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Thursday December 1, 2005 - 10:37:37 GMT
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A new month has us looking for a new direction in the USD - a move weaker could be soon and it could be explosive.

Still the risk of one last capitulation to the downside in EUR/USD, but neither the USD nor stock markets responding to positive US data - if this continues, we'll look for 1.2150+ soon.

• Canada GDP in September was flat vs. +0.1% expected.
• US Chicago PMI out at 61.7 vs. 60 expected.
• US Weekly Oil inventories show sharp draw on crude, large build in distillates and energy prices rose sharply on the day.
• US Fed Beige Book generally positive on the economy, but notes some areas of regional differences and notes a cooling housing market
• Australia Current Account Deficit for Q3 out at –13530M vs. –12700M expected and Private Capital Expenditure out at 2.9% vs. 1.0% exp.

Market Moves
Little movement overnight, though JPY was weak as USD/JPY crawled back toward 120.00 and EUR/JPY slipped to new highs above 141.05.

The ECB is up today with its first move in a long time - but the market, after some panicky gyrations recently on some of Trichet's rhetoric, has calmed down a bit on this issue and has now priced in today's 25 bp hike and a hike at the next meeting in January. Of course, any surprising rhetoric at Trichet's press conference at 13:30 could cause brief volatility - but he's likely to watch his wording very carefully to keep markets calm.
The Fed Beige Book was no great surprise - but it was interesting to note the Fed commenting on regional unevenness in economic strength and a cooling housing market. According to a study published by the Feds themselves - a weak housing market can have dire effects on the economy and the stock market - so it would seem that the market may begin to focus on the next FOMC meeting on the 13th of December as the next big pivot point, as we look for the Fed to change their monetary policy statement ahead of the hand-over to Bernanke on January 31.

At this point - the market feels extraordinary in terms of our "sixth sense" reading on what is going on here. The market seems to be endlessly bullish on the US economy, on the stock market, and on the USD while being endlessly bearish on Treasuries. With such extreme sentiment that runs counter to our expectations for what the future holds, we are extraordinarily interested in the contrarian view - that all of these heavily positioned markets will violently reverse this month. We may already be seeing an inkling of this development in the strong stock market sell-off over the last 3 days. Treasuries have also survived the very good economic news from the US surprisingly well, even if they have come off a bit from the recent rally. As for the USD - it's still in the range - but at this point it can't stay there much longer after almost a full month of back and forth activity. A 1-month options play may be just the ticket for placing a contrarian bet on the USD weaker - perhaps a January 2 1.1950 call. Again - we stress that we don't quite have the technical setup for this yet - and the risk is that we see a brief downside capitulation before we see the move higher.

No matter what happens, it just seems as though the JPY keeps going weaker lately, as USD/JPY looks like it will inevitably take a look above 120.00 - if only to briefly to take out barrier options and stop everyone out before probably falling again. A historical look at USD/JPY whenever overbought readings reach this kind of levels suggests that at least a significant consolidation awaits the pair in the weeks ahead. A consolidation could come with little warning and be very violent - so stay on your toes.

Up today we have - besides the ECB announcement - Germany unemployment, the European PMIs, UK Distributive Trades report, and the US ISM Manufacturing as well as the US Personal Spending/Income and the Fed's beloved PCE inflation indicators. The ISM may be approximately in-line with expectations.

Note: the support/resistance levels used in the matrix’s of this document are levels derived from yesterday high, low and close. Reference in the text to other support/resistance levels will occur.

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