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Thursday October 7, 2004 - 14:55:55 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (7 October 2004)



The euro was confined to a narrow range vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2275 level but was capped around the $1.2315 level. The European Central Bank maintained its existing monetary policy, as expected, leaving its refinancing rate unchanged at 2.0%. This was largely expected by all ECB-watchers and followed the BoE’s decision to not change borrowing costs. ECB President Trichet said the Governing Council had a “very, very wide and general feeling” that rates should remain unchanged today. Trichet also added that “strong vigilance” is required to make sure upside risks to not jeopardize medium-term price stability and suggested annual inflation rates should fall below 2% in 2005. St. Louis Fed President Poole yesterday said the Fed is “likely” to change the “measured pace” at which it is tightening monetary policy. Fed Vice Chairman Ferguson yesterday said the low level of savings rates in the U.S. could fuel “significant adjustments” in interest rates. Cleveland Fed President Pianalto today said the economy is “not doing too badly” and identified the recent pick-up in GDP growth as a positive indicator for the economy. Data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims fall 37,000 to 335,000 while the four-week moving average increased to 348,500. Also, continuing claims fell 1,000 to 2.864 million. Traders await tomorrow’s U.S. September non-farm payrolls data.

¥

The yen gained a small amount of ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥110.95 level after being capped around the ¥111.40 level. Stops were hit below the ¥111.20 level during Australasian dealing to push the pair to intraday lows as dealers reduced exposure to dollar assets ahead of the BoE and ECB interest rate decisions. A rumour that originated in the South Korean press suggested China had repegged the yuan currency and this led to some yen-buying activity. The pair basically shrugged off another spike in the price of November NYMEX crude oil to $52.62, a fresh all-time high. Capital flows data released overnight for the five trading days ending 1 October saw net yen inflows of ¥ 837 billion with foreign investors of Japanese stocks and bonds. Other data released overnight saw foreign reserves rise to a new record high of US$ 830.922 billion at the end of September. The Nikkei 225 stock index was off 0.27% to close at ¥11,354.59 with the TOPIX off 0.51% to close at ¥1,141.84. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥110.75 level. The euro was marginally stronger vis-à-vis the yen today as the single currency tested bids around the ¥136.50 level but could not get above the ¥136.95 level.

£

The British pound gained a small amount of ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.7845 level after testing bids around the $1.7765 level. Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted to keep its repo rate unchanged at 4.75% today, the second month in a row in which the MPC has not changed rates. The MPC offered no statement along with its decision but many MPC-watchers believe rates could be on hold through the end of the year given the slowdown in manufacturing output and deceleration in the housing sector. Cable bids are cited around the $1.7750 level. The euro came off marginally vis-à-vis the British pound today as the single currency tested bids around the £0.6885 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2615 level after encountering resistance around the CHF 1.2660 level. Traders await tomorrow’s Swiss unemployment data for September. Dollar bids are seen around the $1.2590 level. The euro tested bids around the CHF 1.5515 level after testing offers around the CHF 1.5555 level.

 

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