ECB Preview: Three Scenarios and Their Implications for EUR/USD

EnclaveFX Ltd
Sep 14, 2023


As the European Central Bank (ECB) gears up for its upcoming interest rate decision, traders and investors are closely monitoring the possibilities and their potential impact on the EUR/USD currency pair. Economists at TD Securities have outlined three scenarios, each with its own implications for the forex market. Let's dive into these scenarios and their potential consequences for EUR/USD.

Scenario 1: Hawkish (45%) - 25 bps Hike with Dovish Guidance

In this scenario, there is a 45% chance that the ECB will announce a 25 basis point (bps) interest rate hike, indicating a hawkish stance. However, the key here is not just the rate hike but also the tone of the accompanying guidance. If President Lagarde softens her language regarding further rate hikes and emphasizes the importance of remaining data-dependent, it implies that the ECB is cautious about future tightening.

The market response in this case would likely be a positive one for the Euro (EUR/USD +0.50%). Traders may interpret this as a signal that the ECB is taking a prudent approach, and the Euro could strengthen against the US Dollar.

Scenario 2: Base Case (50%) - Hawkish Hold

In the base-case scenario, in which economists assign a 50% probability, the ECB opts to keep interest rates unchanged, maintaining a hold. The language in the press statement is expected to resemble that of the previous July meeting, with President Lagarde reiterating that future policy decisions will depend on incoming economic data.

Under this scenario, EUR/USD could still see a modest positive reaction, rising by 0.25%. This is because the ECB's commitment to data-driven decisions suggests a willingness to act when necessary. However, the impact may not be as pronounced as in the hawkish scenario.

Scenario 3: Dovish (5%) - Dovish Hold

In the least likely scenario, with only a 5% probability, the ECB holds interest rates steady but adopts a dovish stance. This would involve a softening of the language in the press statement, indicating that the bar for future rate hikes is set quite high. President Lagarde may stress the need to remain data-dependent but suggest that substantial positive surprises would be required for further tightening.

If this scenario materializes, it could result in a negative reaction for EUR/USD, with the currency pair potentially declining by 0.60%. Traders might interpret this as a signal that the ECB is less inclined to tighten policy in the near future, making the Euro less attractive relative to the US Dollar.


The upcoming ECB interest rate decision has the potential to impact the EUR/USD currency pair significantly. Traders are advised to closely monitor the language used in the press statement, as it can provide valuable insights into the central bank's future policy direction. While the base case suggests a hawkish hold, the market remains sensitive to nuances in the ECB's communication. As always, it's essential for forex traders to stay informed and adapt their strategies based on the evolving economic landscape and central bank decisions.


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