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Wednesday April 27, 2005 - 20:44:33 GMT

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Forex: Dollar Recovers From Durable Goods Thanks To Retracement In Oil Prices

DailyFX Fundamentals 04-27-05

By Kathy Lien, Chief Strategist of

· Dollar Recovers From Durable Goods Thanks To Retracement In Oil Prices
· Talk of Stronger German Unemployment Report Fails To Save The Euro
· Bank Of Japan Expected To Push Back Reemergence From Deflation Date

US Dollar

The dollar did it again. Despite the initial knee jerk rally after the horrid durable goods report, the mighty buck managed to recover its stance with only a few nicks and bruises. The increase in crude inventories and less than expected decline in gasoline supplies gave dollar bulls hope that the pocketbooks of US consumers may finally see some sort of relief. Whether this is a last push for production ahead of the summer driving season or a new trend for oil still remains to be seen. There has also been a rumor floating around the markets that the Fed will be dropping the phrase measured from their statement next week. For this upcoming FOMC meeting, the measured phrase is really the card that is in play. Given the mixed results of recent US economic releases (weak durable goods and strong new home sales being the latest), the market is very split on potential changes to statement. Dollar bulls will certainly be disappointed if the Fed chooses to continue raising rates at a “measured” pace, but will probably see more converts to their camp if the Fed does the inevitable. Meanwhile, as early as the beginning of this year, we began alerting our readers about the upcoming retirement of Greenspan on January 31, 2006. The first of what will probably be many front-page cover articles in the months ahead has surfaced about potential replacements for Greenspan. According to an article published in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, the top three contenders for Greenspan’s post is Martin Feldstein (a Harvard University economist), Glenn Hubbard (Current Dean of Columbia University’s Business School), and Ben Bernanke (Fed Governor and soon to be Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers). Catch the article for a more detailed analysis of each of these men as well as a few “dark-horse” candidates.


The usual leak of what may be a much stronger than expected German unemployment report failed to save the euro from falling once again. According to Reuters, German unemployment is expected to fall by 80,000 in the month of April. If this rumor proves to be true (which it generally is), this would be the first time that German unemployment actually declined in 16 months. Although this is a very positive release, there could be statistical effects in play after the sharp rise in unemployment the first three months of the year due to unseasonably cold weather delaying outdoor work. In terms of the economic data that was released today, French business confidence plunged to an 18 month low in the month of April. This follows Monday’s report that German business confidence also fell to a 19-month low this month. At this point, the latest piece of data is nothing but another confirmation that the Eurozone economy is in a very dire state. In fact things are so bad across the Atlantic that Goldman Sachs became the first central bank to forecast a rate cut by the ECB in the third quarter of this year.

British Pound

The British pounded ended flat against the US dollar today thanks to a rebound in oil prices. Like the US, data from the UK has also been very mixed, making the Bank of England’s job particularly difficult. According to the British Bankers’ Association, mortgage approvals hit an 8-month high, which is good, but still weaker than last year. This suggests that it may be too soon to claim a housing market recovery, especially since just this past Monday, the Hometrack report pointed to the tenth consecutive drop in house prices. Yesterday, the CBI industrial trends report showed that orders at UK factories fell by the most in 2 years in the three months to April. Tomorrow, there are no UK economic data scheduled for release, which means that the pound will once again be subject to dollar sentiment and the US’ heavy data and speech calendar.

Japanese Yen

The Japanese yen strengthened against the US dollar on the back of the weak US durable goods report, despite fears that Japanese industrial production remained depressed during the month of March. The latter is expected to inch up by 0.2% following its biggest drop in a year (-2.3%). A slump in the global demand for semiconductors and other electronic equipment is causing manufacturers to curb production and spending, crimping machinery makers’ profits. The future is also ominous, as faltering exports and weak consumer spending will make it difficult for production to rebound in a sustainable manner. Tomorrow’s seasonally adjusted MoM Retail Trade figure will show further deterioration on the home front, with an expected reading of -0.9%. The BoJ is also expected to release their Outlook for Economic Activity and Prices (due later today). In this report, the BoJ is expected to delay their reemergence from deflation date and forecast CPI to not turn to positive territory until 2006.


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