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Thursday April 7, 2005 - 14:46:38 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (7 April 2005)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2940 level, around the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.1755 to $1.3660. The common currency is now registering a net gain on the week but is still not close to testing last week’s high of $1.3060. European Central Bank maintained interest rates at 2% today, as expected. ECB President Trichet today said the central bank has not “changed (its) assessment of risks to price stability over the medium term” but added “upside risks to price stability remain.” Trichet cited the build-up in oil prices as a factor that could lead to second-round wage and price increased. Concerning economic growth, he said “conditions remain in place for moderate economic growth.” Some traders believe additional inflation may be inevitable in the eurozone on account of the low level of borrowing costs. Data released in the eurozone today saw German February industrial output down 2.2% m/m, far below expectations. Data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims recede 19,000 to 334,000, partially erasing last week’s increase. Dealers will closely monitor next week’s trade data and capital flows data to see how successful the U.S. has been in terms of covering its massive trade imbalance. Early estimates have the February deficit widening to US$ 59.00 billion. Central Bank of the Russian Federation today reported its foreign exchange reserves will grow by US$ 53 billion in 2005 and $30 billion in 2006. Euro bids are seen around the $1.2880 level and offers are seen around the $1.3085 level.


The yen gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥108.10 level after failing to get above the ¥108.75 level during Australasian dealing. Stops were executed below the ¥108.30 level during the move lower and many dealers expect the pair to test the technically-important ¥107.90 level by the end of the week. Bank of Japan Governor Fukui prepared the markets for an eventual change to the central bank’s liquidity target saying “Even if we lower (the liquidity target), it will not be a monetary tightening but an adjustment to make the quantitative monetary-easing framework last.” Data released in Japan overnight saw Japan’s March foreign exchange reserves fall US$ 2.85 billion to US$ 837.72 billion. Also, Japanese were net buyers of foreign bonds last week for only the fourth time in eleven weeks while foreigners were net sellers of Japanese equities for the first time this year. Specifically, Japanese investors bought a net ¥298.7 billion in foreign bonds last week and bought some ¥100 billion in foreign stocks last week. Despite today’s pullback, many traders believe the dollar will resume its ascent and eventually test offers above the psychologically-important ¥110 figure. Other data released today saw the value of orders for machine tools rise 11% m/m and 16.7% y/y in March to ¥118.532 billion. The Nikkei 225 stock index shed 0.14% to close at ¥11,810.99 today. Dollar offers are seen around the ¥109.85 level while dollar bids are seen around the ¥107.85 level. The euro came off marginally vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥139.65 level and was capped around the ¥140.10 level during Australasian dealing. In Chinese news, the March consumer confidence index rose to 94.4 from 93.9 in February, its ninth straight m/m improvement.

The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8755 level and was capped around the $1.8855 level. Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee today voted to keep its repo rate unchanged at 4.75% for the eighth consecutive month. Two MPC members voted for tighter monetary policy last month and dealers will await this month’s MPC minutes in a couple of weeks. Sterling was dented by data that showed weaker-than-expected U.S. manufacturing production fell 0.5% m/m while January’s tally was downwardly revised to evidence no growth. This marked the first time that manufacturing output declined in five months and is troublesome because manufacturing accounts for nearly 20% of U.K. GDP. Other data released today saw the U.K. BRC March shop price index up 0.53% and down 0.18% y/y. Also, February construction orders were up 6% y/y. Cable offers are cited around the $1.8875 level while bids are seen around the $1.8745 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6885 level and was supported around the ₤0.6840 level. Euro offers are seen around the ₤0.6915 level.


The Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.1970 level after failing to get through the CHF 1.2060 level. Data released in Switzerland today saw KOF predict Swiss GDP will rise 1.6% in 2005 and 2.1% in 2006 accompanied by export growth of 2.5% this year and 5.0% in 2006. Dollar bids are seen around the CHF 1.1945 level while dollar offers are seen around the CHF 1.2010 level. The euro fell lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5480 level and was capped around the CHF 1.5520 level.


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