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Wednesday October 6, 2004 - 15:18:40 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (6 October 2004)

The euro retraced most of yesterday’s gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2250 level after tumbling below the $1.2300 figure. The pair had earlier failed to advance past the $1.2320 level. Large Asian bids continue to be cited around the $1.2250 level but many dealers do not believe this level will hold through Friday’s September non-farm payrolls data. Dallas Fed President McTeer yesterday said he is not sure the economy needs “very aggressive tightening” and added there is a lot of “hysteria” about oil prices. Also, CEA’s Mankiw vociferously defended the Bush administration’s fiscal policies yesterday. Most forecasts suggest non-farm payrolls will come in around +150,000 and traders remain optimistic given Treasury Secretary Snow’s optimistic statement about U.S. job creation this week. Data released in the eurozone today saw German August orders below expectations with a 1.5% decline that month, offsetting most of July’s gains. It was also reported today that September EMU-12 retail sales were off for the second consecutive month with Germany experiencing negligible growth and France’s and Italy’s retail sales rates falling fast. ECB President Trichet spoke yesterday and said the markets are pleased with the ECB’s achievements in maintaining price stability. Euro bids are cited around the $1.2245/20 levels.


The yen erased most of its losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥111.40 level but fell back to the ¥111.20 level during North American dealing. Bids around the ¥111.00 figure supported the pair during the day as the dollar traded at its highest level since 30 September. There was little in the way of Japanese news overnight to give traders fresh incentives. A surge in November NYMEX crude futures to $51.48 precipitated more yen weakness given Japan’s dependence on imported sources of energy. Traders await many Japanese economic data and numbers that will be released through the end of the week. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.92% to close at ¥11,385.38 while the TOPIX gained 0.66% to close at ¥1,147.69. The euro slumped vis-à-vis the yen today as the single currency tested bids around the ¥136.35 level after failing to move above the ¥137.00 figure earlier in the session. Stops were triggered below the ¥136.55 level.


The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.7770 level after failing to get above the $1.7890 level. Data released in the U.K. today saw August manufacturing output fall 0.8% m/m with just a +0.4% y/y gain. Likewise, industrial output was off 0.8% m/m and 0.1% y/y and July’s tallies for both data series were downwardly revised also. Other data released today saw September U.K. house prices rise 1.4% m/m with the latest three-month average up +20.5% but Halifax also reported some deceleration by historical standards. Bank of England MPC policymakers convened today for two days of interest rate deliberations and most MPC-watchers do not anticipate any monetary tightening tomorrow. Cable bids are cited around the $1.7750 level. The euro gained a small amount of ground vis-à-vis the British pound today as the single currency tested offers around the £0.6920 level and found support around the £0.6870 level.


The Swiss franc weakened modestly vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the $1.2690 level and was supported around the $1.2610 level. The pair is now some 200 pips higher on the week and traded at its highest level since 21 September. Traders await Friday’s September Swiss unemployment data. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5565 level.


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