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Friday May 6, 2005 - 13:09:48 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (6 May 2005)

The euro fell further vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency reacted negatively to a strong April U.S. non-farm payrolls report. The common currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2865 level – just above key technical short-term support around the $1.2945 level – and declined sharply below technical support around the $1.2900 figure. The U.S. economy added a reported 274,000 new jobs last month and the unemployment rate came in at 5.2%, as expected. The March jobs total was upwardly revised to +146,000 from +110,000 and average hourly earnings were up +0.3% m/m and +2.7% y/y, the strongest print on record. The April non-farm payrolls print was around 100,000 stronger than consensus forecasts. In traders’ minds, the implication is that the Fed will need to continue to tighten monetary policy as there is less slack in the labour markets and recent inflationary price pressures appear to be having a second-round effect on wages. Most Fed-watchers believe the Federal Open Market Committee will continue to raise the federal funds target rate every meeting by 25bps for at least two more meetings. In other U.S. news, the Congressional Budget Office is reporting that the fiscal year 2005 deficit will likely be below US$ 400 billion on account of stronger tax receipts. The single currency finished the day yesterday right around the 50% retracement level of the move from $1.2765 to $1.3120 and was capped through early North American dealing today by the 76.4% retracement level of the move from $1.3480 to $1.2765. The dollar weathered yesterday’s downgrade of General Motors’s and Ford’s credit ratings by Standard * Poor’s relatively well, an indication that more gains could be in store for U.S. equity markets. Data released in the eurozone today saw German March manufacturing orders climb 2.2% m/m, significantly above the consensus of 0.4%. Euro bids are cited around the $1.2850/ 25 levels.


The yen moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥104.80 level and was supported around the ¥104.40 level. Japanese financial markets reopened today after the Golden Week holidays and Australasian dealers lifted the pair to intraday highs before before buying back yen. European names sold the pair later in the day as the dollar spiked lower to the ¥104.55 level before being bought back. For the second consecutive day, the dollar was supported around the ¥104.05/ 00 level, a key technical point that represents the 23.6% retracement of the move from ¥111.70 to ¥101.70. Dealers report stops below this level and the burning question on traders’ minds remains if and when Japanese monetary authorities will intervene by selling yen should the dollar depreciate. One major impetus that is likely to see the yen appreciate will be the eventual revaluation of the Chinese yuan. Data released in Japan overnight saw the April monetary base expand 3.0% y/y, up from March’s 2.0% y/y rise. Other data saw April same-store sales decline 1.4% y/y. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.73% to close at ¥11,192.17. Options traders cite expiries at the ¥104.00 and ¥103.75 levels that run off at 1400 GMT today. Dollar offers are cited around the ¥105.45 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥135.70 level and was supported around the ¥135.30 level. The cross tested key technical support around the ¥134.95 level for four consecutive days this week and has been capped around the ¥135.75 level. In Chinese news, speculation is waning that the yuan will be revalued during the current week-long holiday period in China. Chinese financial officials will meet their U.S. counterparts in Washington, D.C. next week to discuss exchange rates. The issue of yuan revaluation is very politically-sensitive as Congress has promised to arrest the flood of Chinese textile imports and enact other anti-China economic protectionist measures should China not revalue in the relatively near future. Hong Kong Monetary Authority Yam today said a yuan revaluation will likely not see the yuan appreciate significantly.

The British pound depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8955 level after failing to get above the $1.9065 level. The pair was volatile throughout the Australasian and European sessions as Sydney took it lower to the $1.9025 level, Tokyo moved it to the $1.8990 level, and Europe took it lower to the $1.8955 level. Traders reacted to ongoing news regarding yesterday’s U.K. general election in which Prime Minister Blair won a historic third term and his Labour party maintained majority in Parliament, albeit a drastically reduced one. The pound came off on the notion that it will be more difficult for Blair and Labour to achieve some of their ambitious economic growth goals. The U.K. economy has the fourth worst structural fiscal deficit in the world behind Greece, the U.S., and Japan and if recent economic data continue on downward trajectory, Labour could have a difficult time managing the U.K. economy. Data released in the U.K. today saw April house prices unchanged m/m while the annual rate of house price inflation printed at 7.8%, its lowest level since June 2001. Other data released today saw the April BRC shop price index off 0.02% and up 0.47% y/y. Cable bids are cited around the $1.8915/ 1.8870 levels and cable offers are seen around the $1.9010 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6830 level and was supported around the ₤0.6795 level.


The Swiss franc lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.1960 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1930 level, a relatively narrow range. The dollar was supported above the CHF 1.1920 level, a technical support level that represents 38.2% of the move from CHF 1.1480 to CHF 1.2195. Light stops were hit above the CHF 1.1950 level, the 23.6% retracement level of the move from CHF 1.1735 to CHF 1.2015. Dollar bids are seen around the CHF 1.1875 level. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5485 level and was supported around the CHF 1.5455 level. Technically, the next upside target for the pair remains the CHF 1.5495 level.


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