The US dollar strengthened in relation to the euro and the yen on Tuesday on new retail sales data that showed sales excluding automobiles were up in April.

Without auto sales, retail sales in the US added 0.5 percent, more than had been expected.

Still, with auto sales included retail sales were down 0.2 percent in the month as purchases at auto dealerships and auto parts stores were down 2.8 percent.

Gas station sales were also down in April, falling 0.4 percent despite the increases in gas prices.

At around 11:15 a.m. in New York, the dollar had given back some of the gains versus the euro to trade at $1.5475 to the shared currency while it took ¥104.4750 to buy a dollar.

The greenback also gained on the Australian dollar and the Swiss franc, with the dollar trading at 94.12 cents US to the Aussie while the franc traded at SFr1.0514 to the dollar.

The yen was also lower versus several higher-yielding currencies as investors continued to return to risky carry trades.

In late morning trade in New York, the yen traded at ¥13.790 to the South African rand while it was at ¥9.9661 to the Mexican peso and at ¥62.829 to the Brazilian real.

The pound weakened on declines in property prices and higher inflation in April.

Consumer inflation was up an annualized 3 percent in April, a gain of 0.8 percent since the previous month, on food and fuel prices.

Meanwhile, house price declines were becoming more widespread according to a new survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which found that 82 percent of surveyors reported seeing house price declines in the three months ending in April, the most widespread declines in 30 years.

In March, 66 percent of those surveyed said they had seen prices decline.

It took $1.9461 to buy a pound in late morning trade in New York, while at the same time the pound traded at 79.52p to the euro.

EUR/USD trend: sell.
GBP/USD trend: hold.
USD/JPY trend: buy.
EUR/JPY trend: buy.

Floor Pivot Points
Pair 3rd Sup 2nd Sup 1st Sup Pivot 1st Res 2nd Res 3rd Res
EUR/USD 1.4957 1.5159 1.5290 1.5492 1.5623 1.5825 1.5956
GBP/USD 1.9229 1.9426 1.9571 1.9768 1.9913 2.0110 2.0255
USD/JPY 101.35 102.29 103.83 104.77 106.31 107.25 108.79
EUR/JPY 157.52 159.06 160.79 162.33 164.06 165.60 167.33
Woodie’s Pivot Points
Pair 2nd Sup 1st Sup Pivot 1st Res 2nd Res
EUR/USD 1.5141 1.5256 1.5474 1.5589 1.5807
GBP/USD 1.9426 1.9571 1.9768 1.9913 2.0110
USD/JPY 102.29 103.83 104.77 106.31 107.25
EUR/JPY 159.06 160.79 162.33 164.06 165.60
Camarilla Pivot Points
Pair 4th Sup 3rd Sup 2nd Sup 1st Sup 1st Res 2nd Res 3rd Res 4th Res
EUR/USD 1.5239 1.5330 1.5361 1.5391 1.5453 1.5483 1.5514 1.5605
GBP/USD 1.9528 1.9622 1.9653 1.9685 1.9747 1.9779 1.9810 1.9904
USD/JPY 104.02 104.70 104.93 105.15 105.61 105.83 106.06 106.74
EUR/JPY 160.72 161.62 161.92 162.22 162.82 163.12 163.42 164.32
Tom DeMark’s Pivot Points
Resistance 1.5558 1.9841 106.78 164.83
Support 1.5225 1.9499 104.30 161.56
Fibonacci Retracement Levels
100.0% 1.5693 1.9965 105.70 163.87
61.8% 1.5566 1.9834 104.75 162.62
50.0% 1.5526 1.9794 104.46 162.24
38.2% 1.5487 1.9754 104.17 161.85
23.6% 1.5439 1.9704 103.81 161.37
0.0% 1.5360 1.9623 103.22 160.60

The US dollar gained slightly on the euro Wednesday morning in New York, putting it on track to its first monthly gain versus the euro this year.

The greenback was helped by the possibility that an expected rate cut from the Federal Reserve today will be the last cut for the time being.

At just past 11 a.m. in New York, the dollar traded at $1.5563 to the euro while it had also gained in relation to the yen, to ¥104.4950.

The yen was weaker on the session as the Bank of Japan held interest rates at 0.5 percent and gains in US equities markets increased investor interest in carry trades financed by the low-yielding yen.

The yen traded at ¥162.6255 to the euro, while its biggest declines were in relation to the Brazilian real and the Canadian dollar, to ¥61.598 and ¥103.3683 respectively.

The South African rand gained in relation to all major currencies on the session and had its biggest monthly gain in four years in April on speculation that the reserve bank there will hike interest rates when it meets next, up from a five-year high of 11.5 percent currently.

Also helping the rand was a reduction in South Africa’s trade deficit, which dropped from R5.8 billion in February to R5 billion in March on high prices for gold and platinum.

In late morning trade in New York, the rand traded at $7.5775 to the US dollar and at R11.794 versus the euro, while a rand was worth ¥13.808.

The Canadian dollar also strengthened in relation to all major currencies, mainly on the chance that US interest rate cuts are about to end.

It took 98.92 cents US to buy a Canadian dollar at late morning in New York.

Scalping can mean different things to different traders, but I personally take scalping to mean very short-term trading, ie trades generally last just a few minutes and no longer than about an hour at most.

Most of my trades last longer than this, but saying that I do still dabble in very short-term trades occasionally and generally do okay, although it is slightly more stressful and you do need quick fingers at times.

However, what I've noticed is that there is definitely one period of the day that is a lot more predictable, and therefore profitable, and that is the start of the London trading session between 8.00 and 9.00 UK time.

I first noticed this when trading the FTSE because having always made pretty good profits trading this index between 8.00 and 9.00, I also noticed that the major European currency pairs like the GBP/USD and the EUR/USD also behaved in a similar way.

This opening hour usually tends to set the trend for the day and as a result you often see strong sustained moves during this hour. Traders start off the day by following the initial direction of the trend and you get decent sized moves without the whipsaws you often get during the rest of the day.

To demonstrate this point, take a look at the 5 minute chart of the EUR/USD for the last two days. I would add charts here but they use up a lot of bandwidth, so to do it yourself add the following indicators: MACD, TRIX, Stochastic (8,3,3), RSI and CCI.

On Tuesday (22/4), you will see that all of these indicators went into oversold territory just before 8.00. Then between 8.05 and 8.10 the CCI crossed upwards through the -100 level and the other indicators followed suit with the MACD and TRIX crossing upwards to mark the start of an upwards trend. This strong opening trend yielded around 30 points, depending on your exact entry and exact points.

It was a similar story on Wednesday (23/4) when the EUR/USD was oversold on the 5 minute chart from about 6.25 onwards. However during the profitable 8.00-9.00 opening hour, the price rose and the indicators emerged out of oversold territory with CCI and Stochastic rising and MACD crossing upwards around 8.30. This could have yielded anything up to 40 points, and even if you'd joined the party late at around 8.35, you still could have netted around 15 points.

These strong moves during the busy opening hour are extremely common, and while you don't get good set-ups like these on the same pair every single day, there is nearly always one major pair that you can take advantage of during this hour.

There are of course times when the opening hour is uneventful or a trade goes against you as no trading method's perfect but the period between 8.00 and 9.00 UK time is definitely the best time to scalp the markets in my experience, particularly if you only ever trade high probability positions like the two examples mentioned previously.

Days after the dollar touched a new nadir against the euro -– indeed, one euro briefly fetched $1.60, a symbolic milestone -– the beleaguered buck is enjoying a bounce.

Some even saw a parallel to politics. “Just like Hillary Clinton, when all seemed bleak, USD staged an almost improbable recovery,” wrote David Watt, a currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets late Thursday.

By this morning, one euro bought about $1.56.

Of course, the dollar has had many such minor rebounds, and they always turn out to be short-lived. Several currency experts, however, see a hint that something different might be happening this time around.

Much of the euro’s recent invincibility stems from two factors. One, economic growth in the euro zone has been remarkably impervious to events in the U.S. Two, the U.S. Federal Reserve has embarked on a dramatic campaign to cut interest rates, undermining the appeal of short-term investments in dollars, while the European Central Bank has held its rates firm.

Now two small cracks have appeared in that armor. On Thursday, Germany’s IFO survey of business sentiment came in lower than expected, indicating deteriorating conditions in Europe’s largest economy. At the same time, some investors believe that the Fed will cut its key rate next week but then take an extended pause, stabilizing the gap between U.S. and European interest rates.

If bad news out of Europe starts to accumulate and the Fed stands pat, the dollar’s slide could taper off. However, that’s probably not the end of the dollar’s travails.

“What’s the endgame?” says Art Steinmetz, a bond portfolio manager at OppenheimerFunds. “The ECB goes into an easing cycle at about the time the Fed is going into a hiking cycle.”

That’s still months away (if not more). But some are keeping a very close eye on the horizon.