be affecting energy supply, while Germany had frozen the Nord Stream 2 pipeline last week.

We have also seen corporate backlash and a series of high profile companies cutting ties with Russia over the last few days. Energy giants BP [1], Shell [3] and Exxon Mobil [3] have all announced plans to exit investments and/or stop operating projects in the country.

Payment services firms Mastercard [4] and American Express [5] have announced that they have blocked various institutions from their networks, as a result of sanction orders.

Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta, has restricted access to Russian state-controlled media RT and Sputnik across the EU, among other measures. [6]

The war in Ukraine is in its seventh day and attacks in key cities seem to have intensified, while the international community waits two see if/when the two sides will resume negotiations, following Monday's talks that did not produce any major breakthrough.

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Eyes on Mr Powell

Markets will turn to today's testimony of Mr Powell in front the House of Representatives, while tomorrow he testifies before the Senate.

The central bank has pointed to a rate hike in the upcoming meeting in March, with some debate around the size of the move. Some members have been open to larger 50 basis points increase, while others are not warm to the idea, with the situation in Ukraine adding another complication.

Markets have pared previously more aggressive pricing around the Fed's rate hike path. At the time of writing, CME's FedWatch Tool projects a 96.3% probability for a 25 bps move in March and the highest probability (35.3%) for December is assigned to rates being at 1.25%-1.5% - meaning up to five hikes by year end. [7]

Apart from Powell commentary, more Fed officials may try to hit the wires before the communication blackout kicks in, while on Friday we expect the Jobs report.

Caution is required, since volatility is high and we have seen two-way action and outsized moves as markets react to the news.


The index has been having a tough time during the current year due to high inflation, the Fed's tightening prospects and the recent fears around Ukraine.

Today the index is supported and this gives it the chance to push towards 34,096-34,100, although a significant improvement in sentiment will be required for a break above key 34,500-34,600, which would pause downward bias.

On the other hand, US30 remains in a precarious position, but a catalyst may be needed for fresh 2022 lows (32,226). Looking at the weekly chart the index tested 23.6% Fibonacci of the "2020 Low/2022 High" advance and closes below this level could open the door for sustained weakness.

Nikos Tzabouras

Senior Market Specialist

Nikos Tzabouras is a graduate of the Department of International & European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He has a long time presence at FXCM, as he joined the company in 2011. He has served from multiple positions, but specializes in financial market analysis and commentary.

With his educational background in international relations, he emphasizes not only on Technical Analysis but also in Fundamental Analysis and Geopolitics – which have been having increasing impact on financial markets. He has longtime experience in market analysis and as a host of educational trading courses via online and in-person sessions and conferences.



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