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Forex: Daily Fundamentals - Dollar Braces For Non-Farm Payrolls

DailyFX Forex Fundamentals 10-07-04

By Kathy Lien, Chief Strategist of

· Dollar Braces For Non Farm Payrolls
· ECB and BoE Keep Rates Unchanged
· Another High In Oil Prevents Yen Gains


The euro is consolidating against the dollar ahead of tomorrow’s US non-farm payrolls report. The market could be poised for some interesting price action given the wide disparity between the payrolls forecast among different economists on the street. The forecasts range from +250k to –10k with the latest median estimate according to Bloomberg at 148k. As mentioned in this morning’s Daily FX Brief, trading disappointments in payrolls have been an easy game. It would not surprise us if this continued to be the case. The biggest unknown is the extent of hurricane related losses. With an unprecedented three hurricanes in the survey period, the number of attributed losses can be up to 100,000. However, making the forecast call even more difficult was this morning’s stronger jobless claims report and better than expected online employment index. Claims improved from 372k to 335k for the week ending Oct 2 while the index jumped from 145 to 151 in September, which is the index’s highest level since its inception last year. With the evidence behind payrolls divided, all the market can be guaranteed is volatile price action. Meanwhile, as expected, the ECB kept rates unchanged at 2.00%. With oil prices hitting new highs, ECB President Trichet reiterated his warning that “vigilance is required to avoid second round effects from oil shock.”


Today was the day of Fed speeches - six Federal Reserve Governors spoke or are slated to speak at various conferences around the country. Greenspan, Guynn and Ferguson avoided talking about the economy or monetary policy and left the floor for comments from Bernanke and Pianalto, both of who are voting members of the FOMC. Cleveland Fed President Pianalto started the morning off with rather optimistic comments on the economy. She expects growth to rebound to 3.5 - 4.0%. Business investment has improved significantly and she expects the labor market data to improve over the next few months. However, like most other Fed officials, she left herself wiggle room, adding that "future policy moves will depend on how the economic conditions unfold and the FOMC will continue to design its policy based on its long-term goals." Bernanke sees second half economic growth to be about 4% with possible slack in the labor market. He added that if data should show a slower economy, the Fed will ‘pause.’ Acknowledging what we already know he said that energy prices are taking a ‘bite’ out of consumer budgets.


The British pound finally managed to record gains after four consecutive trading sessions of losses. As expected, the Bank of England left interest rates unchanged today at 4.75%. Given the mixed data we have seen over the past few weeks, there was no rationale for further tightening by the BoE. Although house prices increased according to HBOS by 1.4% m/m in September and the CIPS construction index rose to the highest level in five months, industrial production was shockingly weak while service sector PMI declined. In fact, the market has not completely bought into the notion that the BoE will deliver one final rate hike this year. The December short sterling contract is now pricing in an implied yield of 4.97%. Aside from US non-farm payrolls report, the pound will have to look ahead to next week for any self-directed currency movements. There is a very heavy economic calendar with important data that we will touch upon in tomorrow’s commentary.


Although Japan received net portfolio inflows during the week ending October 1st, accelerating oil prices continue to weigh on the yen. Oil hit a high of $53 per barrel on the NYMEX today on concerns about supply. Inventories have taken a beating after hurricane Ivan, political unrest in Nigeria, Iraq explosions, a tax dispute involving a major Russian oil firm and the latest announced supply disruptions by Royal Dutch / Shell Group in the Gulf collectively put future supply at risk at a time when demand is particularly strong. High oil prices are a particular drag on the global economy. As we have previously discussed, the slowdown seen over the past few months has been to a large extent related to oil. Central banks worldwide have warned about the damaging effects of higher oil costs. IMF deputy research director David Robinson confirmed earlier today our belief that “tight oil supplies could leave the global economy vulnerable for years to come.” This has particularly negative ramifications for the Japanese economy, whose growth is closely tied to the global business cycle and foreign demand.


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