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DailyFX Forex Fundamentals 07-02-04

DailyFX Forex Fundamentals 07-02-04

· Dollar Sinks As US Non-Farm Payrolls Disappoint
· Eurozone PPI accelerates
· UK House Prices Continue To Rise, Albeit At A Slower Pace


Eurozone producer prices accelerated by a more than expected 0.6% (mom) in the month of May. If you recall, at the press conference following yesterday’s monetary policy announcement, ECB President Trichet expressed the central bank’s hawkish outlook on near term inflationary pressures. He said that he expects “stronger inflation pressure” to “persist over the short term” and that “measures of inflation expectations derived from financial market indicators remain relatively high.” Therefore today’s stronger PPI report comes as no surprise. ECB Issing was on the wires this morning echoing Trichet’s comments. Issing stressed that the ECB is closely monitoring inflation pressures – he said that “in the course of the month, the situation is different to what it was at the start of June and that “the President made clear yesterday that we are vigilant and alert.” As we have previously mentioned, the ECB has a habit of preparing the markets for any changes in monetary policy – their comments to date have been increasingly hawkish. In the week ahead, the economic calendar is fairly light with only a few important German economic releases scheduled, including unemployment, factory orders, industrial production and trade data.


Surprisingly, today’s US non-farm payrolls report had a much more significant impact on the currency markets than Wednesday’s rate hike. The size of today’s move can easily be explained by the size of the NFP differential from market consensus. The most pessimistic of the 73 economists survey by Bloomberg had predicted payrolls to increase by 160k, while the general consensus was for gain of 250k. The actual release came in at a paltry 112k. However, the disappointment was not limited to the absolute number. Manufacturing sector payrolls declined 11k, which follows 4 consecutive quarters of positive job growth. The health of the labor market in the manufacturing sector has been a cause of concern for quite some time. Prior to Feb 2004, the sector experienced 65 consecutive months of job losses, while payrolls turned positive in September 2003. Average hourly earnings also increased by a less than expected 0.1%, dropping the annualized gain to 2.0%. Although the disappointing releases do provide a modest cause for concern, today’s release is probably reflective of moderating growth rather than evaporating growth. In contrast to this past week, the US economic calendar for the week ahead is very light especially since the US markets are closed on Monday.

Contrary to the Nationwide House price surveyed released on Monday, two separate surveys (Halifax and FT) of house price inflation reported acceleration in the value of homes during the month of June. Both releases indicate that house price inflation hit the highest level in a year. However the rate of growth in the Halifax report was the slowest pace since November. On Wednesday, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said that house prices are “very important “ to the central bank’s interest rate decisions. Over the past year, the BoE has been very proactive in preventing a sudden burst of the housing market bubble. In the week ahead, the UK is scheduled to release a number of important economic data as well as announce their monetary policy decision. They are expected to keep rates on hold at 4.50%.

One of the most volatile currency pairs today is USDJPY. Weaker Japanese auto sales and the biggest one-day loss in a week for the Nikkei prompted the pair to rally to a high of 109.40, before reversing following the weak US non-farm payrolls report. Meanwhile Tokyo shares fell Friday as trading volume slowed to the lowest level in four months in a sign the stock market is losing momentum. In the absence of fresh news to drive shares higher offered traders an opportunity to lock in profits ahead of the weekend. In the week ahead, rounding out the light economic calendar, Japan is only scheduled to release data on household spending, machinery orders and the leading indicators.


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