USD - USD Falls below 90.00 Yen
The Dollar weakened on Friday after a set of mixed U.S economic reports as well as reports that the G20 leaders will continue to provide support for the global economy. The Dollar index fell to 76.774 Friday, down from 76.901 late Thursday. The Dollar remained down more than 1% versus the Japanese Yen after statements by Japan's Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii that he opposes intervening in the currency markets to curb the rise in the Yen.
Orders of durable goods unexpectedly fell 2.4% in August. Sales of new homes rose 0.7% to a 429,000 pace in August, much slower than the expected 442,000. On the other hand, the Reuters-University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was revised to 73.5 in September, compared to a previous estimate of 70.2 and 65.7 in August, beating analysts expectations.
No news events are expected today form the U.S; therefore, it is likely that Dollar sentiment will be determined by investors' reactions to the G20 concluding statements.
EUR - Sterling Trades at a 3 Month Low vs. USD
The Sterling dropped to a 3 month low below $1.60 last week after Bank of England (BOE) Governor Mervyn King was quoted stating the Pound's weakness is aiding in the recovery of the U.K economy. The EUR traded at $1.4665, up 0.2% from Thursday.
The Sterling slid 2.1% versus the Dollar last week following very dovish announcements by BOE Governor Mervyn King, calling the Pound's recent drop “very helpful.” The Pound fell Friday to $1.5918, the lowest level since June 8, and depreciated to 91.19 per ERU, the weakest level since April 1.
While a rather slow news day is expected today, ECB president Trichet's speech at 2:30 GMT is likely to provide volatility to the EUR as interest rate targets and exit strategies are likely to be discussed.
JPY - Yen at a 7 Month high versus the Dollar
The Yen registered sharp gains Friday, breaching the significant Y90.00 barrier against the Dollar and reaching the highest levels versus the greenback in over 7 months. Japan's currency benefited from supportive comments from Japan's finance minister Hirohisa Fujii who said that he opposes intentional devaluation of the Yen.
The JPY advanced 1.8% this week to 89.64 per Dollar from 91.29 on Sept. 18, briefly touching 89.51 Friday, the strongest level since Feb. 5. The currency also gained 2% to 131.70 per ERU, from 134.33.
Crude Oil - Crude Prices up Slightly on Mixed Data
At the end of a very volatile trading day Friday, Crude Oil futures rose slightly, for the first session in 3, following the release of mixed economic data from the U.S as well as on increased odds of broad based sanctions against Iran, the world's 4th largest Oil producer. Crude for November delivery rose 13 cents, or 0.2%, to end at $66.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after dropping as low as $65.05, the lowest level since July 30. Overall futures tumbled more than 8% this week, the biggest weekly loss in more than two months.
The unexpected jump in the Reuters/UoM Consumer Sentiment Index to 73.5 in September helped push up Oil prices; however, concerns over weak demand dampened Friday's gains. Furthermore, several worse than expected economic data from the U.S stemmed further Oil's Gains.
With last Wednesday's report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) stating that inventories of Crude Oil, gasoline and other petroleum products all rose last week and a lack of any significant economic news today, Oil prices will likely continue to stay subdued throughout today's trading day.
Article Source - Japan's Currency Hits a 7 Month High
Key Overnight Developments
• Pound Tumbles Despite BOE Backtracking on King’s Comments
• Japanese Yen Surges on Safety Demand as Stocks Plunge in Asia
The British Pound and the Euro both suffered sharp losses in overnight trading as stocks tumbled in Asia, driven lower by Friday’s disappointing US economic data, sending the MSCI Asia Pacific regional benchmark index down 1.2% and boosting demand for the safety-linked US Dollar.
Asia Session Highlights
The British Pound raced sharply lower in early trading as currency markets seemingly concluded that the Bank of England suspiciously “protests too much” after the UK Times Online cited unnamed sources at the central bank as saying King was trying to talk down sterling last week. The Pound began to accelerate lower last Monday after the BOE released an article titled “Interpreting Recent Movements in Sterling” as part of its quarterly bulletin which argued that the inability of drying up capital inflows to finance the current account deficit could mean a fall in the “the long-run sustainable real exchange rate”. Sterling bears were given extra fuel last Thursday when Governor Mervyn King said rebalancing the UK economy was “very necessary [and] the fall in the exchange rate that we have seen will be helpful to that process” in an interview with The Journal.
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens struck a hawkish tone at a testimony to the Senate Committee in Sydney. Stevens said that Australia’s recession has been mild and the economy has done “quite well” as government stimulus “materially” supported growth, adding 2-3% to local demand. On interest rates, Stevens said that benchmark borrowing costs are “unusually low” and will need to go back to normal levels, adding that inflation targeting will guide the timing of adjustment to “more normal levels”.
Euro Session: What to Expect
A preliminary estimate of Germany’s Consumer Price Index is set to show that prices fell -0.2% in the year to September, marking the third consecutive month that the EU-harmonized metric has printed in negative territory. A reading in line with expectations is unlikely to prove market-moving: economists have called for year-on-year CPI to shrink -0.3% through the third quarter, and averaging September’s would-be reading with those recorded in the previous two months yields just about that outcome. The coming months present an opportunity for volatility, however: consensus forecasts have inflation coming back into positive territory in the fourth quarter and averaging around 1.2% through 2010; if this proves too rosy as the economy falters anew after the boost from fiscal stimulus (both at home and abroad) and the inventory cycle fizzles out, a drop in inflation expectations stands to prolong the slump in the Euro Zone’s largest economy. Indeed, consumers and businesses have little incentive to spend and invest in the present if they reckon prices will be lower in the future, bringing economic activity to a standstill. This will mean the ECB will keep interest rates at current lows longer than nearly all of its major counterparts (with the exception of Japan and Switzerland), weighing down the Euro.
Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - Pound Tumbles, Dollar Surges as Risk Aversion Hits Currency Markets (Euro Open)
Fundamental Outlook for US Dollar: Bullish
- The Federal Reserve left rates unchanged, but signaled a more optimistic outlook
- University of Michigan consumer confidence jumped to a 21-month high in September
- US durable goods orders tumbled 2.4% in August, marking the steepest drop since January
The US dollar ended the past week marginally higher after the Federal Reserve issued a more optimistic outlook on the economy. In the coming week, though, there will be a variety of growth indicators on hand that may help to signal whether the US recession really ended in Q2. That said, the US dollar index will have to contend with resistance just above 77.00 at the start of the week, but a break above there will likely coincide with a EURUSD drop below 1.4615.
Looking to the upcoming event risk, on Tuesday, the September reading of the Conference Board’s measure of US consumer confidence is expected to rise up to a one-year high of 57 from 54.1 in August, but overall, there are some upside risks for this report. Indeed, the final reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index show that sentiment improved greatly in September, with the index hitting a 21-month high of 73.5 from 65.7.
On Wednesday, the third round of US Q2 GDP estimates is due to hit the wires, but the results will only be market-moving if we see surprising revisions. The final reading is forecasted to be revised down to -1.2 percent from -1.0 percent, though this would still represent a sharp improvement from Q1, when GDP plunged 6.4 percent. Readings in line with expectations may not have a very big impact on price action, but better-than-anticipated results could lead carry trades higher, especially in light of speculation that the recession may have ended in Q2.
On Thursday, the ISM manufacturing index is projected to rise for the ninth straight month in September to 54 from 52.9, which would be the highest reading since April 2006. With 50 being the point of neutrality, this would also be the second month that the index signals an expansion in activity, adding to evidence that the sector is experiencing a recovery in business activity. The last release didn’t have much of an impact on the US dollar, as risk aversion dominated the day, leading the currency higher. However, the report will still be useful because of its employment component as a leading indicator for the big news on Friday: US non-farm payrolls.
The US non-farm payrolls (NFPs) index is forecasted to show job losses for the 21st straight month in September, though the rate of decline is anticipated to slow further. At the time of writing, Bloomberg News was calling for NFPs to decline by 187,000, which would be the smallest drop since August 2008. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is projected to edge up to 9.8 percent from 9.7 percent, but ultimately, the NFP result will be the event to watch as it is extremely volatile and is one of the sole reports that impacts the US dollar from a pure fundamental point of view. A better-than-anticipated result is likely to provide a boost to the US dollar, but it will be interesting to see the impact of disappointing results as weak US data tends to weigh on risky assets and push the greenback higher amidst flight-to-quality.
Euro Shows Early Signs of Reversal – Week Ahead Critical to Trends
Fundamental Forecast for Euro: Neutral
- Euro breaks key technical short-term trendline
- Candlesticks likewise point to a potential Euro reversal
- German IFO improves for sixth month
- Risk trends remain most important EURUSD driver
The Euro showed early signs of technical reversal through an eventful week of trading, setting fresh yearly peaks versus the US Dollar yet finishing lower through Friday’s close. Strong rallies in the US S&P 500 and other key risk barometers led the single currency to impressive highs against most major counterparts. Yet a late-week breakdown in risk sentiment sparked a flight to safety across forex markets—much to the Euro’s detriment. Near-term Euro forecasts will very much depend on the trajectory of said asset classes, and a busy global economic calendar promises no shortage of volatility through the week ahead.
The Euro remains in fairly well-defined 6-month uptrend, and we would hardly argue that several days of declines signal that it has set a major top. Yet it is undeniable that the EUR/USD lost much of its short-term momentum—having broken below short-term technical support and threatening further declines. Fundamentals will likely play a fairly significant role in the days ahead as the combination of German and US Employment figures will shed a great deal of light on economic conditions in both key countries. The reports may confirm recent waves of economic optimism or cut celebrations short. Reasonably steady improvements in fundamental data have made for lofty market forecasts across most economic releases, and a string of disappointments could easily force noteworthy corrections across major financial markets.
Early-week German Consumer Price Index numbers and Euro Zone Consumer Confidence figures could produce surprises, but most traders look forward to market-moving German Unemployment Change figures due Wednesday. Previous results showed unemployment actually fell for the second consecutive month through August, but the numbers were clouded by government stimulus payments inducing firms to keep workers on their payrolls. Forecasts for September results call for a far less sanguine 20k jump in unemployment. Given that Germany is largely considered the bellwether for the broader Euro Zone economy, any disappointments could led to a noteworthy correction in the Euro exchange rate.
Friday’s US Nonfarm payrolls result could likewise have a pronounced effect on Euro pairs. US and European markets have proven especially sensitive to major surprises in the monthly payrolls number. Consensus forecasts call for the eighth-consecutive improvement in the jobs release, and any disappointments could clearly make a dent in broader forecasts for growth out of the world’s largest economy.
The critical question remains whether we can expect further equity market gains. Much like the Euro, the S&P 500 showed early signs of reversal through late-week trade. A continuation of said tumbles could easily force the Euro to move in kind.
Japanese Yen Momentum a Combination of Risk, Intervention and Data
Fundamental Forecast for Japanese Yen: Bullish
- Finance Minister Fujji reiterates his opposition to FX intervention
- Policy officials start reining in the stimulus that has supported the most aggressive rally in decades
- Exports shrink 36 percent in the year through August, exacerbated by sharp appreciation of the yen
The Japanese yen was the biggest mover and gainer amongst the majors this past week – by a long shot. However, we can’t idly attribute this appreciation to risk appetite alone. Indeed, we can see while other risk sensitive assets (equities, bonds funds, commodities, high-yield currencies) have pulled back over the same period; they certainly didn’t do so with the same gusto as the yen. Underlying sentiment no doubt prompted the trend; but early signs of policy withdrawal and confirmation from the new Japanese Finance Minister suggesting the days of FX intervention has passed provided the fuel for momentum. Will the market maintain its bearing and pace? That will depend on three dominant factors: interpretation of the G-20 commitments; weighing the fair value of the yen; and the outlook for the domestic recovery.
While the first concern is related to the G-20 meeting and commitments that were announced this past week, the fundamental relation to the yen is risk appetite. In the six-month rally from anything and everything that can bear a yield above the risk-free assets that traders took shelter in during the worst of the crisis, we have seen an early upsurge in demand for return and an elemental redistribution of capital. There have certainly been earlier adopters to the market reversal and those lured in by the steady capital gains; but most of the inflow of wealth is simply coming from the market sidelines and is seeking an investment with stability and steady returns. It wouldn’t take much to spark fear of a reversal and catalyze a wave of profit taking; but it is the money that is flowing back in for the long haul that will decide the larger trend. Both these short-term and long-term dynamics can be impacted by the G-20’s joint statement and individual government’s efforts going forward. The impressive recovery in market levels this past year is in large part due to the guarantees, liquidity injections and bailouts by the world’s policy makers. It is unclear whether speculator confidence in the balance of risk and reward will be anywhere as strong as it has been without the government safety net. However, with German and the US cutting down its programs last week while the global call for ‘exit strategies’ grows to a roar; we may well be testing those waters soon.
It is generally true that the majors are free-floating currencies and economics indeed sets exchange rates; but perfection only exists in academic theory. In reality, the Japanese yen has carried the burden for potential intervention from the Bank of Japan for years. As a major export nation, the former DPJ administration considered a ‘weak yen’ policy essential to economic stability. However, regimes have changed and new LDP Finance Minister Fujii has explicitly said that the currency should reflect economics. The first time, the policy makers made this statement the week before last, the yen responded with a sharp appreciation. With a reiteration of the same this past week (despite the yen being at relative highs), the currency moved on to another leg of its rally. How much pressure has been priced in due to intervention fears? Only time will tell. What’s more, how will the economy handle this steady appreciation? Domestic demand has long been lacking for Japan.
And, so we round out the story with more domestic considerations. As the currency appreciations, a critical artery of growth is slowly pinched off. In line with the G-20’s commitment to balance savings, domestic demand and trade; Japan will have to compensate for the potential loss in exports with domestic demand at a critical time for the economy. In the midst of a fragile recovery, we will now low to key economic data due over the coming week to see if Japan can lift itself out of its worst recession on record. The 3Q Tankan surveys, industrial production, employment, household spending, housing activity and inflation will offer a thorough assessment.
British Pound Losing its Risk Appeal as Conditions Deteriorate
Fundamental Forecast for British Pound: Bearish
- BoE Mervyn King says the weak pound “will be helpful” in supporting a feeble recovery
- Upcoming spending cuts and speculation of a cut in the deposit rate means the BoE is running out of options
- The Bank of England minutes show a unanimous vote to keep the bond purchasing program at 175 billion pounds
Some of the major currencies are showing strength against some pairs and weakness against others – a sign of underlying currents like risk appetite. However, the British pound was down across the board this past week, and in dramatic fashion. Prominent breakouts are starting to look the establishment of new trends as the struggling fundamental health of the United Kingdom begins to override the appeal the currency once held as a source for high yields. The next few weeks will be critical in establishing where the pound will head, and more importantly, where it fits in the market.
There is no doubt that risk trends will have an impact on what kind of direction and pace the British currency takes. However, it will likely start to be more of a one sided influence. Should risk tumble in the wake of the G-20 meeting as investors worry the capital markets can’t support their own weight without a government safety net, the pound will likely tumble. There is still a latent build up of risk appetite behind this currency that was fed by the belief that the recovery in the global economy and markets would be exceptionally beneficial for the United Kingdom which is generally considered to be the industrialized nation in the worst shape. As the outlook for a speedy recovery and fades, so too does the picture of London retaking its title of financial center of the world. Yet, what happens should sentiment actually improve? Even then, the pound will likely lag or even fade despite the positive turn.
Over the past weeks and months, it has become blatantly clear that Europe’s second largest economy is struggling to pull itself out of its deep recession; and the time frame for a return to growth is being continuously pushed back. Not only did the 2Q GDP numbers tell us that the slump was more intense than initially though; but we have also seen that policy officials are running out of options to support an orderly recovery. This past week, the minutes seemed to have a positive tilt in that there was a unanimous vote to keep the bond purchasing program at 175 billion pounds (whereas in the previous vote, the was minority dissention headed by Governor Mervyn King for a greater amount). Nonetheless, the central bank kept open the possibility of further expansion of this unorthodox policy. Another step that was speculated to under consideration was a cut to the deposit rate paid to banks that hold their capital with the BoE. This too was written off; but commentary by King and other MPC members continues to stoke speculation that either or both is still a considerable possibility. Without doubt, the central bank is running out of options to jump start the economy. The further the policy authority extends itself without a commensurate response from financial health or economic activity, the more dire the nation’s condition. Considering the government will have to follow through on a serious round of spending cuts in the near future (expected to be the biggest reduction in over three decades), time is certainly working against policy officials.
In the grand scheme of things, economic data is vital at this point; but a meaningful improvement in the outlook will come with time and a wide array of indicators. Nonetheless, there are a slew of indicators to account for next week – and perhaps even a few of them could help jump start optimism. Most prominent, but least likely to surprise, is the final reading of the 2Q GDP numbers. There is rarely a meaningful adjustment in this last recalculation of the data; but the new current account numbers, some spending adjustments or capital investment alterations would be notable. Among the other notable figures, mortgage approvals, net consumer credit and the money supply are important gauges for financial health. The BoE home equity withdrawal figure and PMI factory and construction data is growth focused.
Written by Terri Belkas, David Rodriguez, John Kicklighter, Ilya Spivak, John Rivera and David Song, Currency Analysts
Article Source - Forex Weekly Trading Forecast - 09.28.09
USD - Dollar Rebounds on Return to Risk Aversion
The Dollar came roaring back yesterday against its rivals as poor housing data and falling equity markets sapped traders appetite for risk. Existing home sales numbers were released to an unspectacular reception with the numbers failing to reach their expected targets. Only 5.10M existing homes were sold as compared with economists forecasts of 5.36M. This sent traders running from higher-yielding currencies and into long Dollar positions.
Yesterday's trading was notably volatile, with the EUR/USD climbing in early European trading hours to a daily high of 1.4789, only to end the day at 1.4650 from 1.4721. Driving the early appreciation for the EUR was a lower number of U.S. Unemployment Claims. These gains were later eroded after less than spectacular housing data was released. Against the Yen the Dollar was down as traders looked for the less risky currency. The pair closed at 90.82 from 91.30.
Looking ahead to today's trading, we can expect further volatility of the Dollar. The Group of Twenty (G20) meets for a second day today. Comments made by the global heads of finance can move the market fast so traders should be aware of their impact. U.S. New Home Sales data is due at 2:00pm GMT time. If the New Home Sales is anything like the Existing Homes Sales data from yesterday, the EUR/USD could continue its decline for the second day in a row to finish the week near the 1.4550 mark.
EUR - Pound Crumbles on Currency Comments
The Pound took a thrashing during yesterday's trading as comments by the Bank of England sank the British currency. A report surfaced that Bank of England (BOE) Governor Mervyn King stated a weaker Pound could be beneficial to the U.K. economic recovery. It is assumed the BOE prefers a weak Pound. The weaker currency could help boost British exports, making them relatively cheaper than their foreign counterparts.
Traders immediately began bidding the Pound lower, sinking the GBP/USD to 1.5947 from 1.6353, for a single day decline of 2.5%. The EUR also rose 2% on the Pound as the EUR/GBP ended at 0.9816 from 0.9004, and the GBP/AUD fell to 1.8467 from 1.8803.
If the BOE does prefer the Pound to depreciate, this could create an opportunity for those traders who feel the British currency is not properly valued. Perhaps the BOE sees the possibility for further weakening of the Pound. Will the bank take future action to help artificially deflate the nation's currency?
JPY - Yen Rises on Negative U.S. News
As the rally of riskier currencies puts on the breaks, demand for the Yen is increasing. Yesterday's news of lower U.S. housing data helped slow the rally for riskier assets, thereby boosting the Yen. This trend continues to go unabated, with the USD/JPY rising alongside riskier assets, and falling when risk sentiment diminishes. This was the case yesterday as the USD/JPY fell to 90.82 from 91.30
Traders should be watching today's data releases from the U.S. for today's direction of the Yen. If the negative news will continue further into the day, we could have another pullback of some of the higher yielding currencies. If so the USD/JPY could be looking to drop below the 90.00 support line.
Crude Oil - Economic Data Lowers Demand for Crude
The price of Crude Oil was significantly lower yesterday as poor U.S. housing data and a strong Dollar weighed on the commodities market. Traders took the information as a pullback to economic growth and a sustained economic recovery, thereby reducing demand for the commodity. Oil fell below a significant support line of $66 and finished the day down at $65.85 from $68.36.
Yesterday's 3.6% drop in price was the second day in a row for a pullback in Crude prices. The valuation seems to be taking hints from reported economic data. If this is the case, traders will be wise to follow today's U.S. Core Durable Goods Orders and New Home Sales numbers. We could see Crude Oil trading at $65 by the end of today.
Article Source - Dollar, Yen up Ahead of the G20 Meeting
Key Overnight Developments
• NZ Annual Trade Deficit Shrinks as Imports Fall for Fifth Month
• Bank of Japan Says Recovery After Stimulus, Restocking is “Uncertain”
The Euro initially sold off but prices recovered late into the overnight session, adding much as 0.2% against the US Dollar. The British Pound continued to be sold, though prices recovered most of the drop in early trading that saw GBPUSD test as low as 1.5918, trading just below 1.60 ahead of the opening bell in Europe.
Asia Session Highlights
New Zealand’s annual Trade Balance deficit contracted to the narrowest in over six years, revealing a shortfall of –NZ$2.37 billion in August following a revised –NZ$2.49 billion result in the previous month as imports fell for the fifth straight month, shrinking -21.6% from a year before. The outcome speaks ill of domestic demand in the smaller antipodean nation, especially considering that the Kiwi Dollar has become considerably stronger over recent months, which should boost New Zealanders’ purchasing power of foreign goods and encourage imports. More of the same is likely going forward as unemployment continues to push higher, trimming incomes and discouraging spending. Indeed, a survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg forecasts the trade gap will shave just -6.6% on average off GDP this and next year, the smallest since 2004. To be fair, however, exchange rate movements take a long time to be reflected in trade figures, so it is possible that the currency’s recent gains may surface to widen the shortfall in the months ahead. The deficit grew –NZ$725 million from July, more than the –NZ$329 million expected, but monthly figures tend to be volatile and looking at annualized readings offers better gauge of trade flows’ direction.
Minutes from the August policy meeting of the Bank of Japan revealed that while policymakers agreed that “overseas economic conditions have stopped worsening,” but expressed concern that the pace and sustainability of recovery after the effects of fiscal stimulus and the inventory restocking cycle run their course “remained highly uncertain.” Members concurred that exports will probably continue to improve for the time being as overseas markets stabilize, but domestic consumption will remain weak as unemployment continues notwithstanding isolated policy-induced spikes in purchases of specific items such as cars and electrical appliances. On inflation, members concluded that year-on-year consumer price figures will remain weak largely because of the correction in high oil costs seen last year. On financial conditions, policymakers said that while funding access had improved for large firms, credit for small enterprises remained limited.
Euro Session: What to Expect
With little of importance on the economic calendar, currency markets will be focused on the outcome of the ongoing Group of 20 (G20) summit of world leaders going on in Pittsburg. Traders’ concerns are two-fold: first, there are worries that policymakers will take recent signs of economic stabilization to agree on a path to withdrawing fiscal stimulus measures, nipping the recovery in the bud; second, it remains unclear what, if anything, will be agreed upon regarding regulations of risk-taking in the financial markets. On the former point, a draft G20 communiqué leaked by Reuters contained language saying leaders will maintain expansionary policies until the global recovery is secured, alleviating at least some concern. Little is known on the latter point, however, and any actions that are perceived to be too strong (which, in fact, would be any kind of broad-based agreement considering the difficulty of building consensus in the G20) are likely to send capital feeing out of risky investments and into safety-correlated assets like the US Dollar and the Japanese Yen.
Article Source - Currency Markets Look to G20 Summit Outcome to Guide Price Action (Euro Open)
USD - Dollar Optimism High Following Fed Statements
The Dollar rallied yesterday against most of its major counterparts amid concern that the Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its efforts to lift the economy out of recession. The Dollar has been sold-off recently partially due to growing optimism about the outlook for the U.S. economy. The USD finished yesterday's trading session 100 pips higher against the EUR at the1.4700 level.
The Federal Reserve yesterday upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy, saying growth had returned after a deep recession. As expected, the Fed kept its target for its federal funds rate set at a range of zero to 0.25%. The Fed repeated that it continues to anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.
The Fed also said it would slow its purchases of mortgage debt to extend that program's life until the end of March, in a move toward withdrawing the central bank's extraordinary support for the economy and markets during the contraction. Analysts had expected the move, which smoothes out the purchases.
Looking ahead to today, the most important economic indicators scheduled to be released from the U.S. are the Unemployment Claims and Existing Home Sales at 12:30 GMT and 14:00 GMT respectively. Traders will be paying close attention to today's announcement as a stronger than expected result may continue to boost the USD in the short-term. Traders are also advised to follow FOMC member Evan's speech at around 14:30 GMT. This speech is very important as it is likely to impact the Dollar's volatility. Traders are advised to watch closely, as this is likely to set the pace of the Dollar's movements going into the rest of the week's trading.
EUR - EUR Declines as Stock Market Falls
The EUR fell to session lows against the U.S. Dollar yesterday, weighed down by declines in stocks following early gains. This came after the Federal Reserve signaled that interest rates will remain low for some time. By yesterday's close, the EUR had fallen against the USD, pushing the oft-traded currency pair to 1.4700. The EUR experienced similar behavior against the GBP and closed at 0.9000.
Europe's manufacturing and service industries expanded for a second month in September, suggesting that the Euro-Zone regional economy is gathering strength and showing signs of emerging from its worst recession in more than six decades after governments stepped up stimulus measures and the European Central Bank (ECB) injected billions of euros into markets.
In addition, European economic confidence rose to a 10-month high in August but rising unemployment is a reason to remain prudent about the economic outlook.
Investors may look for the unusual price volatility to continue in the EUR/USD as the pair attempts to stabilize and find new support and resistance lines. Large price jumps such as these are not common place and present terrific opportunities to take advantage of the price swings for large profitable gains.
JPY - Yen Trading Down against Currency Rivals
The Japanese Yen saw a bearish trading session yesterday, losing ground against most of its currency crosses. The JPY fell against the USD after several days of recovery, while the GBP/JPY cross also rose to around 149.40. The only economic events out of Japan yesterday were the trade balance figures; only slightly changed from forecasts as volatility was kept to a minimum.
Japan's exports fell in August for an 11th consecutive month as recovery struggled to gain traction in the island economy. Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa said last week that he is concerned the recovery may not outlast the worldwide stimulus packages that boosted demand for the country's cars and electronics. The central bank cited exports as the main reason for raising its assessment of the economy last week, as record unemployment and slumping wages weaken consumer spending.
Another headwind for Japanese exporters is an appreciating currency. The yen has gained more than 7% against the Dollar in the past six months, threatening to erode companies' profits earned abroad.
Crude Oil - Oil Drops as Inventory Rises; Demand Concern?
Oil prices dropped nearly 4% to below $68.50 a barrel during yesterday's trading session. This drop came after a U.S. government report showed Crude Oil inventories rose more than expected, rekindling worries that energy demand in the world's biggest consumer will be slow to recover in the wake of the recession.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said that the inventories rose to 2.8 million barrels in the week September 18, against analysts' expectations of a 1.5 million barrel decline.
A weak Dollar had been propping up prices recently. The greenback was narrowly mixed against the JPY, EUR and GBP on Wednesday. Oil, like other commodities, is priced in dollars so when the U.S. currency weakens, commodities become cheaper for investors holding other currencies.
As for today, traders should pay attention to the U.S Unemployment Claims report as it has tended to have an impact on Crude Oil's prices recently, especially in the short-term.
Article Source - USD Up on Fed Statements; Oil Sinks on Demand Concerns
Key Overnight Developments
• Japanese Trade Surplus Shrinks on Export Weakness
• Australia's New Home Sales Matched Record Gain in August
• RBA Says Financial System Resilient But Risks Remain
The Euro consolidated near the 1.47 level in overnight trading, yielding a flat result ahead of the opening bell in Europe. The British Pound advanced, adding as much as 0.3% against the greenback. We continue to hold a short GBPUSD position, initially targeting 1.6112.
Asia Session Highlights
Japan’s Merchandise Trade Balance surplus narrowed to 185.7 billion yen in August as overseas shrank -36% from the previous year, marking the 11th consecutive contraction. Economists had expected a greater decline, calling for a 157 billion result. Export volumes shrank for the first time since May, with shipments to the European Union leading the way lower. The data may be hinting that the $12 trillion or so in fiscal stimulus spent by the world’s governments to stabilize growth that had boosted demand for Japanese products may be running out of steam. Indeed Bank of Japan chief Maasaki Shirakawa expressed concern that his country’s economic rebound may survive once worldwide expansionary policies are reversed. A stronger currency may have also contributed to the outcome: the Yen strengthened by 1.9% in trade-weighted terms in August, the most since January. While this would typically raise fears that formerly activist Japanese policymakers will intervene into the markets to drive down the currency, incoming DPJ Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii said last week that it was not the government’s job to set exchange rates and that a stronger Yen had its advantages, clearly signaling that Japanese authorities will stand aside from here. The trade balance is expected to continue to contract in the months, with a survey of economists polled by Bloomberg forecasting that net exports will add on average 2.4% to GDP through this year and in 2010, the least since 2001.
Australia’s Housing Industry Association (HIA) reported that New Home Sales surged 11.4% in August, matching the record-setting monthly gain in January 2008. However, property sales began to rebound in May after the government extended a scheme offering an A$21,000 grant for first-time home buyers, so it still remains suspect whether momentum can remain supported after the flow of stimulus cash dries up. Indeed, unemployment continues to climb, with expectations calling for the jobless rate to approach 8% next year, while the HIA’s own Housing Affordability Index fell for the first time in 15 months in the second quarter.
Separately, the RBA’s semi-annual Financial Stability Review was broadly balanced, saying that although the Australian financial system remains resilient and funding conditions for banks have improved, recent progress can owes significantly to government guarantees on lending and loan losses may still rise in the future. The central bank also cautioned that business borrowing has continued to decline (which spells trouble for employment) and the commercial property market has weakened, contributing to the possibility of renewed problems from bad loans ahead.
Euro Session: What to Expect
Germany’s IFO Survey of business confidence is expected to show that the pessimists about the economy’s six-month economic climate outlook among polled firms outnumbered the optimists by the narrowest margin since May last year, with the Expectations index rising to 96.6 in September. A reading above 100 suggests the majority of respondents were optimistic, and vice versa. While the improvement may engineer some short-term gains for the Euro in the aftermath of the announcement, it remains questionable whether sentiment will remain supportive as the effects of fiscal stimulus both in Germany and abroad that has boosted domestic demand and exports in recent months are exhausted. As it stands, a survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg suggests that the Euro Zone’s largest economy will underperform all of the G10 excluding Japan this year and remain behind the US and commodity bloc countries (Canada, Australia, New Zealand) into 2010. This suggests the ECB will be among the laggards as central banks begin to lift interest rates from current lows, an outcome that bodes well for business climate surveys (for surely businesses prefer lower borrowing costs to higher ones) but will likely weigh on the single currency.
Article Source - Euro in Play with German IFO to Show Business Outlook Rose for Third Month (Euro Open)
USD - The Dollar Falls before Federal Reserve Meeting
The U.S Dollar's weakness resumed, as global investors again embraced risks, reducing safe-haven demand for the U.S. currency, as traders took positions on the first day of the Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting. The U.S. Dollar also weakened on speculation that the Group of 20 leaders, meeting in Pittsburgh starting tomorrow, will call for a reduction in global trade imbalances that may cause further gains in the greenback's counterparts. The greenback traded at $1.4794 per EUR from $1.4790 yesterday, after declining to $1.4842 earlier on, the lowest level since September 22, 2008.
The hard-pressed Dollar had gained some ground Monday as equity markets weakened, with traders tying a decline in risk appetite to caution ahead of the Fed meeting, as well as the summit of Group of 20 leaders at the end of the week. But Tuesday's resumption of risk appetite may reflect views in the market that neither event is likely to produce meaningful changes analysts said.
Market sentiment toward the USD remains bearish. Analysts expect the Fed to signal its ultra-loose monetary policy will remain in place well into next year. Additionally, as the G20 to discusses rebalancing the global economy this will almost certainly further weaken the Dollar. The Federal Reserve is widely expected to leave Interest Rates unchanged. But markets will seek out clues on the Fed's asset purchases. Any sign that the Fed intends to continue its quantitative easing measures beyond this year could send the U.S Dollar to record lows.
EUR - Euro Hits $1.48 for the First Time in a Year
The EUR traded at a 1 year high against a sliding Dollar on Wednesday, as traders took advantage of the U.S. currency's rise the previous day to resume selling ahead of a Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting. The European currency advanced as hopes for a global recovery prompted investors to shift money to higher-yielding currencies from the safe-haven greenback.
In late trading, the EUR was up 0.8% at $1.4796 after options-related demand and strong Asian buying pushed it above $1.48 for the first time since September 2008. European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council member Axel Weber said on Tuesday recent moves in currency markets were surprising given the Euro-Zone's economic performance relative to other major economies. Traders expect the $1.4870 level may be the next target in EUR/USD cross, with many predicting an eventual move back to $1.50.
The British Pound also gained against the U.S Dollar for the first time in 4 days, as stocks rallied around the world on evidence that the global economic recovery is accelerating. The British currency advanced 1% to $1.6376. The GBP rose 0.2% against the EUR to 90.33 pence, ending a 6 day losing streak. Against the EUR, the British currency rebounded from near the lowest level in more than 5 months after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recommended selling the common European currency against Sterling.
JPY - Yen Gains as USD Remains Under Pressure
The Japanese Yen extended its gains on Wednesday vs. the greenback as investors unloaded the U.S. currency ahead of meetings by the Federal Reserve and the G20 leaders this week. The currency gained for a 2nd day against the U.S Dollar on speculation world leaders will discuss policies to rebalance global economic growth at the G20 meeting this week. The JPY climbed to 90.82 Yen per Dollar from 91.10, and rose to 134.40 Yen per EUR from 134.76.
The Japanese currency is likely to strengthen further before new Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii takes office this month; he said a strong Yen was generally good as it boosted the purchasing power of Japan's economy. Fujii subsequently backed away from that comment, but speculation will remain that after sweeping to power last month, the Democratic Party of Japan may try to shift the country away from its reliance on exports and its opposition to Yen strength.
Crude Oil - Crude Rebounds as Inventories are Expected to Decline
Crude Oil prices rose Tuesday to above $72 a barrel, as pressure on the Dollar and expectations for a further drop in U.S. Crude inventories boosted market sentiment. Weekly petroleum data is likely to show that stockpiles of Crude fell again last week, as imports remained low analysts said. Last week, the EIA said Crude Oil Inventories decreased by 4.7 million barrels in the week ending Sept. 11, as imports dropped 2.1% from a week ago.
The move in Crude Oil today is likely to be supported by a fresh wave of selling of the U.S. Dollar. Traders will be waiting for U.S. Crude inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Also of interest to commodities traders is leaders of the world's most powerful economies will convene in Pittsburgh later this week for the G20 Summit.
Article Source - U.S. Interest Rates on Tap
Key Overnight Developments
• Currency Surges as New Zealand GDP Unexpectedly Grows in Second Quarter
• USD Drops After PBOC’s Hu Says Dollar-Reserve System Must Change
The Euro trended higher against the US Dollar in overnight trading, testing as high as 1.4842. The British Pound also advanced, adding as much as 0.4% against the greenback. We continue to hold a short GBPUSD position, initially targeting 1.6112.
Asia Session Highlights
New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product unexpectedly added 0.1% in the three months to June, snapping five consecutive quarters of losses. Economists were forecasting a -0.2% result ahead of the release. The economy shrank -2.1% from a year before, less than the expected -2.6% decline. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand was among those calling for a contraction when Governor Alan Bollard said the bank expected to “keep [interest rates] at or below the current level…until the latter part of 2010” at the monetary policy announcement earlier this month, and traders seemingly took today’s release to mean the time table will now accelerate. Indeed, a Credit Suisse gauge of priced-in rate hike expectations for the coming year jumped 13 basis points to a record high and the New Zealand Dollar surged to a fresh 2009 high against a trade-weighted basket of top currencies.
The US Dollar Index (an average of the greenback’s value against six major counterparts) spiked to a fresh yearly low after the Chinese central bank’s deputy governor Hu Xiaolian wrote in a paper posted on the G20 website ahead of the group’s summit in Pittsburg this week that the current crisis was due in part to the Dollar’s role as global reserve currency. Hu, who is also the former director of China’s foreign-exchange authority, went on to say that the world stands at risk of an asset bubble and potentially another crisis akin to the current one if the global monetary system is not changed.
Euro Session: What to Expect
The release of minutes from this month’s Bank of England monetary policy meeting headline the economic calendar in European hours. The announcement itself produced no surprises with interest rates left at 0.5% and the magnitude of quantitative easing unchanged at 175 billion pounds. Just five days later, however, BOE chief Mervyn King gave resoundingly dovish testimony to House of Commons Treasury Committee, saying poor credit growth remains a direct drag on demand and revealing that policymakers are considering cutting the interest rate they pay on bank deposits to encourage idle reserves to be channeled into lending. The latter comment in particular sent the British Pound tumbling, with traders clearly caught off guard as the BOE was seemingly preparing for more, not less, monetary easing despite the recent uptick in leading economic indicators. This creates strong potential for sterling volatility as the markets dissect tonight’s release for any clues on how serious King and company are about the deposit rate idea and when (if ever) such an outcome may be expected. For our part, we speculated ahead of the September 10 rate announcement that the bank was preparing the markets for a change in policy after the asset-buying scheme largely failed to affect lending to the real economy. Indeed, although Mervyn King has said that the BOE was “beginning to see its impact on the supply of broad money,” the M4 measure of money stock grew at an annual pace of just 12.6% in August, the slowest in a year, while central bank’s own data showed net lending shrank for the first time in at least 16 years in July.
Separately, the British Bankers Association’s measure of Loans for House Purchase is set to show that mortgage approvals rose by 40,500 in August, the most since February 2008, hinting at stabilization in the property market. Earlier this week, a report from Rightmove Plc showed that UK house prices fell the least in a year in September, saying “confidence is up, stock is down and the number of people searching is high.” However, as we noted earlier, the rebound may have a hard time retaining traction with consumer sentiment apparently tracking equities and therefore is vulnerable to a (long overdue) correction in risky assets while unemployment continues to rise, with a survey of economists polled by Bloomberg calling for the jobless rate to top 9% next year.
Turning to the continent, a handful of Purchasing Manager Index releases are expected to come in broadly positive. In Germany, the manufacturing sector is expected to expand for the first time in 14 months while the pace of expansion in the service industry picks up to the fastest since April 2008. Manufacturing will likely continue to shrink in the Euro Zone as a whole but the rate of decline is set to moderate to the slowest since the sector first began to contract in May last year. The improvement can likely be attributed to the continued rebuilding of inventories after firms cut production and exhausted their stocks of goods last year and through the first quarter of 2009 amid the global economic downturn. Still, Industrial New Orders are expected to shrink -25.9% in the year to July, suggesting the pace of demand contraction will remain within the range noted since November of last year.
Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - British Pound Volatility Threat High as Currency Markets Focus on BOE Minutes (Euro Open)
USD - USD Ups and Downs Result of Market Uncertainty
The US Dollar experienced an exciting trading day on Monday as a rise in risk averse trading helped add an early morning boost, followed by a retracing of Friday's levels. Against the EUR, the greenback climbed to as high as 1.4610 before coming back down and closing the day at 1.4717. Versus the British Pound, the USD gained as much as 90 pips, with a high mark of 1.6134, before coming back up and closing out the trading day at the 1.6250 level.
With a decision regarding the Federal Funds Rate looming, traders are becoming more aware of the potential delay in any increase to short-term interest rates due to the instability of global economies recently. Britain has made similar overtures, as did the Euro-Zone in its recent discussions. However, the question still remains over whether the global economy is indeed recovering as many were expecting. This uncertainty drives many investors back into safe-havens for the short-run until things become clearer.
As far as the North-Western Hemisphere is concerned today, the United States is not due to release much data of concern. Canada, on the other hand, is going to release vital data regarding its retail sales levels, which last week caused a stir among the USD and EUR. Growth in Canadian sales may help return the Loonie back to a bullish posture, but forecasts appear modest at best. This Wednesday's US interest rate decision appears to be this week's primary event for Dollar traders.
EUR - EUR Benefits from USD and GBP Aversion
The EUR continued its rally against most currencies, save the USD, in yesterday's trading; making considerable inroads against the GBP especially. Climbing as high as 0.9076 versus the Pound and upwards of 135.48 against the Japanese Yen, the EUR may indeed be one of the primary beneficiaries of market growth, and the continuing uncertainty.
Investors appear ready to make the shift into riskier assets to return to the heady days of pre-2008 growth, but market concerns make their transition move somewhat sheepishly. Regional retail sales in Europe and the US helped give a boost to consumer optimism, but only offset losses in other sectors such as housing and consumer sentiment. With the Pound under heavy selling pressure following statements from Bank of England governor Mervyn King, the EUR, as stated above, has become one of the primary beneficiaries of recent returns to strength and risk appetite.
Going into today's trading, with little on the economic agenda, the EUR may be poised to benefit from the uncertainty surrounding the US interest rate decisions due on Wednesday. With an announcement similar to those of Britain and Europe recently regarding a delay of an interest rate hike, the EUR could be on the receiving end of further risk appetite and USD-aversion.
JPY - Japanese Bank Holiday Puts Additional Sell Pressure on Yen
The Japanese Yen appears to be returning to a bearish posture against its major currency rivals considering it ended yesterday's trading down somewhat versus all of its major rivals. Hitting the 149.60 level against the GBP, and even dropping to the 135.50 level against the EUR, the island currency is a little worse for wear considering its latest movements.
Many economists point out, however, that the banks in Japan being closed in celebration of the autumnal equinox carries a significant role in this latest downtrend. The thinly traded JPY only appears weak momentarily until the Japanese markets come back online early Wednesday. In other Asian news, the currencies of the south Pacific (Australia and New Zealand) appear to be gaining heavily against all of their currency rivals. Their avoidance of the harshest aspects of the global downturn has made them juicy targets for risk-hungry investors. Traders would be wise to note the upward movement of these pairs and trade accordingly.
Crude Oil - Crude Falls to $70; Prices Rose too Quickly According to Investors
Investors hoping for a growth in oil prices were dismayed by news yesterday that the price for a barrel of Crude Oil may have risen too quickly from last week's market optimism. As yesterday helped traders realize, Crude Oil may indeed be over-valued and its recent strength has come to a temporary halt. After last week's steady yet volatile gains, the beginning of this week has started with a drop of almost $3 a barrel, closing out yesterday's trading just above $70.
Adding to the sell pressure on Crude Oil is the surprising surge in the value of the USD in yesterday's early trading hours, albeit offset somewhat by its retraction later in the day. But market optimism seems to have returned, but energy demand concerns persist. Crude Oil has been on the verge of reemerging as a lead investment and inflationary hedge, yet it has failed to receive the same level of support as Gold and Silver, which suggests that demand for oil is low, and precious metals are being used in its stead as a safety valve. Chances are, so long as market uncertainty remains, Crude Oil will continue to float near its current mark.
Article Source - Market Expects Low Volatility Today
Key Overnight Developments
• NZ Current Account Surprises With Surplus in Q2 as Imports Fall
• US Dollar Sold in Overnight Trading as Stocks Gain on Asian Exchanges
The Euro added 0.3% against the US Dollar to retake the 1.47 level in overnight trading. The British Pound followed suit, testing as high as 1.6258. We continue to hold a short GBPUSD position, initially targeting 1.6112.
Asia Session Highlights
New Zealand’s Current Account Balance unexpectedly showed a surplus of NZ$124 million in the second quarter, marking the first quarterly surplus since the first three months of 2003. Economists were forecasting a –NZ$1.98 billion result ahead of the release. In annual terms, the deficit narrowed to –NZ$10.6 billion or 5.9% of GDP, the smallest share of total output in nearly 5 years. Details behind the headline figure look far from encouraging however: imports fell -19.6% from a year earlier, outpacing a -3.5% decline in exports and painting a picture of stagnant consumer demand in the island nation. The deficit is likely to continue to narrow in the months ahead as rising unemployment weighs on spending. Indeed, the central bank expects the external gap will narrow to 5.5% of GDP while a survey of economists polled by Bloomberg predicts the jobless rate will rise to a decade high of 6.8% by the end of this year. Traders welcomed the announcement, sending the New Zealand Dollar 90 pips higher against its US counterpart in the hour following the data release as traders expressed relief that the central bank may not be pushed to lower interest rates to cheapen the currency and thereby offer exporters a boost to help narrow the current account shortfall, which has been on the forefront of policymakers’ concerns since it led to a downgrade of the New Zealand’s credit outlook by the Fitch ratings agency. An index of traders’ one-year RBNZ rate hike expectations compiled by Credit Suisse jumped 8 basis points to a record high after the figures crossed the wires.
Euro Session: What to Expect
Swiss economic data dominates a thin economic calendar in European hours. While Augusts’ Trade Balance report is likely to show that exports fell considering last week’s dismal industrial production data, the appetite for imported goods is proving difficult to gauge from leading indicators. Domestic demand may have recovered a bit considering the recent upward correction in retail sales figures, but the trend in receipts is undeniably pointing lower while unemployment rises and consumer confidence continues to set record lows. Separately, the release of updated economic forecasts from the government’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) will be notable in terms of how it compares to last week’s upward revisions to the growth and inflation outlook from the SNB.
On balance, risk sentiment is likely to remain the key driver for currency markets going into the US session. Stocks rose for the first in three days across Asian exchanges after Citigroup raised its price estimate for Samsung Electronics (the world’s largest computer memory chip manufacturer), Morgan Stanley upgraded their outlook for Samsung SDI Co. and LG Chem Ltd on expectations of higher car battery demand, and China Mobile Ltd (the largest global cellular provider) said it’s customer base grew 15.6% from the previous month in August. Risky assets look set to retain momentum with US equity index futures trading higher and hinting that Wall St will open 0.2% higher on Tuesday, adding to selling pressure on the safety-linked US Dollar.
Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - Currency Markets to Trade with Risk Sentiment on Thin Economic Calendar (Euro Open)
USD - Dollar Advances on Economic Optimism
The Dollar saw quite a volatile session during last week's trading. The Dollar dropped against the EUR, although saw a rising trend against the Yen and especially against the Pound, as the Dollar soared over 400 pips against the GBP. On Monday the U.S dollar gained in thin conditions, extending a bounce seen late last week as traders covered short positions ahead of a Federal Reserve monetary policy meet and a Group of 20 summit.
It seems that the main reason for the Dollar's volatility is the mixes results coming from the U.S economy last week. The U.S Retails Sales continued to deliver positive figures. This means that the total value of sales at the retails level is growing, showing that consumers in the U.S might feel safer to spend these days. Also last week, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.4%, proving that inflation continues to rise in the U.S. This could have a significant impact on the Dollar, as the rising inflation usually leads to an interest rate hike, which may very well support the Dollar.
But on the other hand, the Long-Term Purchases publication failed to reach expectations for a 65.3B result which would have reflected a recovering economy, and the final result was 15.3B. This appears to be one of the main factors for the Dollar depreciation against the Euro.
As for the week ahead, a number of important data are expected from the U.S economy. The most significant will be the Federal Funds Rate Statement which is scheduled for Wednesday 18:15 (GMT). Analysts expected no change to the central bank's target, but speculate whether the fed will make changes to its debt-buying programs. Traders are advised to pay close attention to the Fed's announcement on Wednesday.
EUR - The EUR off 1 Year Highs; GBP Dips
The EUR eased against the U.S. dollar to $1.4688, having lost about 0.2% on Friday, though strong support is seen around $1.4640. On the Yen, the European currency held steady around 134.35 yen. The EUR dropped from near a 1 year high versus the U.S dollar after the European Union (EU), said yesterday that a restructuring of the banking sector must take place. According to EU policy makers Europe needs continued low Interest Rates and government stimulus measures to keep the recovery on track.
The Sterling extended losses, hitting a 4 month low against the EUR of 90 pence on news the UK had set tougher-than-expected conditions to the potential exit of Lloyd's Bank from a state-run scheme to protect its assets. The GBP dropped to 90.53 pence per EUR from 90.40 pence on Sept. 18, after earlier touching 90.67 pence, the lowest level since Apr. 24. The British pound may weaken further against the Dollar and the EUR on speculation the Bank of England will keep borrowing costs low.
Looking ahead to this week, a batch of data is expected from the Euro-Zone's leading economies, especially on Wednesday. Many French and German indicators are scheduled for Wednesday, as this day seems to be the day that will determine the Euro's direction for this week. Traders are advised to follow all the main publications on this day and look for any unexpected result that may soar or tumble the Euro.
JPY - Yen Losses Strength against the Majors
The Yen continues to depreciate against the major currencies during last week's session. The Yen dropped over 100 pips against the Dollar and the USD/JPY pair is currently traded around the 91.50 level. The Yen also saw a bearish trend against the EUR.
While the Japanese yen gained against all but one of the 16 most- actively traded currencies since early August as the Democratic Party of Japan became the likely winner in national elections, forecasters say it will decline 5.7% against the U.S dollar and 1.2% versus the EUR by year-end. The economy is too weak to support a stronger rate, according to analysts.
The main data of this week appears to be the Trade Balance report, which is expected on Wednesday 23:50 GMT. This report measures the difference in value between imported and exported goods during August, and is one of the best indications for Japan's exports. A better-than-expected result might have the potential to support the Yen.
OIL - Crude Oil Slips On Firmer Dollar
Crude prices fell for a 3rd day on speculation further evidence of a global recovery is needed to extend the commodity's 61% gain this year. Oil prices were also pressured by bearish comments from Sinopec, Asia's top refiner and China's 2nd largest oil and gas producer, that diesel demand in China continues to lag economic recovery.
Oil rose 3.9% last week, thanks to U.S. government data showing a larger-than-expected draw in crude stocks, heavy losses in the U.S. dollar and rallying stock markets. Though Crude prices have only gained about 3% so far this quarter, after shooting up 40% in the June quarter, some analysts said Oil prices were set to move higher in coming weeks amid an economic recovery and seasonal winter demand.
Looking ahead to this week, traders are advised to follow the leading publications from the U.S and the Euro-Zone, and to follow the equity markets in the major economies in order to predict crude oil's movements. Traders should also focus on the Crude Oil Inventories report which is expected in Wednesday, as it has proven to have an instant impact on oil's value.
Article Source - Dollar Tentatively Higher Ahead of Federal Reserve Meeting
Key Overnight Developments
• NZ Service Sector Expands For Second Month on Inventories; Sales Decline
• UK House Prices Fell Least in a Year in September, Says Rightmove
• Euro, British Pound Sold Against US Dollar as Most Stocks Fall in Asia
The Euro trended lower to start the trading week, testing as low as 1.4678 to the US Dollar in overnight trading. The British Pound followed suit, dropping as much as -0.4% against the greenback. We continue to hold a short GBPUSD position, initially targeting 1.6112.
Asia Session Highlights
New Zealand’s Performance of Services Index rose to 51.3 in August, showing the sector expanded for the second consecutive month. The details of the report are not nearly as encouraging as the headline figure would suggest, however. Inventory growth led the metric higher, adding 5.9% from the previous month, while Sales fell -1.2% to register the first decline in four months. On balance, this looks to be a reflection of the same dynamic we have seen throughout the apparent economic recovery of recent months: companies are restocking, all the while cutting costs and shedding jobs, which boosts relative output readings but says very little about the sustainability of the rebound once government stimulus is withdrawn and private demand (increasingly ravaged by unemployment as it is) has to step in and pick up the slack. Separately, Credit Card Spending fell -1.9% in the year to August, in line with the average noted over the past four months.
UK House Prices fell -1.5% in the year to September, registering the smallest decline in over a year according to Righmove Plc, an online listing of for-sale properties. Righmove commercial director Miles Shipside said, “Confidence is up, stock is down and the number of people searching is high.” The rebound says little about the health of the economy, however, with low supply being the dominant force behind higher home values according to a report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) released last week. Consumer confidence has tracked the rebound in the FTSE 100 benchmark UK equity index with a correlation of over 90% since March, making this part of the equation highly vulnerable to any reversal of the recent rally in risky assets. For our part, we have long argued that the markets have done too much, too fast over the past six months, with global equities trading at levels unseen since 2003 relative to earnings. The world economy grew nearly 3% in real terms that year, whereas virtually every credible forecast calls for the first post-WWII contraction in real growth in 2009, pointing to lackluster revenues and overextended asset prices. Further, trading volumes have steadily declined for the bulk of the equity rally (the past 5 out of 6 months). While some of this may be chalked up to a seasonal slowdown that is typical for the summer, it may also be hinting at waning conviction behind the up move and a forthcoming reversal as traders return from holiday and volumes pick up into the Fall.
Euro Session: What to Expect
With next to nothing on the economic calendar, risk sentiment is likely to be the primary catalyst driving currency markets in European hours. Risk appetite retreated at the start of the trading week: most Asian markets sold off, led by finance and mining companies, and US equity index futures suggested Wall St will open as much as -0.5% lower on Monday. This points to continued gains for the safety-correlated US Dollar after the greenback rose against the spectrum of major currencies in overnight trading.
Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - US Dollar May Gain as Currency Markets Follow Risk Trends in European Hours (Euro Open)
Fundamental Outlook for US Dollar: Neutral
- Speculation for rate hikes deferred as fundamentals temper exuberant risk appetite
- The steady charge in risk appetite keeps the dollar on the short side of carry interests
- Sentiment can often run askew of fundamentals; but what do technicals say about the dollar?
The dollar was able to relieve the pressure of suffering its worst trend on recent record by clawing out the first bullish close in eleven consecutive trading days; but that does not mean the burdened currency is necessarily primed for a true reversal. While this currency is arguably oversold on a fundamental basis; the same drivers that ushered it to its yearly low last week are still in play. The pace of the economic recovery, growing financial concerns and a Fed struggling to keep pace are all prominent concerns when gauging the long-term health of the dollar; but all of that is overshadowed by the immediate and market-wide preoccupation of risk appetite.
Last week, a Bloomberg survey of investors found the market was the most bearish on the dollar in 18 months. Where does this speculative grade come from? The economy is still dealing with an economic recovery and government deficits are a genuine concern; but most of the world’s largest economies are suffering with the same dilemma. The real weight on the dollar is the steady revival of risk appetite over the past six months. Following the necessary period of consolidation after the worst of the financial crisis, capital started to slowly work its way back into the speculative arena. Initially, interest was from early adopters; but the draw of capital gains was strong enough to start the flow from deeper pools of wealth in “risk free” areas. Where do these funds go? It certainly finds its way to US equities and other relatively-risky assets; but when it comes to the yield bearing instruments, the American products can’t compete. The benchmark, 3-month Libor rate dropped to a new record low (0.28948 percent) this past week and subsequently was depreciated to a discount against its Japanese (0.34875 percent) and Swiss (0.29667 percent) counterparts. Does the dollar realistically make the ideal funding currency? No. The Fed will certainly turn to a hawkish policy stance well before the other two, it has the potential to take a more consistent hawkish path, deficits are a problem amongst all three and the foundation for a true recovery is most stable in the US. As soon as US rates recover, risk-seeking capital will once again flow into the world’s financial center.
In the meantime, we may see a shift in sentiment that could benefit the dollar’s safe haven status. The broader markets have rallied consistently for months – despite a fundamental picture that has changed pace little since the initial reversal. Naturally, a wave of profit taking is highly probable. And, considering the advance to this point has been heavily dependent on steady capital gains, a correction could be sharp and aggressive. There are many different potential catalysts for such a turn; but in the end, the shift in optimism will likely develop naturally. Nonetheless, we should keep an eye on a few specific developments. Reports suggest that lending to consumers has dropped at its fastest pace since the Great Depression; yet leverage has returned to levels last seen since before the 2007 meltdown. This is an imbalance that will lead to problems later down the line if not corrected. Also, the Federal Reserve and White House have both voiced concern over the commercial real estate debt market. The former is looking into major banks’ exposure to this asset class; but the term ‘stress test’ is not being used.
Though it is vital to keep abreast of the health of risk appetite; we shouldn’t ignore the influences of data and growth forecasts. The economic docket is light next week; but durable goods orders and housing data (existing sales, new home sales) can supply short-term volatility. It is the FOMC that tops the list – not with a possible change in the benchmark, but commentary that can move up the time table for a hike. Data aside, the US/China trade spat hints at a growing concern with protectionism which may come under scrutiny at the September 24/25 G20 Meeting. Exit strategies, financial regulation, banking compensation are all on the topic list; but not currencies.
Euro: Not as Strong as the EURUSD’s Trend Suggests
Fundamental Forecast for Euro: Neutral
- Investor confidence hits its highest level since April 2006 as growth, equities recover
- Slow global recovery translates into the biggest trade surplus for the Euro Zone in seven years
- Has a push above December’s highs cleared the way for a EURUSD extension rally?
Is the euro the fundamental powerhouse that the EURUSD would suggest or is the euro merely playing the compliment to the rest of the market. If we were to look at the world’s most liquid currency pair alone, we see a six month trend, recent rally and the highest overall level for the exchange rate in nearly a year. However, the easy read on the major is clouded when we look at the crosses. Against the pound, the euro was set in its biggest rally since March (a move that was mirrored in most of those pairs denominated in sterling). Elsewhere, EURJPY was stuck in a contracting range; EURCHF was virtually unchanged in its 100-point range; and the commodity group consolidated within bigger trends. It seems the case that the market is influencing the euro rather than the euro influencing the market. And, while there are fundamental concerns building beneath the surface, this relationship isn’t likely to change much in the coming week.
Few would argue that risk appetite (and its influence in currencies through carry interest) is a primary driver for the market at large; but what does that mean for the euro? To gauge any currency or asset’s response to sentiment, you need to determine where it stands in the scale of risk. High interest rates, strong growth prospects and progressive policy are a few factors that build a positive correlation to a rising demand for yield. Naturally, the opposite considerations count as traits for a safe haven or funding currency. On either side of this spectrum, we have an asset that is sensitive to the underlying fundamental currency. However, the euro fits comfortably in the middle of the range. The benchmark lending rate in the Euro Zone is relatively high; but the outlook for hawkish progress is reserved. Growth is colored not only by the positive turn from Germany and France; but there have also been downgrades for Italy and Spain. Overall, despite the confidence of politicians and some policy officials, the economy is on the same playing field as the US, Japan and many others. Until the ECB turns up the heat on the target rate or financial troubles (like the ability for some Eastern European economies to repay their debt), this will remain the case.
Outside the vagaries of sentiment, there are a few notable economic events on the docket to supply short-term volatility and perhaps a moderate shift on the bearing for growth forecasts. Top event risk is the series of service and manufacturing sector PMI data. While this series covers specifically the business sector of growth, it is inclusive and timely enough to act as a meaningful leader for growth speculation. Being the September round of data (the ‘Advanced’ or first measure), this will round out the forecast for third quarter activity. All of the regional, German and French numbers are expected to produce month-over-month improvement and most are seen offering ‘expansionary’ readings. This would support the central banks and government’s outlook for growth; but it still does not paint a clear picture for a return to a true expansionary trend.
Other indicators like the Euro Zone industrial new orders and German factory inflation gauge threaten little more than a meager shift; but the IFO business sentiment gauge could generate some fundamental interest. Sensitive to economic health, consumer spending, access to credit, export demand, optimism among German firms acts as its own unique report on the general health of the economy. The headline and expectations readings have been most prized recently; but a closer eye should be kept on the difference between expectations and current conditions. The outlook after a financial crisis and steep recession will certainly improve quickly; but actual health in the economy and markets will be more measured. One will have to give way to the other sooner or later.
Japanese Yen Forecast Bullish on Lack of Intervention Threat
Fundamental Forecast for Japanese Yen: Bullish
- What happens to the Japanese Yen when threat of intervention is removed?
- Yen tumbles as S&P 500 continues to set fresh highs
- ‘September effect’ not having much of an effect on Japanese Yen
The Japanese Yen finished the week lower against all but the British Pound and the US Dollar, as impressive rallies in the US S&P 500 and broader financial market risk sentiment pushed the safe-haven currency sharply lower against major counterparts. A mediocre week of economic data hardly helped matters, and hawkish rhetoric from the Ministry of Finance pushed the Yen even lower. Vice Finance Minister Yasutake Tango stated that the administration was watching currency moves closely—implying that forex market intervention was a distinct possibility. Indeed, the Japanese Ministry of Finance has historically been an active participant in the Japanese Yen exchange rate and has repeatedly intervened in instances of excessive Yen strength. The very fact that the US Dollar/Japanese Yen exchange rate reached the psychologically significant 90 mark was enough reason to fear MoF intervention, and Tango’s comments were enough to fuel a rapid USDJPY pullback. Later commentary from newly-appointed Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii quickly dispelled the short-term threat to JPY stability, but the damage had been done and the Japanese Yen remained on offer through the week’s close.
The legitimate threat of MoF FX intervention served as a clear warning to JPY bulls, but recent rhetoric suggests that there will be little in the way of further Yen strength. This leaves the currency to trade purely off of financial market risk sentiment. The fact that the S&P 500 recently registered fresh 2009 highs hardly bodes well for the risk-linked currency, but no market can rally indefinitely. Given the overwhelmingly bearish trend in the USDJPY (bullish trend for the JPY), it seems momentum is plainly in the Yen’s favor. Yet it remains critical to watch any and all moves in key financial market risk barometers.
We previously claimed that the “September Effect” could lead the S&P 500 lower and the Japanese Yen higher. Recent weeks have produced impressive equity market strength yet the JPY has remained relatively stable. We believe that the Yen stands to gain on any subsequent pullbacks in stocks, and recent experience shows that it can hold its own despite major S&P strength. Thus we would argue that risks remain fairly bullish for the Yen. If stocks continue their seemingly interminable rally, the JPY could pull back slightly. If stocks fall, the Yen will in all likelihood continue its previous ascent. Things are never quite this simple in currency markets, but we believe JPY risks favor near-term rallies.
The wild card will come on Wednesday’s Trade Balance report. The export-dependent Japanese economy has taken a massive hit on the sharp drop in foreign demand for its own production. Any signs of continued exporter duress will once again raise political pressure on the Ministry of Finance to counteract Japanese Yen strength. Though we clearly believe that risks of intervention are remote, a truly shocking trade balance result could rekindle market speculation on MoF intervention.
The coming week may prove significant in determining more medium-term direction in the Yen. If nothing else, markets will definitely watch for signs that the USDJPY may finally break below the psychologically significant 90 mark.
British Pound Decline May Be Indicative of Long-Term UK Macro Outlook
Fundamental Forecast for British Pound: Bearish
- UK RICS house prices rise for first time in 2 years
- The number of people looking for jobs in the UK rose the highest level since 1995
- FXCM SSI results suggest GBPUSD could be in for further declines
The British pound was easily the weakest of the majors last week as the currency fell more than 3 percent against the euro, Swiss franc, and Canadian dollar. Likewise, the British pound slumped 2.4 percent against the US dollar and 1.7 percent versus the Japanese yen. While some indicators from the nation have shown signs of improvement, such as the RICS house price index, fiscal data has done nothing but deteriorate, adding pressure on the British pound. In fact, public sector net borrowing in the UK jumped a whopping 16.1 billion pounds during August as income tax receipts fell 13 percent from a year ago. Even worse, the deficit reached 127 billion pounds in August from a year ago, and the steady rise suggests that the shortfall may breach Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling’s full-year forecasts for a deficit of 175 billion pounds.
According to the Financial Times, the corrosion of the UK’s fiscal state has “been a result more of a collapse in revenues - total tax receipts have fallen by 11.4 percent so far this financial year compared with a year earlier - than of a jump in spending” of just 5.3 percent this year. Going forward, the further the UK’s fiscal state deteriorates, the greater the risk will grow that ratings agencies will question if the nation deserves the golden AAA credit rating, especially after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the UK’s credit outlook to “negative” from “stable” because of their budget woes back in May. Nevertheless, Standard & Poor’s has also said that they would reserve any judgment on potential downgrades until the next general election, which may be held in May or early-June 2010. On the downside, this leaves a long period of time open for speculation on the prospects for the UK’s credit rating to reign supreme, which may make the already-volatile British pound even choppier.
In more immediate event risk, the minutes from the BOE’s September meeting will be released on Wednesday at 8:30 ET. However, they may not expose new information as the BOE’s Quarterly Inflation Report has already revealed dour outlooks by the Monetary Policy Committee. That said, following the latest UK CPI results, which were stronger than anticipated, Credit Suisse overnight index swaps have shifted to price in 78 basis points worth of hikes by the BOE over the next 12 months, up from 66.7 basis points on Tuesday. As a result, if the minutes highlight a clearly dovish bias by the BOE, the market's focus may shift back toward the central bank's liberal stance on quantitative easing, and the British pound could fall sharply.
Written by John Kicklighter, David Rodriguez, Terri Belkas, Ilya Spivak, John Rivera and David Song, Currency Analysts
Article Source - Forex Weekly Trading Forecast - 09.21.09
What is Forex?
The foreign exchange market (Currency, Forex, or FX) is where currency trading takes place. It is where banks and other official institutions facilitate the buying and selling of foreign currencies. Forex transactions typically involve one party purchasing a quantity of one currency in exchange for paying a quantity of another. The foreign exchange market that we see today started evolving during the 1970s when world over countries gradually switched to floating exchange rate from their erstwhile exchange rate regime, which remained fixed as per the Bretton Woods system till 1971.
Today, the Forex market is one of the largest and most liquid financial markets in the world, and includes trading between large banks, central banks, currency speculators, corporations, governments, and other institutions. The average daily volume in the global foreign exchange and related markets is continuously growing. Traditional daily turnover was reported to be over US$3.2 trillion in April 2007 by the Bank for International Settlements. Since then, the market has continued to grow. According to Euromoney's annual Forex Poll, volumes grew a further 41% between 2007 and 2008.
Forex used to be a closed market because only the “big boys” because you needed between 10 and 50 million $ to open an account. But today, with the development of internet, online Forex brokers have the possibility to offer their services to “little” traders. All you need to start is a computer, fast internet connection and information which you can find on this page also.
This enormous market is like the dangerous sea where you can meet lots of sharks and dangerous waters but at the same time it is the only one where two weeks of trading can hypothetically bring you $1,000,000 out of $1,000 of initial investment.
This is certainly hypothetically because a lot of newbie traders deal with their trades as gambling, that surely bring them to having nothing in the end. You should always keep the phrase "be careful!" in your mind. This market would give you its profit possibilities only if you learn the basic things hard and make lots of demo trading.
The statistics is that as much as 95% of traders come to losing their money at Forex, 5% have profit and less than 1% of traders make large fortune at Forex. You shouldn't produce, sell or advertise anything trading at Forex. Your assets are your knowledge, experience and a small amount of cash.
This market is a platform for banks, transnational corporations and individual traders to change the currencies they possess into other ones. This is the spot Forex market. At this market you can trade with up to 1:400 leverage which means that you'll get $400 on your account for each dollar invested. So, you can trade with the $400,000 sum having invested $1,000 onto your account.
Why to trade on Forex?
1. There is no commission fee for trading at Forex.
2. There is no intermediary, you can trade directly at Forex.
3. Forex is open 24-hours a day.
4. Nobody can influence the market for a longer period.
5. High liquidity.
6. Free demo accounts, analysis and charts.
7. Small accounts that allow everyone to try out his luck.
Hope this has answered a lot of questions you were asking yourself about Forex and that you can now start trading. Also make sure that you check out other articles on this blog which can help you earn your fortune.
Good luck to everyone!