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Tuesday May 13, 2008 - 13:56:50 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (13 May 2008)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.5430 level and was capped around the $1.5565 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.6020 to $1.5280.  Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke spoke today and suggested central bankers cannot yet declare an end to the global credit crisis.  Bernanke pointed to “welcome signs” but added “conditions in financial markets are still far from normal.” He called on market participants to “deleverage, raise new capital, and improve risk management.”  The November federal funds futures contract is currently pricing in about a 40% chance the fed funds target rate will be 25bps higher.  Cleveland Fed President Pianalto reported “While even the core price measures in the United States are rising somewhat faster than I would prefer, and inflation presents a key risk to my outlook, I believe that the Federal Reserve's policy strategy remains compatible with a low and stable inflation rate.  The substantial easing of monetary policy to date, combined with ongoing measures to foster market liquidity, should help to promote growth over time and to mitigate risks to economic activity.” In contrast, Richmond Fed President Lacker hawkishly said “appropriate monetary policy would ensure that (the run-up in food, energy, and commodities prices) even out over time, and do not impart a persistent inflation bias. Data released in the U.S. today saw April import prices up +1.8% m/m and +15.4% y/y while April retail sales were off 0.2% with the ex-autos component up +0.5%.  In eurozone news, European Central Bank member Noyer said inflation pressures “are at work in most parts of the world” partially as a result of countries’ ongoing link to the U.S. dollar.  Yesterday, ECB President Trichet said it is important to “preserve the firm anchoring of inflation expectations” and “ensure the absence of second-round effects.”  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.5230 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥104.60 level and was supported around the ¥103.40 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the 50% retracement of the move from ¥105.70 to ¥102.55.  Traders sold yen again today on the premise that Bank of Japan’s Policy Board is unlikely to raise the overnight call rate from 0.50% for at least several months.  Many Japanese economic data will be released tonight including the April corporate goods price index, March current account balance, and March trade balance.  The Nikkei 225 stock gained 1.53% to close at ¥13,953.73.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥101.35 levels.  The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥161.70 level and was supported around the ¥160.10 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc moved higher as the crosses tested offers around the ¥203.60 and ¥99.55 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.9889 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.9882.  Data released in China today saw April wholesale sales up 10.3% y/y while April retail sales were up 22.0% y/y. Also, the M2 money supply was up 16.94% y/y.



The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9445 level and was capped around the $1.9585 level.  The pair came within a few pips of testing yesterday’s multi-week low.  Data released in the U.K. today saw annual consumer price inflation rise  0.8% m/m and 3.0% y/y in April, much higher than economists’ expectations.  These data increase the chance that Bank of England Governor King will need to write a letter of explanation to Chancellor Darling as to why inflation his risen by more than a percentage point above the 2.0% ceiling target rate.  The data also highlight the difficult decisions faced by the BoE which must balance these nagging inflation pressures against a slowdown in consumption and the housing market.  Other data released today saw the RICS house price measure fell in the three months to April while BRC noted that April retail sales declined, the second time since 2005 that sales have fallen for two consecutive months.  Additionally, the government reported DCLG March annual house price inflation growth receded to 5.2% from 6.3% in February while CML reported March mortgage lending remained subdued in March.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9360 level.  The euro came off vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.7915 level and was capped around the ₤0.7965 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0555 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0415 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the 61.8% retracement of the move from CHF 1.1105 to CHF 0.9645.  The April SECO consumer climate indicator will be released on Thursday.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0760 level.  The euro and British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6295 and CHF 2.0545 levels, respectively.

 

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