Monday September 13, 2004 - 21:43:49 GMT
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Pound Fails To Rally Despite Data Pointing To Higher Inflation In the UK
Daily Forex Fundamentals 09-13-04
·US Treasury Budget Improves, Expected To Move Into Small Surplus In September
·Stronger German Wholesale Prices and French Industrial Production
·Pound Fails To Rally Despite Data Pointing To Higher Inflation In the UK
This is a big week economic data wise for the G7. The euro is right now at a standstill, however we have sufficiently important data this week for a meaningful test of the upper band of the 1.1950-1.2450 trading range. What it will really take though is probably a significantly weaker CPI report. As indicated in our US Open Market Points this morning, more Fed officials are turning dovish. Fed President Bies indicated that there is no urgency in raising rates. There are 3 monetary policy meetings scheduled for the remainder of this year and the market is only pricing in 2 more quarter point hikes. This means that if the market is correct, the Fed has to pause. The question is just a matter of when. Although the Fed is an independent entity, politics is always a factor which leads us to question whether they will deliver another rate hike only a week after the November presidential elections. So far the market doesn’t think so. For September, a 25bp hike is a near certainty, but for November, Fed fund futures are pricing in an implied yield of 1.86%. Meanwhile, in the Eurozone, both German wholesale prices and French industrial production were stronger than expected. Higher German wholesale prices signal the likelihood of pass-through costs to consumers while the stronger French numbers confirm the country’s relatively healthier outlook compared to its neighbors.
The only US data released today was the monthly Treasury budget, which improved from -$76 Billion to -$41.1 Billion, which was right in line with expectations. The improvement was expected given the government’s significant outlays in child tax credits last summer. The Treasury expects a small surplus in September, which will definitely make headlines next month. However, if you recall, Greenspan cautioned about fiscal restraint in his speech last week. He said that, “it is certainly conceivable that if we wholly disregard fiscal restraint and merely go on our way of, as I said before, advocating ever-increasing deficits, which is the implication of a lot of the actions that we take, then I think we start to risk problems.” Given the improving budget deficit seen today and the expected surplus next month, the dollar will probably be unaffected by the Fed’s cautious words. Tomorrow though, we are expecting the current account balance and retail sales. Both of which are predicted to be negative for the dollar. The current account deficit is expected to reach a record high in the second quarter while retail sales of both auto and non-auto goods likely fell last month.
The pound could not muster the strength to rally despite better than expected UK economic data. PPI input prices increased a more than expected 1.6% on a monthly basis and 4.8% annualized while output prices remain generally unchanged. House prices accelerated from 13.9% to 14.3% yoy in July according to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Both indicators indicate that inflation pressures are growing, which could ultimately be reflected in the CPI report scheduled for release tomorrow. However it is unlikely that the data will be surprising enough for the market to believe that the BoE will shift away from their newly instituted gradual tightening policy, which means that most likely the pound will continue to remain under pressure.
Although Bank of Japan Governor Fukui downplayed last week’s weaker Japanese economic data the fear of slower growth in the region should weigh on the yen. Last night, condominium sales in Tokyo fell 11% in the month of August, which follows 4 months of consecutive gains. Tomorrow, we are expecting the final industrial production data, capacity utilization, bankruptcies and Tokyo department store sales. Industrial production is expected to continue to decline while department store sales should deteriorate. Basically the data should confirm the fears of yen bears.
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