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Friday September 3, 2004 - 09:44:14 GMT
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US OPEN MARKET POINTS 09-03-04

US OPEN MARKET POINTS 09-03-04
Published By: Boris Schlossberg, Fundamental Analyst

Stormy Weather

The markets are typically comatose ahead if the NFP’ s with euro and Swissie trading in 20 pip ranges as most dealers square up ahead of the data. The pound and yen however are notably volatile. Cable is down almost 100 points from yesterday’s New York close as the Halifax House survey registers –0.6% vs. –0.1% expected providing yet more evidence that the UK housing market has topped. With next weeks MPC meeting on tap, traders are starting to question the probability of additional 50bp in hikes this year, and the carry traders are fleeing the currency. In the JPY, tonight’s household spending survey reports third monthly decline in a row (-0.5%) offering little support to yen bulls. According to IFR about 2 yards worth ($2Bn) 109.50 options expiring at Tokyo cut kept the lid on the USD/JPY move, but once the expiry passed the pair moved to 109.80 and looked to challenge the 110 handle if the dollar strengthened further.

Of course none of the overnight movement may matter much once the Non-Farm Payroll number hits the screens. We don’t believe this months data will provoke nearly as much volatility as last month’s report. The market seems to be prepared to absorb a wide set of values from 100K-180K – and we think the NFP number has a good chance of landing in that range. More importantly, when dealers return on Monday. NFP analysis make take a back seat to the stark reality of Hurricane FRANCES which is hurtling towards the East Coast of Florida as we write. Known as the “Gold Coast” the three southernmost counties in Florida comprise some of the most expensive real estate in the country. FRANCES which is three times as wide as the state of Florida is presently classified as a category 3 hurricane, but is expected to increase to category 4 when it hits land with wind speeds of upwards 145mph. The potential damage could run upwards of $40Bn if the worst case scenario pans out. Furthermore, the storm may take a turn for the Gulf Coast potentially damaging or at least temporarily suspending off-shore oil production. Gulf Coast rigs account for 25% of all US oil production and any suspension would have a material effect on oil prices. Overall, Hurricane FRANCES threatens to become a massive economic and political problem for USD. We certainly hope that the storm passes quietly, but if not, by Monday NFP may be a distant memory for the market.

FX Spot Overnight

- EUR trades 20 pip range ahead of NFP
- JPY challenges 110 off weak Household Spending data but drops back to 109.50 on exporter interest
- GBP plummets to 7840 but recovers above 7900 off better PMI and 79 vanilla option expiry at NY cut
- CHF breaks 2600 on slight dollar liquidation

Upcoming Events

12:30GMT – (8:30 AM EST) USD Unemployment Rate (August) Expected at 5.5%, Previous 5.5%
12:30GMT – (8:30 AM EST) USD Average Hourly Earning (August) Expected at 0.2%, Previous 0.3%
12:30GMT – (8:30 AM EST) USD Change in Non-Farm Payrolls (August) Expected at 150K, Previous 32K
12:30GMT – (8:30 AM EST) USD Average Weekly Hours (August) Expected at 33.7, Previous 33.7
14:00GMT – (10:00 AM EST) USD ISM Non-Manufacturing (August) Expected at 62, Previous 64.8

 

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