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Friday April 25, 2008 - 18:24:47 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (25 April 2008)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.5705 level and was supported around the $1.5555 level.  The common currency has been given for three consecutive days and this reflects the market’s changing perception regarding the likelihood of additional monetary easing from the Federal Reserve. The July fed funds futures contract is pricing in a 100% chance the federal funds target rate will be 25bps lower at 2.00% after the Federal Open Market Committee meetings on 30 April and 25 June along with a 50% chance that it will be at 1.75%. Also, the May fed funds futures contract is implying an 80% chance the target rate will be at 2% and a 40% chance that it will be at 1.75%.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the late April University of Michigan consumer sentiment indicator print at 62.6, lower-than-expected.  In eurozone news, the EMU-15 M3 money supply growth rate fell to an annualized 10.3% from 11.3% in February.  The financial markets are now pricing in an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank in 2009.  ECB member Weber said the “deranged” interbank market is still “obstructing” a return to a calmer situation in the financial markets.  ECB member Bini Smaghi said the ECB cannot ignore the “intolerable levels” of inflation.  Other data saw German March import prices up 0.4% m/m and 5.7% y/y.  Some dealers have noted a slight shift in other statements from ECB officials over the past couple of days.  ECB’s Trichet and Stark yesterday said the central bank’s “current monetary policy” should be sufficient to deal with inflation pressures while ECB member Bonello reported “I do not think there is anyone who is considering higher interest rates." Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.5345 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥104.80 level and was supported around the ¥104.05 level.  Traders lifted the pair to its highest level since 29 February.  Data released in Japan overnight saw March core inflation accelerate to a ten-year high of 1.2% on account of escalating energy prices, the sixth consecutive monthly increase.  Many traders believe that the energy and food price inflation that caused the increase in CPI is exogenous and will not result in higher interest rates from Bank of Japan.  The BoJ’s Policy Board convenes next Wednesday and is expected to keep the overnight call rate unchanged at 0.50%, upgrade its inflation forecast, and downgrade its forecast for GDP growth for the fiscal year to March 2009.  Moreover, the central bank is likely to move towards a more neutral monetary policy directive.  Japanese financial markets will be closed this Tuesday for a national holiday.  The Japanese government released a report overnight that indicates exporters on average expect they can remain profitable if the U.S. dollar remains stronger than ¥104.70.  The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 2.38% to close at ¥13,863.47.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥102.15 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥162.65 level and was capped around the ¥163.80 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥207.60 and ¥100.90 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. as the greenback closed at CNY 7.0100 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.9970. 



The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9885 level and was supported around the US$ 1.9555 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 50% retracement of the move from $1.9360 to $2.0395.  Sterling gained ground after the release of U.K. Q1 GDP growth data that saw growth slow to a three-year low of 0.4%, down from 0.6% in Q4.  The result was better than the markets expected and this contributed to sterling’s rally.  Data released in the U.K. today saw U.K. IRS pay deals remain steady at 3.5% in the three months to March.  Traders are intensely debating whether Bank of England is more likely to reduce the repo rate by another 25bps in May or June.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9505 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.7850 level and was capped around the ₤0.7955 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0430 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0300 figure.  The pair reached its highest level since 3 March.  Swiss National Bank President Roth said “In essence, our confidence is based on the fact that monetary policy of the past three years has been successful in gradually normalizing the interest rate level.”  He added commodity prices “pose a predicament in terms of monetary policy, and the resultant uncertainty this causes is not exactly beneficial for Swiss companies.” U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0550 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.6140 level while the British pound moved higher and tested offers around the CHF 2.0625 level.



 

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