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Dollar Rallies as Data Supports Upbeat Comments from Greenspan Next Week

Daily Forex Fundamentals 07-15-05

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

· Dollar Rallies as Data Supports Upbeat Comments from Greenspan Next Week
· US Predicts China to Move on Currency in August
· ECB Wellink Affirms Central Bank’s Stance on Rates

US Dollar

The dollar gained ground against the Euro thanks to a number of positive economic data released this morning. The biggest change was in the Empire State manufacturing survey which leaped 12.21 points to 23.91. Although this index is fairly volatile, having only dipped to
-11.06 back in May, its rapid recovery has certainly given dollar bulls a good reason to cheer once again. Yet it wasn’t only the Empire State survey that gave them cause for optimism, industrial production also increased 0.9% in June with capacity utilization at the highest level since December 2000; Consumer confidence edged up from 96.0 to 96.5. For the most part, forecasters had predicted most of these indexes to deteriorate reflecting slower growth in the US. Today’s positive data on the other hand has everyone talking about the end of the soft patch that the US economy slipped into at the beginning of the year. Whether this is true still remains to be seen but since most of these indicators reflected activity for the month of June, it suggests that US consumers and businesses have been surprisingly resilient in the face of rising oil prices. Not all news were good news today for dollar bulls. Like consumer prices, producer prices also fell short of expectations. Excluding the more volatile food and energy prices, producer prices actually contracted 0.1 percent in the month of June. Including the volatile components, prices remained unchanged. This week’s data gives us pretty good insight into the tone of Greenspan’s speech next week. He is expected to remain upbeat on the economy but with inflationary pressures biased to the upside and data yet to reflect that, the Federal Reserve has good reason to continue on with their measured pace of tightening. However even before Greenspan’s speeches next week, we have the Treasury International Capital flow data slated for release Monday morning. After the previous month’s significant shortfall in funding needs, traders will be closely watching the report to see if we will be able to meet the funding needs of the trade deficit in the month of May. If the number rebounds strongly, it could be the catalyst that dollar bulls are waiting for to take the EURUSD back below

Euro

Even though the Euro has lost ground against the dollar for the third consecutive day, it still ended the week in positive territory and above the psychologically important 1.20 level. The only pieces of data released from the region this morning were Eurozone labor costs and Spain’s current account balance. None of which were particularly market moving. ECB Wellink was on the newswire affirming his view that rate cuts are not on his agenda and with his comments, it seems that there is a clear consensus within the central bank that no changes will be made anytime soon. Next week, the Eurozone economic calendar is fairly busy with the most important releases being the German ZEW survey, Eurozone / German CPI and the Eurozone Trade Balance report.

British Pound

A relatively dull end to a session that saw the pound sterling rise to a high of $1.7635 only to ultimately bottom out at $1.7508 at the close. With nothing more on the economic front, following yesterday’s tremendously pessimistic quarterly report, traders fed on negative sentiment sparked by a newswire report warning of more potential attacks in the capital of the United Kingdom. According to Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, the possibility of more terror attacks in the city of London exists as officials expect to uncover a “clear al-Qaeda link” with last week’s morning rush hour blasts. As a result, trading on fears that consumers and the general community’s negative reaction may dampen growth in the region, the market pressed the domestic currency even lower. Ultimately, focus will return on Monday to sound economic fundamentals as a full week is plotted ahead for Europe’s second largest economy. Market participants will have to consider retail sales, gross domestic product and housing price data for the coming week. With most consensus figures already lower for the monthly comparisons, any further downward suggestions in the reports would exacerbate the current downtrend the cable has been on since the beginning of July.

Japanese Yen

“Here we go again” could be heard throughout the market as the Bush administration told key senators this morning that it expects China to finally conduct revaluation efforts in the month of August, before a planned visit from President Hu Jintao in the following month. As a result, Senator Charles Schumer and Lindsay Graham, co-sponsors of a bill that would ultimately impose a 27.5 percent tariff on all subsequent Chinese imports in to the United States, conceded to postpone voting on the bill if such plans were set to be implemented. Although the markets pretty much pushed aside this previously repeated notion, the Japanese yen in particular stayed relatively unchanged throughout the session, although the announcement does raise some interesting speculation since a specific month was mentioned this time around. Suggested by policy makers throughout the year, especially by Treasury Secretary John Snow on more than one occasion, the assurance of revaluation may only be a ruse in prolonging the vote that both the treasury secretary and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan have spoken out against. However, with a specific month being included market participants may do well to consider the potential reality of such an event in light of the increasing pressure from the Asian economy’s global partners.


 

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