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Tuesday October 19, 2004 - 09:27:51 GMT
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Forex: US OPEN MARKET POINTS 10-19-04

Bear Trap?

Was yesterday’s TICS related euro rally through the 2500 handle nothing more than a trap for USD bears? For those traders with tight 50 point stops it certainly was, as tonight the euro unwound all the way back to 2450 taking out the long positions. This lack of follow through may be disturbing to some euro bulls but every thrust upward this year has been followed by sharp retraces shaking out most momentum traders. Taking a birds eye view of the price action, however, we cannot help but notice that euro has been in a stealth uptrend against the dollar from the end of August.

This euro strength has not been supported by economic data. Indeed European data has been horribly weak for several months. Tonight’s EZ Industrial Production numbers which printed –0.6% versus –1% consensus although marginally better than expected only reinforce the ugly EZ fundamentals. However, the recent focus of EUR/USD trading has been on dollar weakness rather than euro strength. Yesterday’s $59Bn TICS report which now stands only $5Bn above the -$54Bn Trade Balance deficit was a major blow to USD bulls, especially since for the last three months the numbers read $73Bn $63Bn and $59Bn – a very ominous trend for a nation whose Current Account deficit is increasing every month. Today’s CPI numbers which are expected to report a muted 0.2% m/m gain are unlikely to provide any additional defense for the dollar offering little reason for Fed to raise rates higher. Only the Housing data could be dollar bullish. Yesterday’s NAHB housing market index increased to 72, a 12 month high. If housing stays at record levels it will stand as the last great pillar of support of the US economy keeping USD bears at bay. However, if even the housing reports surprise to the downside, then dollar decline will continue in earnest and what looked like a bear trap will turn into a bear rout. Thus, despite weak Euro-zone data, the move in the EUR/USD is likely to be headed higher but the sharp pullbacks along the way may fake-out many traders.



FX Spot Overnight

- EUR holds 2450 support and rallies off modestly better than expected IP numbers
- JPY tags 109 level as oil price recedes
- GBP flounders at 7960 as RICS data dashes hopes on BOE rate hike
- CHF heads towards 2330 but weaker than euro on non-confirmation by Roth of December hike



Upcoming Events

12:30GMT – (8:30 AM EST) USD CPI m/m (Sep) Expected 0.2%, Previous 0.1%
12:30GMT – (8:30 AM EST) USD CPI ex-Food Energy m/m (Sep) Expected 0.2%, Previous 0.1%
12:30GMT – (8:30 AM EST) USD CPI y/y (Sep) Expected 2.5%, Previous 2.7%
12:30GMT – (8:30 AM EST) USD Housing Starts (Sep) Expected 1950K, Previous 2000K
12:30GMT – (8:30 AM EST) USD Building Permits (Sep) Expected 1950K, Previous 1952K
13:00GMT – (9:00 AM EST) CAD BOC Monetary Policy Decision Expected 2.5%, Previous 2.25%

6:30GMT – (2:30 AM EST) CHF SNB President Roth Speaks
14:00GMT – (10:00 AM EST) US Fed Chairman Greenspan Speaks on Consumer Debt, Mortgages Roth Speaks
16:00GMT – (12:00 PM EST) US Fed's Poole Speaks at Delta State University in Mississippi
16:30GMT – (12:30 PM EST) US Fed's Olson Speaks on Banking Industry Trends and Management

 

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