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Monday January 16, 2006 - 11:24:02 GMT
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Reversal of fortune again for the USD reignites the 1.2500 scenario for EUR/USD. JPY still weak on mixed data.

US Markets closed for national holiday. More USD weakness may await when US returns to work tomorrow.

MAJOR HEADLINES – PREVIOUS SESSION
• China's Foreign Exchange Reserves grew almost USD 50 billion in Q4 - with a growth of over USD 24 billion in December alone.
• Australia December TD Securities Inflation out at +0.1% vs. 0.0% in November
• Japan Domestic CGPI for December out at 0.2% vs. 0.1% expected. Export Price Index for Dec. out at 0.0% and Import Price Index out at -0.4%
• Japan's Current Account Surplus totalled ¥1418 Billion in November vs. ¥1507 Billion expected and ¥1569.9 Billion on an adjusted basis vs. ¥1755 Billion expected
• UK Rightmove House Prices showed a +0.1% increase in January vs. 0.2% expected - and 3.6% year-on-year.
Market Moves
USD weakened further from Friday's weak close, but then eased stronger again later in the Asian session as USD/JPY came well off the lows and the general JPY weakness was the focus.

THEMES TO WATCH – UPCOMING SESSION
The moves we saw last Thursday threw us off course, as Friday turned the tables yet again on us in this difficult market. With the move back higher in EUR/USD, we return to the EUR/USD to 1.2450/1.2550 scenario, as the market reaction to Friday's data sent a rather clear signal to the market. Unfortunately, we hung our hats on the interest rate markets, where we expected US rates to have a good chance of heading higher. But the strong treasury rally after the ho-hum US data and despite all of the recent US treasury issuance took US rates south again, and dragged the USD with them.

Also hitting the USD late in Friday's session were comments by US Treasury Secretary Snow, who in an interview said that reserve diversification (by countries with large USD reserves) "at the margin is certainly to be expected" - even as he simultaneously expressed a lack of concern for the USD on this phenomenon. The fact that the reserve diversification issue was on the table in an interview of Snow with the media suggests that our original suspicion sometime back that we would see a shift back to the "global imbalances" theme this year from the "how many hikes from the Fed?! theme may be bearing fruit. We may see little focus, however, on this theme at the upcoming G-8 meeting (February 10-11), as the focus there is likely to be on energy prices (Snow himself indicated this) and the bird flu outbreaks in Turkey.

But despite all of the "don't worry about it" words from the likes of Snow and Chinese officialdom, the reserves issues is massive - as the continued acceleration in the pile-up of greenbacks in China shows.
Most interesting for overnight markets was the development in JPY, as the focus was apparently more on the smaller than expected current account surplus rather than the higher than expected CGPI data (though the Export and Import price data did little to confirm the "deflation is dead" theme for the Yen). USD/JPY still appears supported, even if the USD looks weak elsewhere - though 115.00/50 remains the significant barrier to the upside.

Today may offer less action than normal with the US out for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Key data points this week include:
Tuesday: UK CPI, US Empire Manufacturing
Wednesday: US CPI and US TICS Data
Thursday: US Housing Starts and Building Permits, US Philly Fed
Friday: Sweden's Riksbank Rate Decision, UK Retail Sales, US Michigan Confidence

Keep in mind that the above are only highlights.

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.

Risk warning
Saxo Bank A/S shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any recommendation, forecast or other information herein contained. The contents of this publication should not be construed as an express or implied promise, guarantee or implication by Saxo Bank that clients will profit from the strategies herein or that losses in connection therewith can or will be limited. Trades in accordance with the recommendations in an analysis, especially leveraged investments such as foreign exchange trading and investment in derivatives, can be very speculative and may result in losses as well as profits, in particular if the conditions mentioned in the analysis do not occur as anticipated.
Please read our full Analysis Disclosure & Disclaimer at www.saxobank.com/analysis/disclaimer.

 

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