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Wednesday, 17 November 2010 15:07

British Pound Remains at the Crossroads Ahead of the U.K. Retail Sales Report

Contributed By: DailyFx

Fundamental Outlook

Retail sales in Great Britain are expected to rise 0.4 percent in October after falling 0.2 percent the month prior. At the same time, sales excluding auto fuel are estimated to rise 0.2 percent during the same period. Indeed, this may be the last push higher heading into the Christmas season. A rise in tomorrow’s figures will be the first increase since July of this year where the National Statistics in London said that sales rose 0.9 percent. I expect non specialized store sales to extend September’s advance, while clothing and footwear sales will likely reverse last month’s decline.

In the upcoming months, retail sales are expected to come back under pressure as higher value added taxes will weigh on household spending. These measures are estimated to begin in January. At the same time the massive spending cuts recently announced by the government will also put downward pressure on retail sales. The fiscal tightening measures proposed by Chancellor George Osborne marks the largest cuts in decades, and will in turn weigh on growth. All in all, a reading exceeding expectations will bode well for the British pound, but the advance may be short lived as sales and overall growth in the region will likely come back under pressure in 2011 amid tough austerity measures by the government in order to battle its high budget debt. However, a disappointing result could push the pound lower and lead to a key reversal in the GBPUSD.

Technical Outlook

GBPUSD Daily Chart


Charts Created Using Intellicharts – Prepared by Michael Wright

GBPUSD: The pair has extended its two day decline and is now testing the rising trend line dating back to the middle of May. Failure to break back below this level of support may lead the pair back towards the 1.59 area. However, yesterday’s drop below the key 1.60 level is of great concern as the dollar index has worked its way into a tight ascending channel on the daily chart. Unless the greenback buckles, I do not rule out a reversal in the GBPUSD in the near term.

Published in Forex News
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 15:07

Forex: British Pound Pares Advance Following BoE Minutes, Euro To Holds Narrow Range

Contributed By: DailyFx

 Talking Points

* Japanese Yen: Weakens Across the Board
* British Pound: Jobless Claims Fall For First Time Since July
* Euro: Holds Relative Flat on Fears Surrounding Debt Crisis
* U.S. Dollar: Consumer Prices, Housing Starts on Tap

The British Pound rallied to a high of 1.5936 on Wednesday as the economic docket reinforced an improved outlook for the U.K., but fears surrounding the European debt crisis may continue to bear down on the exchange rate as the risks for contagion intensifies. A report by the U.K. Office for National Statistics showed claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly slipped 3.7K in October to mark the first decline July, while average weekly earnings including bonuses increased 2.0% during the three-months through September, which was largely in-line with expectations. As the GBP/USD pares the overnight advance ahead of the North American trade, we should see the pair find near-term support around the 50-Day SMA at 1.5838 as it maintains the upward trend from May, but a shift in market sentiment could lead the pound-dollar to weaken further throughout the week as European policy makers struggle to restore investor confidence.

Nevertheless, the Bank of England policy meeting minutes showed the MPC voted 7-1-1 to maintain its current policy in November, with board member Andrew Sentance pushing for a 25bp rate hike, while Adam Posen pressed the central bank to expand quantitative easing by another GBP 250B given the ongoing slack within the real economy. The BoE reiterated that it remains “ready to adjust policy in either direction” as the fundamental outlook remains clouded with uncertainties, and saw a greater risk for inflation as policy makers expect price growth to hold above target throughout 2011. As a result, Mr. Sentance argued that the recent developments strengthens the case to start normalizing monetary as the recovery gradually gathers pace, while Mr. Posen saw increased downside risk for growth as the new coalition in the U.K. tightens fiscal policy in order to balance the budget deficit. As the majority of the BoE maintains a wait-and-see approach, the central bank is likely to keep the benchmark interest rate at 0.50% and maintain its asset purchase target at GBP 200B throughout the remainder of the year, but there could be a growing split within the MPC as inflation continues to hold above the government’s 3% limit for inflation. According, we are likely to see interest rate expectations play a greater role in driving future price action for the GBP/USD, and the central bank may look to adjust monetary policy in the beginning of the following year as the

Policy makers in Europe tried to talk down the fears surrounding the European debt crisis as the governments operating under the fixed-exchange rate system struggle to address the root of its problems, but the euro showed little reaction to the efforts as it held a narrow range throughout the overnight trade. As a result, we are likely to see the single-currency hold steady throughout the day, but increased fears of contagion could drag on the exchange rate throughout the day and lead the EUR/USD to fall back towards the August high at 1.3333. Meanwhile, European Central Bank board member Guy Quaden said policy makers should “avoid restrictive monetary policies and ban protectionist attitudes” as the global recovery remains “fragile,” and continued to see a risk for an “uneven” recovery during an interview with a Belgian newspaper. As the European financial system remains weak, with the debt crisis intensifying, we are likely to see the Governing Council support the economy throughout the remainder of the year, but speculation surrounding the outlook for monetary policy is likely to have a greater impact in driving price action for the euro as the central bank plans to withdraw its emergency measures in 2011.

U.S. dollar price action was mixed overnight, with the USD/JPY extending the rally from the previous day to reach a high of 83.54, and the greenback could face increased volatility going into the North American trade as the economic docket is expected to reinforce a mixed outlook for the U.S. Consumer prices in the world’s largest economy is forecasted to expand at an annual pace of 1.3% in October after expanding 1.1% in the previous month, while housing starts are projected to contract 2.0% during the same period after rising 0.3% in September. At the same time, building permits are expected to jump 3.9% in October following the 5.6% contraction in the previous month, and the batch of mixed data could produce choppy price action in the dollar as investors weigh the outlook for growth and inflation.

Published in Forex News
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 15:07

Looking for Entry as Risk Appetite Makes its Big Break

Contributed By: DailyFx

 The day we have long been awaiting is finally upon us. Investor optimism has finally crumpled under its own weight. This looks like a great opportunity to short equities, commodities and all other things tied to risk (given good trade setup and money management of course). That said, it is interesting to note that I am only in one position at the moment - USDJPY. I have been waiting for this shift in underlying sentiment; and opportunities in these other asset classes look good for entry now. However, for the currency market, the issue is a little different. It is more about timing. The final crack in risk trends was no doubt helped along but the build up of issues over the past few weeks (the downsides of the need for US stimulus, Chinese efforts to slow growth, increased margin requirements on multiple assets, G20 agreements for emerging markets to curb hot capital inflows and of course European financial troubles). However, the big topic of the day - the rapid deterioration of Irish and other EU members' financial health - has not found definitive resolution. Ireland has not yet asked for a bailout. We could still see a potential relief rally for risk trends and more importantly the euro on such a step; but that probably won't erase the turn in sentiment. I am looking for the reaction to tangible steps in Europe; but I will also be looking for entry on a number of positions risk-linked in the mean time (with an aim for better prices).

One reason USDJPY is my only active position on today is because I decided to take profit on the remaining half of my USDCAD long position. I could have certainly tried to squeeze more out of this pair than the second exit point at 1.0210; but this pair is far too choppy and its fundamentals too troublesome to expect it to move in a straight trend. As for my USDJPY, the pair has shown continued improvement. Progress is measured; but that is to be expected as the shift in balance of risk position between these two is finely balanced.

For potentials: my list is long. I think the euro is in for trouble; but I think a relief rally is still possible on an actual bailout. I'll look for an entry on a short around 1.3600/50. If they ignore this step and go straight to the long-term implications of multiple bailouts, I'll still try to jump in below 1.3475 (but that would be a reduced position because it would essentially be chasing an entry). Other euro-based pairs I like include EURJPY on a break below 111.50 and EURCHF below 1.3265 - both range lows. The pound is offering us some interesting risk-related moves (further colored by the UK's stimulus/rate hike speculation. I would like a short on GBPUSD either with a move back up to 1.5950 or a confirmed break below 1.5825 should this risk aversion move hold up. Similarly, I am holding out for a GBPCAD breakout from its wedge and still open to a possible GBPJPY pullback to the resistance in its former descending trend channel. Other majors to watch is a possible AUDUSD short with a move back up to 0.9825 and/or a drop below 0.96; NZDUSD in a drop below 0.7650 and USDCHF with an eye above parity.

Published in Forex News

Contributed By: DailyFx


 EUR/USD:The market has finally rolled over quite convincingly, with critical short-term support by 1.3695 now easily exceeded to suggest that a major lower top could be in the process of carving out by 1.4285. We had initially projected a test of longer-term falling resistance off of the record highs by 1.4500, but 1.4285 could very well be it, with setbacks now seen accelerating to the downside back towards 1.3000 over the coming days. Look for the latest weekly close below 1.3700 to help strengthen the bearish case. From here, any rallies should now be well capped ahead of 1.3800, where the 10-Day SMA has crossed below the 20-Day SMA. Next major downside target doesn’t come in until 1.3335 in the form of previous resistance now turned support.

Published in Forex News

Contributed By: DailyFx


EUR/JPY:The market has done a very good job of holding above the daily Ichimoku cloud to suggest that we could be on the verge of a material shift in the structure in favor of significant upside over the medium and longer-term. Daily studies are however in the process of consolidating, so the preferred strategy is to look to buy into dips rather than on upside breaks. The latest pullback has taken the market back into the cloud, an ideal entry point for a fresh long now comes in by the 110.50 area. Ultimately, only a close back below 110.00 would force a shift back to the downside.

Published in Forex News

Contributed By: DailyFx


EUR/CHF:Despite the latest setbacks, we retain a constructive outlook with the market in the process of carving out a major base. There is some very solid internal range support in the 1.3200’s and we would expect to see any additional declines very well supported ahead of 1.3200 on a close basis. Ultimately, only a close back below 1.3200 would give reason for concern. Look for a break back above 1.3500 to reaffirm outlook and open the next major upside extension beyond 1.3835.

Published in Forex News
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 15:08

AUDUSD Any intraday rallies should be very well capped

Contributed By: DailyFx


AUD/USD:Clear signs of another short-term top emerging with the market stalling out by fresh post-float record highs at 1.0185 several days back, and then reversing course to end a sequence of consecutive daily higher lows. The latest break back below the 20-Day SMA further encourages bearish outlook from here, and we will look for a 2-day close below the 50-Day SMA (0.9750) for additional bearish confirmation. From here the risks are for declines towards critical support by 0.9650, below which will really accelerate. Any intraday rallies should be very well capped ahead of 0.9900.

Published in Forex News

USD Dollar (USD) – The dollar gained across the board in Forex trading after investors sought safety on the USD as risk aversion is back to the markets. The PPI came out 0.4% worse than the expected 0.8%. The TIC Net Long-Term Transactions came out at 81B worse than the expected 100.3B. Industrial Production came out at 0%, worse than the expected 0.3%. The Stock Markets in U.S. closed negative as the Dow Jones weakened by -1.59% and the NASDAQ fell by -1.75%. Crude Oil plummeted by -3% closing at $82.40 a barrel. Gold (XAU) dropped -2.2% and closed at $1339 an ounce. Today, Building Permits are expected at 0.57M vs. 0.55M previously. The Housing Starts are expected at 0.6M vs. 0.61M previously. The CPI is expected at 0.3% vs. 0.1% previously.

Euro (EUR) – The Euro showed another day of weakness against the dollar and touched a 7 week low on concerns over Ireland’s debt and Greece’s economic stability. The German ZEW Economic Sentiment came out 1.8 better than the expected -6. The CPI came out unchanged at 1.9%, as expected. Holding below the 1.3560 resistance area keeps the momentum negative for the pair. Overall, EUR/USD traded with a low of 1.3447 and with a high of 1.3654. No economic data is expected today.

EUR/USD – Last:   1.3502







British Pound (GBP) – The Pound fell against the dollar and was affected by concerns that Europe’s debt crisis will hurt demand for riskier assets. The CPI came out at 3.2%, better than the expected 3.1%. The Sterling has broken the critical support level of 1.5950 and it might cause the pair to begin a strong bearish trend as long as it is holding below that level. Overall, GBP/USD traded with a low of 1.5838 and with a high of 1.6086. Today, the Claimant Count Change is expected at 6k vs. 5.3k previously. MPC Meeting Minutes are also expected.

GBP/USD - Last:  1.5878







Japanese Yen (JPY) – The Dollar completed another positive day versus the Yen and touched 1 month high levels. Holding above the 82.70 support zone keeps the momentum positive for the pair. Overall, USD/JPY traded with a low of 82.84 and with a high of 83.58. No economic data is expected today.

USD/JPY-Last: 83.40







Canadian dollar (CAD) – The U.S. dollar jumped against Canada's dollar to a 2 week high as stock markets and commodities tumbled on slowing recovery concerns. This decreased demand for currencies linked to commodities and economic growth. Manufacturing Sales came out -0.6% better than the expected -0.7%. Holding above the 1.0180 support zone keeps the momentum positive for the pair. Overall, USD/CAD traded with a low of 1.0068 and with a high of 1.0252. No economic data is expected today.

USD/CAD - Last: 1.0218








Published in Forex Articles

Contributed By: DailyFx

North American Commodity Update

Commodities - Energy

Speculative Strength Finally Succumbs to Reality as Crude Breaks Bull Trend

Crude Oil (LS Nymex) - $82.34 // -$2.52 // -2.97%

In the past two and a half months, oil has climbed approximately $16 - or 22 percent. While some energy bulls may try to attribute this advance to growth projections that feed into boosting the market’s expectations for demand; such an explanation is self-serving. It isn’t a coincidence that oil was advancing through the same period that equities rose and the dollar tumbled. Rather than following the outlook for economic activity, traders were content with tracking risk appetite trends to drive their oil trades to capital gains. However, that correlation works both ways. At the same time the S&P 500 marked a critical reversal on its bullish trend from the beginning of September, US crude would mark a reversal of similar magnitude in its drop below $84.50. Having faced its first series of three-consecutive daily declines since September 17th, the possibility of a temporary correction is high; but the likelihood of a return to the previous bull wave is much lower.

Looking at the catalyst for today’s oil move, we have to broaden our horizons beyond the workings of the energy market. Looking at the S&P 500, the US 10-year Treasury note and other benchmarks for the important assets classes; we see the same tumble. Cross-market correlations at this level of intensity and that occur alongside meaningful technical developments are almost always founded on investment-wide fundamental themes. The theme Tuesday was the collapse of risk appetite under its own weight. While we can say that the troubles with (and lack of progress in correcting) Ireland’s financial troubles was the spark, the pressure has been building for a while behind cooling growth trends, efforts to curb capital market expansion in emerging markets and growing financial instability between stimulus and anemic capital flows. Adding to selling pressure was the sustained advance from the dollar. Maintaining a negative correlation to risk trends; it is also the primary pricing instrument for US oil.

Concentrating on the more tangible fundamental health of the oil market, today’s data would offer a mixed picture of value. Chinese fixed direct investment grew 7.9 percent in the year through October and the Leading Indicators index advanced to 71 percent. The implications for energy demand were somewhat offset by comments made by the Premier that his cabinet was drafting anti-inflation measures. In other news, US factory was unchanged through October; while German investors outlook for growth finally pulled up.

Energy traders should take note that the API reported crude inventories through last week plunged 7.652 million barrels – the biggest drop since September 2008; which could translate into a drawdown on tomorrow’s DoE figures. Trading volume was up 22 percent from Monday; but still below last week’s highs. Also, open interest is shifting from the December to January contract.

Commodities - Metals

A Critical Break for Gold’s Bull Trend Founded on Margin Hike and Tempered Inflation

Spot Gold - $1,338.40 // -$30.10 // -2.20%

It may not seem unusual to see gold tumbling through Tuesday’s session since nearly every risk-sensitive asset class was diving. However, the precious metal still represents a favored safe haven asset and alternative to more traditional securities. And, despite a recent shift to a positive correlation to risk trends, today’s hand-in-hand move is still remarkable given the severity of the development. While the 2.2 percent decline through the close wasn’t’ as severe as Friday’s correction; the session’s performance was perhaps more meaningful. That is because with Tuesday’s close, spot gold has finally broken through the floor of a rising trend channel that has guided the commodity higher since the end of July. A nearly four-month trend has been called to a technical and tentative end; but how readily will the market jump in to unwind their long gold holdings? That is a question of fundamentals.

Looking at the precious metal’s performance Tuesday, we can simply attribute the commodity’s direction to the recent positive correlation established between traditional speculative assets and the metal. There is certainly an element of buying here simply to take advantage of the potential capital gains. However, beyond that, we see a very clear weight levied on the gold in the former of a margin increase. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (the primary futures exchange for gold trading in the US) decided to replicate its efforts to curb silver, cotton, soybeans and other commodities by increasing required margin on trading the precious metal 5.9 percent to $4,500 per contract. This naturally reduces participation by speculators as it increases the cost of trading.

Yet, looking beyond this structural change in market conditions, there will be a more nuanced balance for the direction gold takes going forward. On the one hand, we have the threat that troubles with keeping the Greece bailout program financed by all EU participants and Irish financial troubles evolving into a European crisis leveraging the value of gold as an alternative to currencies and those assets whose values are determined by those fiat promises of value. Alternatively, we have policy officials stating clearly that there is little threat of inflation going forward (one of the positive price elements of gold). The Fed’s Dudley rebutted an op-ed letter calling on the central bank to withdrawal stimulus by saying officials could hike rates to contain inflation at any time. BoE Governor King talked down inflation threats through the medium-term – though short-term they could spike. And, China is reportedly working toward anti-inflation measures.

For trading statistics, volume on the CME’s December futures contract surged 40 percent to 279,735 but this wasn’t as high as the turnover from just this past Friday. In the meantime, speculative interest in ETF exposure is still level at 67.13 million ounces.

Spot Silver - $25.48 // $0.00 // 0.00%

Silver was still within its broader retracement pattern through Tuesday’s close; but the metal wouldn’t make any progress besides setting a new intraday, two-week low. It is particularly remarkable that the commodity was otherwise stable through the session considering the CME decided to hike margin for a second time in a week by 12 percent to $7250 per contract. Speculative interest is deeply rooted here – a fact made tangible through the record high ETF holdings through the day (476.754 million ounces).

Published in Forex News

Contributed By: DailyFx

* Dollar Rally Fortified by Crucial Reversal in S&P 500, Risk Appetite
* Euro’s Future Even More Murky after Ireland Resists Financial Aid, Greek Support Falls Apart
* British Pound Helped by High CPI Reading, Hindered by BoE Reiteration for No Hikes
* Australian Dollar Remains Preoccupied with Rates, Risk as Growth Forecast Indicator Stagnates
* New Zealand Dollar Will Find Little Trading Impetus in Upstream 3Q Inflation Figures

Dollar Rally Fortified by Crucial Reversal in S&P 500, Risk Appetite

For the dollar, the critical technical breakout happened Monday. To start the week, the trade-weighted Dollar Index overtook a month-long range top; while the FX market’s most liquid currency (EURUSD) put in for a confirmation of this past Friday’s lows. However, for gauging conviction and trend, Tuesday’s price action was far more significant for validating a singular outlook across the market. From a purely price action standpoint, the session would lead the Dollar Index to a necessary break of resistance that was rendered meaningful by the confluence of a prominent trendline, Fibonacci retracement and 50-day simple moving average. And, in the meantime, it would mark a fresh seven-week high. From the liquid majors, we would finally see participation in the dollar rally that extended beyond the early reversal patterns from EURUSD and USDJPY. GBPUSD finally dropped below 1.5950, USDCHF has moved up to a near-two-month high just below parity, USDCAD surged higher and AUDUSD fell for the sixth time in seven active trading days. Though, all of this taken into account, the most meaningful development for the dollar was the S&P 500’s decisive break from a two-and-a-half month rising trend.

Between technical and fundamental progress for the greenback, the latter has greater pull when it comes to establishing a trend. With the break of the benchmark equity indexes this past trading session, we have seen a meaningful shift in power. Many may say it is simply a line that was breached; but that simple pattern is especially meaningful to a market that is heavily populated by speculative traders (versus passive investors). With this changing of the guard, investors will lose the straightforward investment of low-yield funds into otherwise risky assets that have produced consistent and quick capital gains over the past few months. We could attribute this reversal in the crowd’s sentiment to Europe’s troubles – Ireland may very well have exacerbated financial concerns surrounding the entire region by brushing off calls to ask for financial support. However, pressure has been building against sentiment for some time now. We should remember that growth has shown signs of moderating across the globe, speculative-favorite China has taken clear steps towards cooling its economy, policymakers have been given a green light to curb the influx of ‘hot capital’ into their economies and true rates of return (yields, dividends) have not shown meaningful growth. All of this plays towards uncertainty and the dollar’s role as a harbor from unpredictability in its liquid and liberally-supported market.

For more domestic concerns, the op-ed letter written by market participants demanding the Fed not follow through with the second round of its stimulus program was refuted by central banker Dudley. He remarked that inflation concerns were overstated as the policy authority could easily hike rates while maintaining its unorthodox programs. In the meantime, there are early rumblings amongst politicians to redefine the Fed’s dual mandate to a singular focus on inflation. Keeping the focus on policy, the PPI data would add little to the interest rate argument – event at 4.3 percent annual growth. The CPI data due tomorrow will be more focused; but less influential. Other data highlights included the record selling of Agency Debt by foreign central banks in the TIC data and tomorrow’s housing starts figures.

Euro’s Future Even More Murky after Ireland Resists Financial Aid, Greek Support Falls Apart

Despite a clear deterioration in the market’s perception of Ireland’s financial health, officials refused to seek aid from the EU through the EFSF rescue program. For some, this is a promising development; because country is avoiding greater debt obligations to pay off later down the line – as both the Prime Minister and Finance Ministers have said, the government is fully funded through the middle of 2011. On the other hand, speculative fears are rarely soothed by politicians’ self-severing reassurances. To many, Ireland’s opposition to asking for support at the monthly EU meeting is a step that merely pushes the country and region deeper into a crisis of confidence. While the nation’s government may be fully funded for the next six to eight months, its banking system is very clearly struggling. Irish banks accounted for 20 percent of the ECB’s loans in October; and that lending was equivalent to 80 percent of Irish GPD. Ignoring this issue clearly doesn’t make it go away.

In addition to Ireland’s troubles, financial troubles continue to pop up in other corners of the market. Following the EU’s revision of Greece’s 2009 deficit, Austrian officials said they may withhold the next 190 billion euro contribution to the troubled economy’s bailout fund. Elsewhere, Germany’s Deputy Finance Minister warned they would not back off pressure for a permanent rescue mechanism (saddle bond investors with losses) while fear continues to build that Portugal is soon to follow on the heels of Greek and Irish crisis.

British Pound Helped by High CPI Reading, Hindered by BoE Reiteration for No Hikes

If the market simply followed economic releases, the pound may have surged Tuesday with news that October CPI accelerated to a 3.2 percent rate (a clip that is well above the BoE’s tolerance band). However, the promise of interest rate hikes was completely squashed with BoE Governor King’s statement. Though he did see inflation peaking at 3.7 percent, it was reiterated that they may undershoot medium-term.

Australian Dollar Remains Preoccupied with Rates, Risk as Growth Forecast Indicator Stagnates

The only thing that can seem to stop the Aussie dollar’s advance is underlying risk appetite itself. And, with the S&P 500 leading other capital markets lower, there is a growing wave of uncertainty shaking investors out of their positions. Yet, despite the faded taste for risk and anti-carry push now; economic and interest rate expectations for Australia are still exceptionally robust. When markets turn, the Aussie will lead the move.

New Zealand Dollar Will Find Little Trading Impetus in Upstream 3Q Inflation Figures

Like its Australian counterpart, the New Zealand dollar is beholden to risk appetite trends. In fact, with a less sound economic and financial foundation, the currency is perhaps a little more sensitive to changes in confidence. However, perhaps improved interest rate speculation can improve the currencies standing. We will get upstream 3Q inflation figures early tomorrow; but they won’t carry the same influence as CPI data.

Published in Forex News
Page 14 of 35

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