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Friday June 27, 2008 - 16:09:52 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (27 June 2008)

The euro lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.5720 level and was capped around the $1.5780 level.  The common currency reached its highest level since 9 June before coming off.  Data released in the U.S. today saw May personal income double following an increase in personal income.  May personal consumption expenditures were up 0.8%, up from 0.4% in April and the largest gain since September 2005.  Personal income rose 1.9%, much more than expected.  The core personal consumption expenditures price index was up 0.1% m/m excluding food and energy and was up 2.1% y/y – just above the Federal Reserve’s perceived upper limit comfort zone of 2.0%. Also, the final June University of Michigan consumer sentiment index receded to 56.4 from 59.8 in May. Most traders believe the Fed will keep interest rates unchanged through the end of the year following this week’s Federal Open Market Committee interest rate announcement.  In eurozone news, German June consumer price inflation was up 0.3% m/m and 3.3% y/y.  Also, the eurozone current account balance improved in April to -€300 million while the EMU-15 June economic sentiment indicator fell to 94.9 from 97.6 in May.  Additionally, French Q1 GDP was revised to 0.5% and French May PPI was up 1.3% m/m and 6.7% y/y.  European Central Bank member Ordonez managed interest rate expectations by saying a series of rate hikes is not foreseen.   Euro bids are cited around the $1.5230 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥106.05 level and was capped around the ¥107.20 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from ¥102.65 to ¥108.55.  Many data were released in Japan overnight and some of them raised the chances of a recession taking root in Japan.  First, May household spending fell 3.2% y/y, the third consecutive monthly decline.  Most traders believe these data render it highly unlikely Bank of Japan’s Policy Board will be able to lift interest rates this year. Second, core inflation was up at its fastest pace in more than ten years, rising 1.5% y/y in May. Many economists are speculating core CPI will reach the 2.0% upper limit of BoJ’s “understanding of stable prices.”  Third, the May unemployment rate was steady at 4.0%, matching forecasts. Fourth, May industrial output beat expectations while rising 2.9%.  BoJ’s Q2 Tankan survey of corporate sentiment will be released on Tuesday and is expected to evidence a deterioration in confidence.  BoJ’s Policy Board convenes on 14-15 July.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 2.01% to close at ¥13,544.36.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥103.00/ 101.35 levels.  The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥167.00 figure and was capped around the ¥168.60 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥210.55 and ¥104.00 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8622, down from CNY 6.8657 and the pair’s weakest close since the yuan revaluation of July 2005. Data released in China overnight saw industrial firms’ profits up 20.9% y/y between January and May.



The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9950 level and was supported around the $1.9800 figure.  Cable reached its highest level since 28 April as traders continued to reduce exposure to the U.S. dollar.  Data released in the U.K. today saw Q1 GDP downwardly revised to +0.3% q/q from the previous estimate of 0.4% and represented the lowest growth rate since Q1 2005.  On a yearly basis, the economy was up 2.3%.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9360/ 1.9100 levels.  The euro weakened vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.7895 level and was capped around the ₤0.7945 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0165 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0265 level.  The pair reached its lowest level since 9 June and the Swiss franc was bid higher on a report that the Central Bank of the Russian Federation may increase the proportion of Swiss francs in its reserve portfolio.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the KOF June leading index fall to 1.01 from 1.08 in May. U.S. dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.0135 level.  The euro and British pound weakened vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.6040 and CHF 2.0200 levels, respectively.

 

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