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Tuesday June 7, 2005 - 13:17:47 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (7 June 2005)

The euro gained a small amount of ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today and made a brief foray above the US$ 1.2300 figure but settled back around the $1.2280 level in early North American dealing. Thus far, today represents the fourth consecutive day the common currency has traded with a higher low. Bids kept the pair supported around the $1.2235 level during Australasian dealing and stops were triggered above the $1.2295 level. The drive to intraday lows followed somewhat dovish comments from European Central Bank President Trichet who said inflation expectations are low in the eurozone and added the ECB would do what it could to support consumer and business confidence. Dealers initially interpreted this as a signal that the ECB could move rates lower, a possibility that was raised by comments from ECB Chief Economist Issing yesterday. Trichet later amplified his remarks, saying he is not preparing the markets for a rate reduction as such a move would negatively impact the ECB’s credibility. Trichet added he expects EMU-12 economic growth to be marginally lower than Q1’s 0.5% q/q expansion and called talk about the disintegration of Economic and Monetary Union as “absurd.” Trichet also said he maintains “full confidence in the solidity of the euro” and said European integration is “proceeding too slowly.” European Union finance ministers convened last night and Luxembourg’s Juncker said the “process of ratification (of the EU constitution) is not dead.” The European Commission is likely to announce disciplinary measures against Italy this afternoon for repeatedly breaching its 3% deficit limit. Addressing the same Beijing satellite by conference, Fed Chairman Greenspan conceded he does not know why long-term U.S. bond yields are low even though the Fed has been tightening monetary policy but added “new forces” appear to be at work. Data released in the eurozone today saw German industrial production rise 1.1% m/m in April. Also, France reported its January-April deficit came in at €42.25 billion, up €2.65 billion y/y. Options-related selling pressure was noted around today’s high and euro bids are seen around the $1.2140 level in support of a 15 June expiry and around the $1.2125 level in support of a 22 June run-off. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2335 level.


The yen gained a small amount of ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids just above the ¥106.50 level and briefly tested offers above the ¥107.00 figure. The ¥106.70 level represents a key technical pivot point, the 38.2% retracement of the ¥114.90-101.67 range. Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Muto today reiterated the central bank is committee to its quantitative easing framework until the consumer price index stabilizes. Data released in Japan today saw its foreign reserves decline to US$ 842.468 billion at the end of May. Also, April all-household spending climbed +1.0% but was off 3.0% y/y. Additionally, Teikoku business confidence improved for the third consecutive month last month. Finance minister Tanigaki today said China and its yuan currency may be possible topics at next month’s G8 meeting in Scotland. Nikkei reported that annualized January-March GDP data will likely be downwardly revised next week. Ratings agency Fitch released a report today that indicated Japan’s banking crisis has ended and called for more regional consolidation in the banking sector. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.47% to close at ¥11,217.45. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥106.70 and ¥105.90 levels. The euro was little-changed vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥130.80 level and was capped around the ¥131.45 level. Euro offers are seen around the ¥131.50/ 80 levels and the cross remains a mere 60 pips from testing eleven-month lows. In Chinese news, Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan and European Central Bank President Trichet addresses a Beijing international monetary conference overnight. Greenspan indicated he expects a yuan revaluation “reasonably soon” but conceded such a move will not result in much shrinkage of the U.S. trade deficit because countries other than China would sell their goods more cheaply to Americans. People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou reiterated China’s commitment to reforming the yuan but added the domestic financial system must be ready for such a move and said “too great” expectations are not good. He also called for a global consensus to reform the FX market and to address global economic imbalances. Notably, Zhou suggested China’s current account surplus is not a problem. Rumours were flying in Asian dealing that China would adjust the exchange rate in the next 30 days because Chinese President Hu Jintao will likely attend the G8 conference in Scotland next month. ING Beijing predicted China will revalue its yuan currency by 10% by August and said other Asian currencies will follow suit with a 1% to 4% adjustment. Data released in China overnight saw China’s foreign debt rise to US$ 233.41 billion as of the end of March, up 2.11% from end-2004 figures.

The British pound gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8325 level and was supported just above the $1.8200 figure. Stops were reached above the $1.8270 level, the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.8910 to $1.8075. Data released in the U.K. today saw May BRC like-for-like retail sales fall 2.4% y/y, a slight improvement from April’s 4.7% decline. Notably, these data contrast with Bank of England’s prediction that consumer spending will rebound. Other data released today saw Halifax house prices recede 0.6% m/m in May and climb 5.7% y/y. BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee is expected to keep borrowing costs unchanged when its interest rate decision is announced on Thursday. Cable offers are cited around the $1.8330/ 55 levels while bids are seen around the $1.8280/ 55 levels. The euro came off marginally vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6705 level and was capped around the ₤0.6740 level. Euro bids are seen around the ₤0.6695 level.


The Swiss franc gained some ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2430 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2515 level. Stops were reached around the CHF 1.2460 level, the 38.2% retracement of the move from CHF 1.2245 to CHF 1.2595. Similarly, today’s low was just above the 38.2% retracement of the move from CHF 1.2150 to CHF 1.2595. Swiss April retail sales data will be released tomorrow. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2420 level. The euro moved marginally lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids just below the CHF 1.5300 figure and was capped around the CHF 1.5325 level.


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