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Monday September 12, 2005 - 22:35:24 GMT

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Forex: Heavy Data Week Threatens Dollar Rally

DailyFX Fundamentals 09-12-05

· Heavy Data Week Threatens Dollar Rally
· Politics Main Focus in Europe
· Koizumi Victory Fails to Help Yen Hold Onto Gains Against Dollar

US Dollar

On a day absent of any US economic releases, the dollar continued to gain strength. Before getting too excited though, tomorrow begins our extremely busy week of key US data. We are expecting the producer price index for the month of August as well as the trade balance for the month of July. One word will explain any surprises in the data - which is oil. The trade deficit is expected to increase as a result of rising oil prices and the end of the spring inventory correction. Although many of the releases this week has the potential of being market moving, the big uncertainly is in Thursday’s non-farm payrolls report. The estimates run the gamut of 312k to 800k. Citigroup is predicting that jobless claims will rise a whopping 800k for the week ending September 10th. They are the outlier by far, but Thomson Financial and UBS, the second and third runner-ups for the highest estimates are also predicting jobless claims to rise by 560k and 500k respectively. Given that the consensus estimate at this time is 350k, the market could perceive any number greater than 400k as extremely bearish for the US dollar. Even if the number is in line with estimates, the argument will be that jobless claims will only get progressively worse in the weeks to come because the victims of Katrina are still preoccupied with basic survival that they have yet to walk into the unemployment offices to file for benefits. Overall, it will be interesting to see if the dollar can continue to hold onto its gains this week in the face of such potentially negative developments.


Politics dominated the markets in Europe today with Angela Merkel, the Christian Democratic leader losing her lead in the polls. Chancellor Schroeder’s SDP staged a strong recovery this weekend, increasing the likelihood of a hung parliament or a coalition government. This means that if Merkel wins, she will have an extremely tough time pushing through her reforms. This will slow any possible progress that can be made to spur growth in Germany. The elections in Germany have been postponed for at least another 2 weeks. They were originally scheduled for September 18. Inflation numbers are expected to be released from France and Germany tomorrow, but any increases are expected to be muted, which means that they probably wont be particularly market moving. Right now the FXCM Speculative Sentiment Index shows a positive ratio for the EURUSD and a negative ratio for USDCHF. As a contrarian indicator, the positive EURUSD ratio signals more losses ahead for the Euro while the USDCHF ratio provides a confirmation that we could see a move down to 1.2230 or 1.2200 before a meaningful bottom occurs.

British Pound

The British pound was one of the biggest movers today, sliding 1.1% or 244 pips against the dollar. The increase in producer prices was extremely soft with slower growth in both input and output prices. This suggests that manufacturers are bearing the brunt of the costs of higher prices, which must be eating into profit margins. Such a weak producer price inflation number makes it an easier environment for the Bank of England to cut rates. However, consumer prices are expected to increase at a faster rate tomorrow, which if that is the case, could easily offset the current pessimism in the pound. House prices according to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister increased by 4.0%, which was right in line with expectations. The is the slowest pace of growth in home prices since February 2003. Overall, it seems as that for the time being, the UK economy is slowing but at a stable rate, which means that the BoE has the flexibility of going into a “wait and see mode” before making another change to interest rates.

Japanese Yen

There is a lot for yen bulls to be happy about today, as economic data and political results both ended up adding to current overall optimism in the world’s second largest economy. First and foremost, according to Japan’s Cabinet Office, the economy, which slowed to a 1.1 percent pace earlier, rose 3.3 percent on an annualized basis for the second quarter. Although slower than the 4.9 percent pace witnessed in the first three months of 2005, the current rate still confirms earlier suggestions by central bankers and economists that the region is improving, albeit at a very slow pace. As a result, with actual figures basically doubling consensus estimates, increased attention looks to be in store for the industrial production data being released tomorrow. Any confirmation of current and future increases in productivity look to lend the domestic currency some near term strength. In addition to the data uplift, yen favoritism vaulted higher in the session as the September 11th elections came and went. As speculated, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi won the general election. However, what surprised most was the measure of which his party, the Liberal Democratic Party, won the elections. Capturing 296 seats, 50 more than previously held before the snap elections, LDP now controls over 60 percent of the 480 seat Lower Parliament. Although this does bode well for the financial reform plan, it brings to light the deficiency of a two party system currently hoped for by several in addition to a more capitalist application in the region. Whatever the case, reform plans look to add to the region’s attraction as things pick up for the economy.


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