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Dollar Rallies As Factory Activity In The NY Region Recovers

DailyFX Forex Fundamentals 09-15-04

·Dollar Rallies As Factory Activity In The NY Region Recovers
·Swiss National Bank Expected To Raise Rates By Quarter Point
·Pound Falls One Percent As Bank of England Nickell Confirms That Tightening Cycle May Be Beginning


The dollar rallied against the euro on mixed US economic data with range trading continuing to be the persistent theme. The euro is trading squarely in the middle of the range (1.1950-1.2450), which poses the question of whether tomorrow’s highly anticipated US consumer price inflation report will have the strength to drum up some interesting trading in the pair. Although there are a number of other key releases besides CPI tomorrow, namely the Treasury International Capital flow report and the Philadelphia Fed Survey, we doubt that it will result in a move in excess of 200 pips. According to the Empire State manufacturing survey, factory activity in the NY region was more robust than the market had expected. The index increased from an upwardly revised 13.22 to 28.34. Any number above zero indicates more positive conditions. Rising orders and sales have helped to boost hiring prospects. Business inventories also increased a more than expected 0.9%. However, not all US data was rosy this morning. Industrial production increased by a measly 0.1% as business equipment and utility production declined while mining output slipped. Although this still means that there is positive growth, the clear slower pace of growth cannot be discounted. Meanwhile the Eurozone is also not faring too well. Italian industrial production on an annualized nsa basis fell –3.7%, compared to expectations for a -1.5% decline. Eurozone labor costs also softened from an upwardly revised 2.7% to 2.2%


The Swiss National Bank is expected to raise rates for the second time this year by a quarter of a point, bringing their 3 month target Libor band to 0.25% - 1.25%. The SNB is fairly optimistic on the global economic recovery and believe that rates are currently too accommodative. GDP has been above trend for 4 consecutive quarters, supporting the need for a rate hike. SNB President Roth was pretty explicit in his comments earlier this month when he said that "We're in a situation of price stability but the current monetary policy wouldn't be sustainable if the economy accelerates further." "More increases in interest rates would then be needed." The last time the SNB raised rates was on June 17. At the time, the Swiss National Bank surprised the markets by raising rates by 25bp to 0.0% - 1.0%. They stressed that monetary policy will need to be tightened slightly with the elimination of deflation fears and the strengthening economy. The Swiss economy is reviving after three years of little to no growth and according to SNB President Roth, economic growth may accelerate to between 2-2.5% in 2005, which would be the fastest pace in four years.


Another day, another beating for the British pound. Against the dollar, the pound was the biggest market mover today, falling –1.1%. Although the unemployment rate remained unchanged, the number of claimants fell by –6.1k, less than the market’s –10k forecast. The 3 month annualized rate of average earnings growth also increased by a less than expected 3.8% during the month of July. In reality, these are fantastic numbers. With an unemployment rate of 2.7%, the UK is the envy of many. However, as we have learned, although the economy has remained relatively strong, it is the trend of growth and interest rates that has captured the market’s attention. Bank of England monetary policy member Nickell confirms the market’s belief that "rates may not have to go up by much more" if house price acceleration continues to fall. A slowing interest rate tightening cycle has been the primary reason why investors have been pulling money out of the pound.


There is not much we can say about the Japanese yen today as we reflect back on completely dull price action. According to a poll conducted by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, analysts expect the Japanese economy to grow by 3.56% this fiscal year. This is a 0.21% point downgrade from the survey taken in August and is essentially in line with the government’s forecasts. Japan’s economy has taken a hit from many fronts including rising oil prices, slowing Chinese demand and a general slowdown in the global economy. Tomorrow’s leading indicator report should confirm these recent developments as the market is expecting the index to decline from 66.7% to 63.6%.


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