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Monday November 1, 2004 - 14:39:29 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (1 November 2004)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2785 level after failing to get above the $1.2830 level. Swiss names were seen dumping the single currency during Australasian dealing after the markets milked all dollar-selling following the bin Laden tape. All eyes are of course on the U.S. election with most political pundits calling the race too close to call. The prospect of another election that will be decided in the courts has been dollar negative over the past several sessions. Liquidity was reduced during European dealing today with some financial centers closed for All Saints’ Day. Data released in the eurozone today sawEMU-12 October manufacturing PMI at 52.4 from 53.1 in September. German October manufacturing PMI fell to 52.8 from 54.1 in September while French October manufacturing PMI was reduced to 53.5 from 54.0 in September. Data released in the U.S. today saw September personal income increase from +0.2% while personal spending grew +0.6%. These data were generally in-line with expectations. The headline PCE deflator came in at +2.0% with the core PCE deflator at +1.5%. October non-farm payrolls data will be released on Friday and will culminate what is expected to be a very volatile week. Euro bids are seen around the $1.2630 level.


The yen reversed some of its recent appreciation vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥106.55 level after testing the ¥105.75 level earlier in the session. The intraday low represented a fresh six-month low that was not reached after Friday’s less-than-stellar U.S. GDP data. News that Nigerian oil unions are threatening Royal Dutch/Shell saw yen-selling and saw the December NYMEX crude contract escalate to $52.38. IMM data released on Friday saw a significant jump in open interest in long yen contracts from 8,565 to 27,636. Some yen traders believe that a definitive fast outcome of tomorrow’s U.S. presidential election will result in short-covering to the ¥108 handle. The Nikkei 225 stock index came off 0.34% to close at ¥10,734.71 while the TOPIX was off 0.45%. It will be a slow week data-wise for Japan until Friday. Dollar bids are seen around the ¥10.00 figure with selling pressure seen around the ¥106.80/¥107.00 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen today as the single currency tested offers around the ¥136.10 level and was supported around the ¥135.30 level. In Chinese news, a top banking regulator today cautioned that macroeconomic adjustments to dampen economic growth have not been exhausted.


The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8315 level. Sterling was unable to get above the $1.8415 level and today’s price activity was seen as being profit-taking and position-squaring ahead of tomorrow’s U.S. presidential election. Some traders were surprised by a better-than-expected CIPS PMI survey that came in at 53.0 from last month’s 52.3 level. Notably, the new orders sub-index rose 1.5 points. Cable bids are seen around the $1.8270 level. The euro gained a modicum of ground vis-à-vis the British pound but the single currency failed to move above the £0.6975 level. Options activity is seen up around the psychologically-important £0.7000 figure.


The Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2030 level, retracing most of Friday’s sharp sell-off. The pair, however, reached a fresh eight-year low around the $1.1910 level before gaining ground on the day. Uncertainty about the U.S. election, rising oil prices, and the latest bin Laden tape have all conspired to push Swissy higher. Dealers continue to cite rumours that Swiss National Bank is on the bid for dollars and euros but this is unlikely given the euro’s current CHF 1.53 level. The central bank was not seen selling francs when the cross was below the CHF 1.50 handle thus it is unlikely sales are taking place now. Swiss PMI and CPI data will be released this week. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc today as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5330 level


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