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Wednesday April 14, 2010 - 15:07:09 GMT
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U.S. Dollar weaker ahead of Data, Bernanke Talk

The U.S. Dollar is trading lower against most major Forex markets ahead of today’s Consumer Price Index, Retail Sales and Business Inventories Reports. In addition, investors are awaiting the testimony of Fed Chairman Bernanke.


Today’s Consumer Price Index report is expected to show little or now inflation for the month. February Retail Sales are expected to show a rise of 0.3 percent after a 0.1 percent rise in January. If one takes out auto sales, the report should show a rise of 0.8 percent. This number should be the market mover today. Business Inventories are forecast to be unchanged in January after a slight decline in December.


Fed Chairman Fed Bernanke testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on the economic outlook at 9am CT. Traders are expecting Bernanke to say the economic recovery is taking hold but that the recovery remains sluggish. One key to his speech will be his commentary on the U.S. unemployment situation. Most analysts expect him to say that the recovery is not yet strong enough to drastically improve employment.


In addition to the weak employment market, Bernanke is expected to say that the U.S. still faces problems with stagnant wages, weak home values, rising foreclosures and hard-to-get credit.


Bernanke’s biggest problem remains how to sustain the recovery after massive government stimulus ends later this year. To help keep the economy on the path to recovery, the Fed continues to pledge low interest rates for an “extended period”. Traders will be looking to see if he hints the Fed is getting ready to alter this phrase in any way. Some feel the Fed may begin to hint at a more specific time period when rates are likely to begin to rise. Analysts have been critical of the phrase “extended period” lately because of its ambiguity.


Volatility could return to the Forex markets today after several days of inactivity. The past few days, traders have had no major U.S. reports to react to, but today’s slew of economic report should have an impact especially if Bernanke give clear signals that interest rates are set to change sooner than previously expected.


Greece news will continue to dominate the news regarding the Euro. The week started with a pledge by the European Union to provide loans to Greece. On Tuesday Greece auctioned T-Bills and the news today is that Moody’s warned of a ratings downgrade for Greece.


Some traders believe that Greece is in a death spiral and that no amount of aid will be able to stop the decline in the economy and its negative effect on the Euro. Even after Tuesday’s favorable auction, traders are still unsure as to how much Greece will need to finance its economy over the short-run. Most feel that Greece will have to tap some of the money pledged by the EU to run the government. How much they borrow and how often they do it will dictate the direction of the Euro. At this time, hedge funds continue to stand ready to sell the Euro on rallies. Until something happens to force these traders to cover their massive short positions, continue to look for downside pressure.


The British Pound is trading better overnight. Recent improvements in the economy have been helping to boost the Sterling, but gains have been capped by concerns regarding the upcoming May 6th election. Traders seem to be hesitant to drive this market higher until either political party provides a clear plan as to how it will handle the current budget deficit.


The USD CHF is trading higher following early overnight weakness. Talk is circulating that the Swiss National Bank intervened to weaken its currency. Until the Euro is on a clear path to recovery, continue to look for the SNB to manipulate the value of its currency from time to time. The SNB is trying to weaken the Swiss Franc in order to protect its important export market.


Demand for higher risk is helping to boost the USD JPY. Firm equity markets overnight are helping to encourage Japanese investors to move money into the higher yielding U.S. stock markets.


Stronger gold and crude as well as the outlook for higher interest rates helped the USD CAD reach a new low for the year. Canadian financial markets indicate that traders are betting that there is a 50% probability of an interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada on June 1st. Previous reports indicated that traders had been looking for a rate hike on July 1.


The AUD USD is recovering overnight following a two-day setback triggered by weaker than expected mortgage approval reports. Traders lightened up positions as this report signaled potential problems in the housing market in the future. The current move has to prove itself by taking out the previous main top at .9387.


The NZD USD is also trading higher, but still glued to a key 50% area at .7124. This price is acting as a pivot. The Kiwi could firm if the market can establish support at this price. The charts indicate the potential for a massive rally should this pair close over .7200.


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Mon 10 Sep 2018
AA 08:30 GB- GDP, Trade, Output
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AA 08:30 GB- Employment Decision
A 09:00 DE- ZEW Survey
Wed 12 Sep 2018
A 12:30 US- PPI
A 14:30 US- EIA Crude
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AA 11:00 GB- Bank of England Decision
AA 11:45 EZ- European Central Bank Decision
A 12:30 US- Weekly Jobless
AA 12:30 US- CPI
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A 08:30 GB- GDP
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