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Saturday August 14, 2004 - 10:45:42 GMT
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Another dollar shock

The record US trade deficit will reignite concerns over the US current account and the dependency on overseas capital inflows. Wall Street weakness and high oil prices will be a negative influence on global investors and make it more difficult for the US to attract sufficient inflows. Uncertainties over US growth will also persist in the short term and markets will want reassurance that the Fed's optimism is justified. The Fed will increase interest rates again, but it will be increasingly difficult for the central bank to maintain a balance in the economy, especially if oil prices do not fall. If US growth does falter, there will be intense pressure for rate increases to be stopped. Overall, the US currency should weaken in the medium term.

US data releases

Trade balance -US$55.9bn Jun (-US$46.9bn May)
Retail sales +0.7% Jul (-0.5% Jun)
Producer prices +0.1% Jul (-0.3% Jun)
University of Michigan consumer confidence 94.0 Aug (96.7 Jul)
Jobless claims 333,000 week ending Aug 6 (337,000 prev)

Market analysis

The currency markets have had a lot to contend with over the past week, with little chance of a respite as the market's two main themes remained in focus. The dollar rallied back to just stronger than 1.22, helped by the Fed, but for the second week running, the dollar was seriously damaged by Friday data and it weakened to a low of 1.2375.

As expected, the Federal Reserve increased rates by 0.25% to 1.5% on Tuesday, but the statement issued by the central bank was slightly more optimistic than expected. The Fed expressed confidence that the economy would rebound after the weaker patch seen during June and it also remained committed to a gradual tightening of monetary policy. Market sentiment over a September rate hike has increased back to around 50% after dipping below this level after the employment report.

The markets are still sceptical over the Fedís optimism and will want evidence that the confidence is justified. The retail sales data was mixed and failed to provide direction as the weaker than expected headline growth of 0.7% was offset by an upward revision to June figures. Jobless claims offered some support with a decline to 333,000 from 337,000 the previous week. The markets will, therefore, be looking ahead to forthcoming growth indicators to assess whether the economy is rebounding. There will be increasing fears over the impact of high oil prices.

The dollar received a serious jolt from the June trade figures. The monthly deficit rose sharply to a record US$55.9bn from US$46.9bn the previous month. Exports fell 4.3% over the month while imports rose 3.3%. The figures are prone to volatility, but the deficit was still a nasty shock. The widening deficit will revive fears over the US ability to finance its current account deficit. These fears are likely to be intensified by Wall Street weakness with the main indices all hitting new 2004 lows during the week. If the US is unable to secure strong capital inflows, the dollar will depreciate.

 

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Forex news reports can be found on the forex research headlines page below. Here you will find real-time forex market news reports provided by respected contributors of currency trading information. Daily forex market news, weekly forex research and monthly forex news features can be found here.

Forex News
Real-time forex market news reports and features providing other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the headlines below. At the top of the forex blog page you will find the latest forex trading information. Scroll down the page if you are looking for less recent currency trading information. Scroll to the bottom of fx blog headlines and click on the link for past reports on forex. Currency world news reports from previous years can be found on the left sidebar under "FX Archives."



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12:30 US- Housing Starts & Permits
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08:30 GB- Retail Sales
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Fri 20 Oct
12:30 CA- Retail Sales & CPI
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  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Tue-- 08:30 GMT GB- CPI top tier confirmation of Inflation.

  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Tue-- 09:00 GMT DE- ZEW Survey second most important German monthly Survey.

  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Tue-- 09:00 GMT EZ- final HICP revision to flash report. Revisions are usually minor.

  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Tue-- 13:15 GMT US- Industrial Production. Top output indicator.



  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Wed-- 12:30 GMT US- Housing Starts and Permits revision to flash report. Useful housing leading indicator.

  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Wed-- 14:30 GMT US- EIA Crude. Top WTI inventory measure.



  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Thu-- 01:30 GMT AU- Employment. Top economic indicator.


  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Thu-- 02:00 GMT CN- GDP. Top economic indicator.


  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Thu-- 08:30 GMT GB- Retail Sales. Top consumption indicator.


  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Thu-- 12:30 GMT US- Weekly Jobless. Employment Indicator.



John M. Bland, MBA
co-founding Partner, Global-View.com

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