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Monday April 25, 2005 - 14:58:33 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (25 April 2005)

The euro came off sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2955 level and was capped around the $1.3070 level. Today’s low was around the 23.6% retracement level of the move from $1.3480 to $1.2770 and was just above the 50% retracement level of the move from $1.2770 to $1.3125. The move lower was accelerated after the release of the Ifo business confidence index. The headline sentiment index printed at 93.3 in April, down from 94.0 in March and lower than most expectations. This month’s print also represented the lowest since September 2003 and both the future expectations and current conditions indices receded this month. Ifo’s Nerb suggested Germany’s economy is not likely to fall into a recession but added private consumption “is not dynamic enough.” In other eurozone news, European Central Bank policymaker Garganas indicated oil prices will remain “high” for the foreseeable future and added the central bank “remains vigilant” on inflation. EU’s Alumnia was quoted as saying the ECB’s current policy is “not restrictive.” In U.S. news, data released today saw March existing home sales expand 1.0% to 6.89 million units, more-than-expected. Fed Governor Kohn spoke on Friday and said the Fed “should not hesitate to raise interest rates to contain inflation pressures just because it might set off a retrenchment in housing prices. "Nor should we hesitate to raise rates because higher rates mean higher debt-servicing burdens for the current account, the fiscal authority, or households.” He characterized the U.S. current account deficit as “worrisome.” Kohn let it be known that the Fed has not yet “finished the task” of tightening monetary policy. U.S. durable goods orders data will be released on Wednesday followed by GDP data on Thursday. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2985 level.


The yen moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥105.25 level and was capped around the ¥106.05 level. Today’s low represented the pair’s lowest level since 22 March and the pair gapped more than 50 points lower from Friday’s close. Speculation that China will accelerate the liberalization of its foreign exchange regime contributed to the yen’s move higher at the open. Data released in Japan today saw the March corporate services price index rise 0.6% m/m and February’s print was downwardly revised to 0.3% m/m. On an annualized basis, March’s rate was off 0.8% y/y, the 54th consecutive monthly decline. Other data released today saw March supermarket sales recede 4.2% y/y to ¥1.11 trillion, the sixteenth decline in seventeen months. On the political front, Prime Minister Koizumi’s Liberal Democratic Party secured victories in some regional elections yesterday. There continues to be speculation that North Korea may be planning to test a nuclear weapon soon despite a media report this weekend that North Korea will be returning to multilateral discussions soon. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.25% to close at ¥11,073.77. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥105.30 level and dollar offers are seen around the ¥106.00/ 30 levels. The euro came off sharply vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥137.10 level and was capped around the ¥138.10 level. A news story that Japanese investors plan to repatriate some €32 billion from government bonds maturing this week contributed to the pair’s losses, as did International Monetary Market data released this weekend that saw speculative short yet positions at multi-year highs. In Chinese news, deputy foreign exchange regulator Wei Benhua said China will “positively but prudently” accelerate yuan reforms. These remarks followed comments from Bank of China Governor Zhou who said there are “not political or technical” obstacles to revaluing the yuan. Wei, however, also said he does not favour a revaluation before early 2006. Data released in China today saw Q1 residential hour prices rise 13.5% y/y. China’s Academy of Social Sciences released a report today that predicts economic growth of 8.9% in 2005.

The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9080 level and was capped around the $1.9170 level. Stops were hit below the $1.9135/ 15 and $1.9090 levels during the move lower. Data released in the U.K. today saw Hometrack house prices move lower this month for the tenth consecutive month by 0.1% m/m and 1.5% y/y. On the political front, Labour is said to still hold a lead over the Tories ahead of nest month’s general election. Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown was reported as saying the “five tests” for euro entry remain. Cable offers are cited around the $1.9150/ 70 levels. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6780 level and was capped around the ₤0.6820 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.1920 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1800 figure. Today’s high represents the 38.2% retracement level of the move from CHF 1.1475 to CHF 1.2195. Swiss National Bank President Roth is scheduled to speak on Thursday. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.1835 level. The euro gained marginal ground as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5445 level and was supported around the CHF 1.5425 level.


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