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Monday April 14, 2008 - 17:37:26 GMT
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Foreign Exchange Research - Euro Passes G7 Obstacle, Eyes at $1.5930

Dollar weakness resumes after a brief interruption following a G7 statement that was largely inconsequential. The G7 communique on foreign exchange omitted its long standing statement urging the need for markets to reflect fundamentals, and shifted towards expressing concerns about “sharp fluctuations in major currencies”, which is a clear reference to the falling dollar. But the shift in language towards apprehension about excessive currency moves was as promiscuous as the G7’unwillingness to engage in coordinated intervention to support the falling dollar, which is seen as the only viable means of any dollar support.

The euro is now surging to session highs at $1.5841 after ECB’s Yves Mersch said indicated there was no room for interest rate cuts in 2008. The dollar’s woes are compounded by not only the ECB’s renewed commitment to fight inflation (and dampening any prospects of a rate cut) but also by the fact that the U.S. recession is being complemented by an earnings recession as the season is being kicked off by an earnings miss and negative guidance from General Electric. The latest negative releases came from Wachovia, as the
U.S. fourth largest bank reported a surprise Q4 loss and a 41% reduction in its dividend.

Trading focus shifts to the US macro picture as retail sales are seen flat in March following a 0.6% decline in February, while core sales –excluding autos—are expected to have risen 0.2% following a 0.2% decline. The rest of the week will bring key reports; industrial production, consumer inflation, Fed’s beige Book, housing starts/building permit and the Philadelphia Fed survey.

Euro Passes G7 Obstacle, Eyes at $1.5930

The euro is being bid up across the board on a combination of broad USD weakness and the ECB’s reiteration that inflation remains its policy priority. The fact that the ECB has not retreated an inch of ground from its price stability stance at the G7 as a possible way to ease its recent strength is adding to the currency’s strength across the board. The other side of the EURUSD coin has been fortified by US earnings, where “earnings and warnings” may set to be giving a double punch to the greenback, and reduce risk appetite across the board.

A positive surprise in US retail sales may have to come in at nearly 0.4-0.5% in both the headline and the core for the euro to encounter pressure at the $1.5925-30 resistance. But support has firmly risen to $1.5780 and 1.5740.

Euro focus turns to Tuesday’s ZEW survey for the latest on German investor sentiment, which has held up spectacularly in the face of the current credit crisis.

EURGBP reclaims the 80 pence barrier but is unlikely to breach above 0.8025 in the session following today’s record 20.4% annual jump in March PPI following a 10.9% in February. Support is expected to hold at the key trend line of 0.7920 at which point substantial interests in seen in the single currency.

Yen Uptrend Intact

Yen’s uptrend remains intact against all the major currencies, with USDJPY, AUDJOY, GBPJPY and EURJPY facing increasingly adverse conditions on the technical set up. Yen fundamentals remain boosted by the repetitive failure of US equity indices to breach above their 1,380 and 12,770 barriers in the S&P500 and the Dow. Friday’s GE earnings has bolstered the case for yen bulls, rendering the 100.30 as the main short term objective, a breach of which is expected to encounter support at 100.00. Upside remains at 101.70, followed by 101.

AUDJPY and CADJPY are also seen extending losses in the event of a negative US retail sales reading, with AUDJPY capped at 93.40, eyeing 92.40 and CADJPY to target 97.70 and 97.40. Resistance stands at 97.45-50.

Sterling’s Propped by 20.4% PPI Rise, Seen targeting $1.9920

We do not considersterling’s gains on the back of today’s record 20.4% annual jump in March PPI as a long term positive for the currency, considering the need for the Bank of England to further cut interest rates to tackle the deepening slowdown in housing, manufacturing, consumer demand and credit market uncertainty. Tuesday’s release of UK march CPI is seen up 2.6% from 2.5%, which would be another positive element for the currency, but also as an opportunity for shorts to reenter the fray.

Upside momentum is seen extending at $1.9920, a breach of which is unlikely. Subsequent resistance stands at 1.9950. Support starts at 1.9820, backed by 19750.
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