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Monday November 15, 2004 - 16:11:56 GMT
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Forex Market Commenatry and Analysis (15 November 2004)

The euro weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the psychologically-important US$ 1.3000 figure today before moving back to the $1.2935 level. This represents the second time in one week that the common currency has tested this important level and it is the second time it has failed to move through it. Technicians, however, note that the pair remains above the $1.2860 level where the pair was driven to following last week’s attempt to pierce $1.3000 and they cite this as being potentially bullish. Traders are closely watching the EMU-12 finance ministers meeting later today to see if policymakers voice any objections with the euro’s firm gains. ECB’s Gonzalez-Paramo today said excess volatility in the euro is not positive for the eurozone economy. Tomorrow’s Treasury international capital (TIC) data may yield some clues regarding sovereign appetite for U.S. assets and therefore any changes in the U.S.’s ability to finance its current account deficit. The U.S. Treasury on Friday said the financial markets are operating in an “orderly” way. Snow and other G20 finance ministers and central bankers will convene in Berlin later this week. This week’s producer and consumer inflation data in the U.S. could indicate higher price pressures in the U.S. economy and heighten the likelihood of an FOMC rate hike in December. Euro bids are seen around the $1.2925 level.


The yen gained some ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥105.15 level after encountering strong offers around the ¥105.75 level. Dealers continue to focus on the widening U.S. budget account deficit and the U.S.’s ability to finance the mammoth current account deficit. Some traders bought yen on news that Moody’s has upgraded ratings on four of Japan’s largest banks on account of their plans to dispose bad loans. Two of the four banks – Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group and UFJ Holdings – have a planned merger in process. Bank of Japan’s Policy Board will convene overnight and is not expected to announce any change to the central bank’s current quantitative easing framework. There are increasing signs, however, that Japan is inching closer to emerging from its long-standing grapple with deflation and a change in monetary policy could come as early as the April-June quarter 2005 according to many BoJ-watchers. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.9% to close at ¥11,227.57, its highest level since 8 October. Dollar offers are seen around the ¥105.80 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen today as the single currency tested bids around the ¥136.35 level after failing to get through the ¥137.15 level. Stops were hit below the ¥136.60 level during European dealing. In Chinese news, U.S. Treasury Secretary Snow talked about the Chinese yuan in Europe today, saying “Their public statements embrace the idea of moving to flexibility. They've taken a lot of steps to get their economy into a position where they can do so. "We praise them for that and we urge them to move as fast as they can.” Data released by People’s Bank of China today saw outstanding foreign currency deposits held by financial institutions rose 5.5% y/y to US$ 158.4 billion in the first ten months of this year.


The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8490 level after North American traders were unable to take the pair back above the $1.8550 level during early dealing. Many U.K. data are scheduled for release this week including labour market and unemployment data, retail sales, and inflation numbers. Cable was topped around the $1.8590 level today and bids are cited around the $1.8470 level. The euro traded in a narrow range vis-à-vis the pound today as the single currency tested offers around the £0.7005 level and was supported around the £0.6980 level.


The Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.1790 level after testing bids around the CHF 1.1695 level. The pair has now retraced more than half of its move from the CHF 1.1855 level to the CHF 1.1690 level. Swiss National Bank President Roth is schedule to speak twice this week and producer/import prices will be released tomorrow. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5260 level.


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