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Thursday February 10, 2005 - 22:56:49 GMT
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US Jobless Claims Hit Four Year Low

DailyFX Fundamentals 02-10-05

By Kathy Lien, Chief Strategist of www.dailyfx.com

· US Jobless Claims Hit Four Year Low
· Swiss Franc Rallies As Consumer Confidence Hits 3-Year High
· Bank of England Keeps Rates Unchanged

EURUSD

For the second consecutive trading day, the euro has managed to retrace its losses against the US dollar. There were no shortages of catalysts for volatlity in the currency markets today, but none of which would provide a perfect reason for today’s sell-off in the dollar. With jobless claims falling to a four year low and the trade balance narrowing, dollar bulls should have found a good reason to extend the dollar’s recent rally. However, with nearly every trader in the market already short euros, there seems to be no sellers left in the market. As we have been saying in our US Market Brief over the past 2 days, clients on the interbank level are excessively short euros. Dresdner reported that their clients were 83% net short euros last week while Goldman said that according to their internal survey, only 25% of sell-side strategists are recommending long euro trades. It appears that sentiment is driving the markets these days. FXCM’s own Speculative Sentiment Index (SSI) released this morning to the public (for data as of 5am EST – www.dailyfx.com/ssi.html) is predicting that the euro will continue to rebound. Our own internal data as of 1pm EST makes the case even more appealing, with speculators finally flipping their positions to leave overall positioning net short. USDCHF positioning has also flipped back to net longs, which supports a topping out in that currency pair. This contrarian indicator perfectly forecasted the 300-pip sell-off in the EURUSD earlier this week. The shift in positioning today suggests that it may be time for the EURUSD to take another stab at the 1.2950 / 1.30 level.

USDCHF

If there was any plausible reason to explain today’s 150 pip rally in the dollar against the euro aside from shifts in positioning, it would be North Korea. Increased political risks stemming from North Korea’s admission to having nuclear weapons and their decision to pull out of the six-party nuclear talks brokered by China has spread worry in the financial markets of escalating geopolitical tensions. In the meantime, US economic data released this morning should have painted a slightly more encouraging picture for the greenback. The trade deficit narrowed from a downwardly revised $59.3billion to $56.4billion in December while jobless claims fell to a four year low. However, with payroll gains hardly impressive, the data suggests that although US corporations have stopped firing, they have yet to boost hiring. Oil prices are also back on the rise again following a report from the International Energy Agency that indicates rising global demand. There are no US economic data scheduled for release tomorrow. However, FOMC members Yellen and Bernanke are scheduled to speak at an economic summit in San Francisco. Therefore positioning should continue to drive movements in dollar movements for the next 24 hours.

GBPUSD

The British pound rallied during the US session despite the Bank of England’s decision to keep the benchmark repo rate steady at a three year high of 4.75 percent. A widely expected move, the Monetary Policy Committee elected to keep the rate unchanged for the sixth month in light of steady growth in Europe’s second largest economy. Industrial production climbed 0.5 percent higher as manufacturing output rebounded from a 0.1 percent decline in November to a positive 0.6 rise according to government releases yesterday. Additionally, consumer price inflation remains well below the benchmark set earlier by policy makers in 1998. Currently, inflationary pressures remain subdued at 1.6 percent compared with both a 2 percent target and earlier forecasts by committee members. With the economy obviously churning ahead and inflationary pressures tame, market participants may not be expecting an increase in interest rates for the short term. However, as output increases in conjunction with higher domestic consumption, due to a tighter labor market, considerations may not be completely ruled out.

USDJPY

A slew of economic data today lent to increasing strength of yen bulls, taking the currency as high as 106.80 during the session. Expected to fall dramatically by 10 percent following a previous 19.9 percent increase, the machine orders report declined better than expected by 8.8 percent. However, in the year over year comparison, a decline of 0.9 percent led many traders to question the current momentum in foreign capital spending, even though the number was better than the consensus forecast. The releases also hinted to the continuing existence of deflationary pressures in the world’s second largest economy. Assisted by recently declining prices of oil, the import price index fell in the monthly comparison for the month of January by 0.8 percent. Conversely, the export price index fell by 0.5 percent. Relatively in line with the December figure, the dip was the third decline in a row suggesting global demand may be relatively scant momentarily. With results relatively mixed, traders will now turn their focus on the currency reserves data for January in capping a relatively calm week ahead. Notably, Japanese markets will be closed tomorrow in observance of National Foundation Day.

 

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Forex news reports can be found on the forex research headlines page below. Here you will find real-time forex market news reports provided by respected contributors of currency trading information. Daily forex market news, weekly forex research and monthly forex news features can be found here.

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Real-time forex market news reports and features providing other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the headlines below. At the top of the forex blog page you will find the latest forex trading information. Scroll down the page if you are looking for less recent currency trading information. Scroll to the bottom of fx blog headlines and click on the link for past reports on forex. Currency world news reports from previous years can be found on the left sidebar under "FX Archives."



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