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Wednesday September 8, 2004 - 10:22:09 GMT
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Forex: US OPEN MARKET POINTS 09-08-04

Published By: Boris Schlossberg, Fundamental Analyst

Loving the Loonie

A quiet night in the Asian and European sessions as dealers square up ahead of Alan Greenspan’s testimony in front of the House Budget Committee later on today. We expect the Chairman to be typically cryptic revealing little new information to the markets. Yesterday Dallas Fed President McTeer stated that rates were too low foreshadowing what we think will be the central message of Mr. Greenspan. At present the real interest rate in the US (Fed funds rate less yearly rate of inflation) is negative and the Fed is increasingly uncomfortable with this state of affairs. Last Friday’s in-line NFP report provided just the right economic support for the Fed to enact a more restrictive monetary policy and the market is now certain that a 25bp hike in September will be enacted. The lack of suspense is responsible for the directionless trading of the night and unless the Chairman produces extraordinarily hawkish or dovish testimony today the US session may be similarly restrained.

Turning our attention now to the Great White North, we note that the Bank of Canada is expected to raise its repo rates today to 2.25% from the current 2.0%. The quiet economic boom of our northern neighbor has mostly gone unnoticed, but recently FX traders started to pay keen attention to the loonie and yesterday it roared to new year-to-date highs against the Euro and the Aussie, and reached its highest point against the U.S. dollar since January. Canadian business spending was much higher than anticipated in August, as the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index shot higher to 64.6, well above analysts' estimates of 55.0. The market now expects the BOC to raise rates by 75bp by year end and some analysts like Dennis Garman are proclaiming that this is the beginning of a long term secular bull move for the CAD that will end when it trades at parity to the greenback. Heady days indeed, for a unit that only a few years ago seemed destined to trade for half a buck.

FX Spot Overnight

- EUR range trades 2070-2100 awaiting Greenspan
- JPY bit weaker off soft survey data heading back above 109.50
- GBP stabilizes at 7700 handle and trades back above 7750
- CHF trades inverse to EUR/USD 2730-2700

Upcoming Events

13:00GMT – (8:30 AM EST) CAD Bank of Canada Rate Announcement Expected at 2.25%, Previous 2%

CHF SNB Director Hildebrand speaks 13:00GMT – (9:00 AM EST)
USD Fed Greenspan Testifies House Budget Committee 14:30GMT – (10:30 AM EST)

 

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