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Tuesday June 10, 2008 - 15:50:25 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (10 June 2008)

The euro slumped vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.5660 level and was capped around the $1.5845 level.  The common currency extended yesterday’s intraday losses as traders reacted to additional hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke who said “The Fed will strongly resist an erosion in longer-term (inflation) expectations.”  Bernanke’s comments suggest the Fed’s rate-easing cycle has likely ended and that the dollar is deriving support from Bernanke’s continued hawkishness. In contrast, Boston Fed President Rosengren was less-than-hawkish today reported “Even if oil prices do continue to rise much faster than U.S. core inflation for an extended period, the experience of the past twenty years indicates that there is a relatively low correlation between oil price movements and the underlying core rate of inflation.”  Treasury Secretary Paulson also made news yesterday when he said currency intervention remains a tool at the government’s disposal.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the April trade deficit increase 7.8% m/m to US$ 60.9 billion, the largest increase since 2005.  In eurozone news, Germany’s DIW Institute reduced its Q2 GDP growth forecast to 0.2% from 0.5%.  European Central Bank member Liikanen hawkishly reported “We have to ensure that inflation expectations remain firmly anchored to the objective of price stability. This is why the Governing Council is monitoring very closely all developments and is in a state of heightened alertness.” ECB President Trichet noted EMU-15 official interest rates may need to increase “by a small amount” from next month.  This comment followed last week’s statement that ECB policymakers discussed a rate hike on Thursday.  Euro bids are cited around the $1.5230 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥107.15 level and was supported around the ¥106.25 level.  The pair reached its highest level since 27 February as traders continued to speculate Bank of Japan will not raise interest rates this week.  Also, there is a growing consensus among traders that U.S. interest rates may have bottomed out.  Data released in Japan overnight saw April machinery orders by Japanese companies escalate 5.5% m/m to ¥1.0 trillion with core privates-sector machinery orders up for the first time in three months.  Most economists, however, believe corporate capital spending will weaken further on account of rising materials costs.  Bank of Japan’s Policy Board is expected to maintain a neutral monetary policy this week and comments from BoJ Governor Shirakawa will be closely monitored.  S&P affirmed Japan’s long-term “AA” and short-term sovereign “A-1+” credit rates with a stable outlook overnight.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.13% to close at ¥14,021.17.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥103.00/ 101.35 levels.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥165.50 level and was capped around the ¥166.65 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥208.60 and ¥102.85 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.9255 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.9230.  A government economist today predicted the Chinese economy will expand about 10% in 2008.



The British pound fell sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9515 level and was capped around the $1.9755 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $2.0025 to $1.9360.  Bank of England announced it will unveil later this year a new liquidity program that will operate under normal and abnormal market conditions.  BoE Governor King spoke today but did not offer new clues about inflation. The BoE has been less vocal about inflation than the Fed and ECB and this has had a negative impact on sterling.  Data released in the U.K. today saw BRC May retail sales climb more than expected.  Also, RICS reported the May house price balance recovered but transactions were at record lows.  It was also reported that April industrial production rose 0.2% m/m and 0.2% y/y.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9360/ 1.9100 levels.  The euro came off vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.7890 level and was capped around the ₤0.7945 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0415 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0270 level.  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 1.6120 and CHF 2.0370 levels, respectively.



 

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