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US Dollar May Extend Gains vs Euro, Pound on Fed Rate Hike Outlook

US Dollar May Extend Gains vs Euro, Pound on Fed Rate Hike Outlook

2010-05-14 04:25:00
Ilya Spivak, Sr. Currency Strategist
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Key Overnight Developments

• NZ Dollar Slumps on Disappointing Retail, House Sales Data
Euro, British Pound Consolidate Losses in Overnight Trade

Critical Levels

05142010 1

The Euro and the British Pound consolidated NY-session losses in Asian trade, with the single currency tracking sideways in a narrow range above 1.2515 while sterling oscillated around the 1.46 figure. We remain short EURUSD at 1.4881.

Asia Session Highlights

05142010 2

New Zealand House Sales fell 16.2 percent in the year to April, marking the fourth consecutive drop and the largest one in 14 months, according to a report from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ). The outcome came even as House Prices fell 0.4 percent – the first decline in three months – which could have been expected to encourage demand.

Meanwhile, Retail Sales added 0.5 percent in March, falling short of economists’ forecasts for a 1.1 percent increase. Adjusting for inflation, this amounted to a 0.2 percent increase in retail activity through the first quarter, the smallest gain in a year.

The New Zealand Dollar slumped against all of its major counterparts after the figures crossed the wires amid worries that a cautious spending climate will see the Reserve Bank of New Zealand hold off on raising interest rates, fearing higher borrowing costs may snuff economic recovery.

Euro Session: What to Expect

05142010 3

The economic calendar is uneventful in European trading hours, with a final revision of April’s Italian Consumer Price Index lining up as the only item on the docket.

Rather, traders are likely to hone in a hearty dollop of US economic data set to hit the wires late into the session. Retail Sales are expected to rise for the seventh consecutive month in April to reach the highest level since September 2008 while Industrial Production adds 0.7 percent – the most in four months – over the same period. Meanwhile, a preliminary reading for May’s University of Michigan Consumer Confidence indicator is set to show sentiment improved for the first time since January.

On balance, assuming the outcomes print close to expectations, the broadly positive data flow may help the US Dollar to extend the recent advance against the Euro and the British Pound amid an increasingly widening disparity between traders’ rate hike expectations in favor of the Fed versus its counterparts in the UK and the Euro Zone.


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