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Tuesday May 10, 2005 - 14:02:12 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (10 May 2005)

The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2875 level and was supported around the $1.2815 level. The common currency moved back above technical resistance around the $1.2850 level and chartists cite another line of selling pressure around the $1.2900 figure. The pair reversed course after moving lower during Australasian dealing and added to yesterday’s gains that were inspired after the pair tested technical support around the $1.2800 figure. Traders await the release of tomorrow’s U.S. March trade balance data and they are expected to evidence a shortfall of some US$ 61.0 billion. The U.S. Treasury International Capital (TIC) data will be released next week and will confirm whether or not international portfolio inflows covered the deficit in March. Portfolio flows in January and February sufficiently covered the U.S.’s trade deficits in those months but dollar bears wonder how long the U.S. can keep running structural deficits like this. Dollar bulls, on the other hand, suggest this is a function of the U.S. being the “world’s growth engine” and suggest that rising U.S. debt yields will only encourage further portfolio inflows, leading to renewed U.S. dollar strength. Data released in the eurozone today saw Germany’s March trade surplus at €16.3 billion after February’s €13.6 billion print. Other data released today saw German wholesale prices rise 0.3% m/m and 3.2% y/y. Fed officials Bies, Poole, Gramlich, and Ferguson will speak tomorrow. Euro bids are seen around the $1.2815 level and euro offers are cited around the $1.2940 level.


The yen was little changed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥105.95 level and was supported around the ¥105.55 level. The pair shied away from testing the ¥105.98/ ¥106.00 level, the 38.2% retracement level of the move from ¥108.90 to ¥104.20. Economy Minister Takenaka talked up the Japanese economy today saying “We maintain our view that that the nation's economy will rebound after the mid-year” while finance minister Tanigaki reiterated China will make an “appropriate decision” about the yuan. Data released in Japan today saw March all household spending flat m/m and flat y/y, up from February’s -3.7% y/y pace. These data are important because they evidence a reversal in the recent downward trend in final private demand and could precede the beginning of the end for deflation, Japan’s long-standing economic enemy. Capital flows data released today saw foreign investors sell a net ¥11.1 billion of Japanese equities in the latest week while they bought ¥510.1 billion of JGBs. Japanese investors purchased a net ¥426.4 billion of foreign bonds and purchase net ¥75.4 billion in foreign equities. This represented the fifth consecutive week that Japanese investors were net buyers of foreign bonds and the third consecutive week that foreigners were net sellers of Japanese equities. On the energy front, OPEC reportedly announced it will increase output to 30.3 million bpd this month, up 600,000 from April’s level. The Nikkei 225 stock index came off 0.11% to close at ¥11,159.46. Dollar offers are cited around the ¥105.85/ ¥106.55 level and dollar bids are seen around the ¥105.30 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥135.95 level and was supported around the ¥135.60 level. Euro offers are seen around the ¥136.20 level and euro bids are cited around the ¥135.50 level. In Chinese news, a U.S. Treasury official late yesterday characterized bilateral U.S.-Chinese talks regarding China’s yuan exchange rate “productive” and added China is a step closer to revaluing the RMB. Treasury Secretary Snow yesterday called on China to liberalize its foreign exchange regime. China will introduce official trading in eight foreign currency pairs on 18 May and some market participants believe this may coincide with a larger announcement about revaluation. One-year discount rates on non-deliverable yuan forwards narrowed slightly to 4,500/ 4,650 from 4,500/ 4,700.

The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8760 level and was capped around the $1.8865 level. Technically, the former represents the 23.6% retracement of the move from the $1.9325 level to the $1.8590 level and the latter represents the 38.2% retracement of the same range. Data released in the U.K. today saw BRC April like-for-like retail sales fall 4.7% y/y, the worst print on record. Also, IDS reported April pay deals were downwardly revised while Land Registry reported that house prices in England and Wales steadied in the first three months of 2005. Traders are reducing sterling exposure ahead of tomorrow’s all-important Bank of England Quarterly Inflation Report that will signal whether or not Monetary Policy Committee members believe their current monetary policy stance is appropriate. Further cable offers are seen around the $1.8905/ 35 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6840 level and was supported around the ₤0.6815 level. Euro offers are cited around the ₤0.6850 level.


The Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2005 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2070 level. Stops were reached below the CHF 1.2525 level as the pair added to yesterday’s losses. Today’s low coincides with a 23.6% retracement of the move from CHF 1.1738 to CHF 1.2095. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.1985 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the pair tested bids around the CHF 1.5455 level and was capped around the CHF 1.5490 level.


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