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Monday July 19, 2004 - 11:26:16 GMT
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Forex Trading Strategies - July 19th 2004

AUD/USD leads the charge vs the greenback, focuses at .7500 next; NZD/USD should rally further to .6750

Australian dollar rose to an 11-week high on expectation the nation's bond yields will hold above those in the U.S. after a report showed slower-than-expected inflation in the world's biggest economy.


- Crude oil futures in New York fell from a six-week high as a hiatus in attacks on oil export facilities in Iraq and rising OPEC output raised expectations supplies in the U.S. will be enough to meet demand. Iraq's southern oil pipelines and terminals, which supplied about 1.8 percent of the world's oil last year, have been producing without disruption for 12 days. That may help maintain U.S. crude oil inventories that are almost 9 percent higher than a year ago. Imports into the U.S., the world's biggest oil user, have been about 5 percent higher in the past two months, Energy Department reports show. Crude oil for August delivery was 0.8 percent, or 32 cents, lower at $40.93 at 11:54 a.m. Singapore time. On Friday, the contract gained 1.2 percent to $41.25 a barrel. Friday's close was the highest since prices soared $2.45, or 6.1 percent, to a record $42.33 on June 1, the first day of trading after a weekend attack against oil workers in Saudi Arabia that killed 22 people.

- Fewer U.S. companies raised their earnings forecasts for the second quarter than for the first three months of the year. The decrease is a signal that stocks may extend losses in coming weeks as Wall Street realizes the peak of profit growth is past. More than a third of U.S. companies that forecast first- quarter earnings, such as General Electric Co. and PepsiCo Inc., said analysts' estimates were too low. Corporate optimism ebbed for the second-quarter earnings now being released, as just 26 percent of companies raised predictions. Investors may have a better idea of whether analysts' earnings estimates are too optimistic after this week, the busiest five days for second-quarter earnings reports. About 180 S&P 500 companies -- more than a third of the index's members -- are scheduled to release their results.

FX Market Summary

The dollar traded near a four-month low against the euro in Asia on speculation Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will reiterate the central bank will lift interest rates at a ``measured'' pace as inflation remains tame. Greenspan testifies to a Senate committee tomorrow and a House of Representatives panel the day after on the outlook for the U.S. economy and monetary policy. Dollar demand weakened after a government report on Friday showed June consumer prices, excluding food and energy, rose at the slowest pace of the year. The greenback shed 1% against both the Japanese yen and Canadian dollar and fell 0.8% vs. the euro.

Against the euro, the dollar was at $1.2454 at 12:21 p.m. in Singapore from $1.2451 late on Friday in New York. The U.S. currency on Friday dropped as low as $1.2461, the weakest since March 2, wrapping up its fifth weekly decline. The dollar fell to 108.33 yen from 108.71. Trading may be less than usual in the $1.2 trillion-a-day currency market because of a national holiday in Japan.

Australia's dollar rose to an 11-week high on expectations the nation's bond yields will hold above those in the U.S. after a report showed slower-than-expected inflation in the world's biggest economy. The local dollar has rallied 6.5 percent against its U.S. counterpart in the past month, the biggest gain of 15 currencies in Asia and the Pacific. A report Friday showed U.S. consumer prices excluding food and energy rose at the year's slowest pace in June, feeding expectations the Federal Reserve will keep raising interest rates gradually. Australia's dollar climbed to 73.38 U.S. cents at 12:11 p.m. in Sydney from 73.23 cents in late trading in New York Friday. The currency rose earlier to 73.47 cents, the highest since April 28.

The Reserve Bank of Australia's benchmark interest rate is 5.25 percent and New Zealand's is 5.75 percent, compared with 1.25 percent at the Fed. The Australian dollar reached an 11-week high of 73.47 U.S. cents and has risen 4.9 percent since the Fed's June 30 statement. New Zealand's dollar traded near a three- month high at 66 U.S. cents on speculation the central bank will raise its key rate as soon as this month.

Forex Technicals:

EUR/USD - the currency is still basking in the aftermath of Friday's benign CPI data and has gone up to 1.2460 and consolidates its outsize gains. Short-term technical outlook remains friendly and testimony from Greenspan, who might reiterate the measured pace outlook for future rate hikes, can only be negative for the dollar. Friendly fundamentals and positive technicals should continue to buoy the currency going forward, and should push through to and beyond 1.2500 soon. Firmer resistance await near 1.2700. Momentum is getting set for follow-through to 1.2900 further out.

GBP/USD - the currency rose to 1.8775 in Asia minutes ago, in the wake of benign U.S. and inflationary UK data. The upwards momentum should pick up further from here as expectation of further UK rate hikes likely underpinning the currency forward even further in the days to come. The rally through 1.8750 has reconfirmed the 1.9100 main target within the next couple of weeks.

USD/JPY - the dollar continues to weaken across the board -- the currency pair fell in Asia today to as low as 108.15. Support may not appear again unitl 107.60 baseline. We may yet see further upmove to 111.00 thereafter.

USD/CHF - the currency has been sharply lower further in the wake of benign CPI data on Friday, but now consolidates. The currency pair should resume the downtrend, and follows through lower once more towards the 1.2210 minor base. We still expect to see further declines to 1.2150 major support level and then through 1.2000 much further out.

USD/CAD -- the currency pair fell sharply in the back of friendly CPI data on Frdiay and basically waits for further development in the data front. Nonetheless, the downtrend should continue, with 1.3000 -1.2950 as next target. But much further out, focus now at 1.2700.

AUD/USD - the currency has been higher still since Friday's sharp rally and has reached .7347. The rally should accelerate further and should make it to the minor resistance at .7370 area. Further out, the uptrend should focus at .7500 objectives.

NZD/USD - the currency recovered on Friday and is set to challenge the .6620 top later in the trading day. The currency should then continue to trade higher towards .6750, then to the .7100 new focal point further out.

EUR/JPY - the cross has been to as high as 135.80 and continues to pull back --- support may appear only at 134.30 area, then go further north, and may rise to 1.3650 before significant resistance appears. The longer-term scenario takes on a large sideways consolidation requiring a sell-off from 138.00 - 139.00 potential resistance.

EUR/CHF - support was found at 1.5240 area and should resume the uptrend from here (1.5255). The next rallyshould propel the cross through 1.5300 to 1.5350 further out. Any rally above 1.5430 suggests that the long bear market is over.

EUR/GBP - the cross fell on Friday and retests the .6630 bottom today. The cross should recover later -- the uptrend resumes soon, with .6700 as immediate focus, and has .6820 as prime upside focus.


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