Monday July 26, 2004 - 21:38:42 GMT
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Majors Rebound Against Dollar
• Dollar Loses Ground Against Majors
• Fed Gov. Hoenig Reiterates Last Week’s Comments
• Yen Slacks With Contracting Department Store Sales
The euro recovered against the dollar after hitting last week’s July low at 1.2086 in the middle of the trading week. The EURUSD pair took support after approaching the bottom point of the dollar rally and rebounded to an intra day high at 1.2173. The euro traded slightly lower down to 1.2150 by the end of the US session. Focus on economic data remained on the sidelines today while the May Euro-zone Current Account was released lower than expected at 3.2bn euros versus estimates of 4.0 billion. The smaller than forecasted growth from April’s 0.4 billion balance was partly anticipated after last Thursday’s release of a narrower than expected trade surplus. In May, exports within the Euro-12 nations declined by a seasonally adjusted 1.8% while imports rose by 2.3%. Without the seasonal adjustments, exports put on sizeable growth of 3.7% with summer demand. However, more substantial economic data will be released tomorrow with the German IFO Industrial Survey, giving an outlook into July’s business confidence.
The dollar gave back last week’s gains against most major currencies amid a day that was given over to technical trading. Economic releases remained a minimum today with only the June Existing Home Sales coming in higher than expected at 6.95 million annualized. For a second straight month, existing home sales made a new record high with last month’s revised at 6.81 million. Though the pace of growth is not sustainable, it does reflect an improving employment situation given relatively low mortgage rates. In addition, Kansas City Fed Governor Thomas Hoenig made a speech today, further reiterating the points made by Greenspan and Chicago Fed Gov. Moskow last week. Interest rates still remain “highly accommodative” with inflation, given the current environment, “a relatively manageable risk.” Hoenig also expects US GDP to expand by 4-4.5% in 2004. With the upcoming FOMC meeting on August 10th, a 25bp rate increase is expected by economists. The neutral rate, a point where interest rates will neither stimulate nor constrain economic growth, is estimated within the 3 to 4.5% range. Tomorrow’s economic calendar will be of more likely to move the market with the US July Consumer Confidence report expected at 14:00 GMT.
Shaking off the latest soft data on UK housing market, sterling bounced back against the dollar today after a week of severe losses. The Hometrack survey reported a 0.1 per cent month-on-month drop in property prices in July. However, that data point did little to shake traders' belief that Bank of England will stay on course and raise rates at the upcoming Monetary Policy Committee meeting in August. The sterling proceeded through the day with a steady climb against the dollar from 1.8306 to 1.8427. Clinging to its high, the pair traded around 1.8410 by 20:00GMT. The beginning of the week will remain quiet for the UK side until Wednesday when BoE’s executive director Paul Tucker will be making a speech, followed by the July GFK Consumer Confidence report released on Thursday.
The dollar initially declined against the yen during Monday Asian trading as Japanese exporters took advantage of the greenback's Friday rally to lock in profits. Short-term speculators and dealers defending options-related positions against the yen also joined in the dollar-selling. The momentum faded after a report showed that nationwide department store sales declined faster at 5.7% over past year, after the previous year’s 2.7% contraction. The contraction was led by clothing sales which fell by 10.3% and an 8.0% decline in household goods. Tomorrow will prove even more important as preliminary Japanese Retail Trade and Larger Retailers’ Sales will be released for the month of June. The retail situation is not seen to be improving as larger retailers are expected to further lose sales by -4.5%, while overall retail trade growth is forecasted to remain stagnant after May’s contraction. The dollar traded over the 110 level against the yen again today, and proceeded to 110.08. By the end of the US trading day, the pair leveled down to 109.95.
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