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Wednesday June 8, 2005 - 14:05:27 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (8 June 2005)

The euro extended its recent move higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2340 level and remained supported around the $1.2275 level. Traders have been lifting the common currency higher over the past couple of days on concerns that Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan will intimate that the current monetary tightening cycle is nearing an end in congressional testimony tomorrow. Greenspan did little to allay this concern last night in satellite-delivered remarks to a Beijing international monetary conference. Dallas Fed President Fished stoked some dovish fires last week – at least temporarily – when he suggested the current contractionary cycle is nearing an end. Fed funds futures prices are now discounting around two more rate hikes by the end of 2005. Some of the euro’s gains have been led by advances on its cross rates where euro/sterling and euro/Swiss franc are fighting back from recent selling pressure. Traders today are shrugging off some recent pressures that have reduced confidence in the euro such as nascent Italian plans to bring back the lira and the French and Dutch ‘no’ votes at recent referenda to adopt the European Union constitution. There is also increased talk that Economic and Monetary Union in the eurozone may fail but policymakers are doing everything they can to discredit these rumours. The Italian government partner that suggested a move back to the lira is likely to release more plans on this subject on 19 June. Traders also largely shrugged off a report that the Dutch central bank reduced its 2005 economic forecast to 0.4% from 1.7%. European Central Bank President Trichet yesterday said he is not preparing the markets for a rate cut, a sign that he will probably not try to counter the recent political problems in the eurozone with a defensive rate reduction. ECB officials Weber and Issing are scheduled to speak later in the day. Bank of France Governor Noyer today said the current high amount of global liquidity “is not destined to last forever” and said policymakers will eventually need to remove some of it in the name of price stability – hawkish rhetoric. Traders await next week’s EU council meeting on 16-17 June and this weekend’s meeting of G8 finance ministers in London. Also, U.S. trade data will be released on Friday and April wholesale inventories data will be released today. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2360/ 90 levels.


The yen moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers just below the ¥107.00 figure and was supported around the ¥106.50 level. The yen was down across the board, including the euro, British pound, Swiss franc, and Australian dollar. The FT reported companies are considering pulling out of Japan if the country amends the commercial code and increases corporate costs. Data released in Japan overnight saw April industrial machinery orders climb 21.3% y/y but these data were countered by data that saw May bank lending down 2.7% y/y, the 89th consecutive decline. Other data saw the May M2+CDs money supply climb 1.5% y/y compared with a rise of 1.9% in April. Additionally, the May economy watchers’ index improved 0.5 points to 50.3, the fifth consecutive monthly improvement. The current conditions index printed above the “boom-or-bust” 50.0 level for the first time in nine months while the forward-looking index also printed above 50.0. This index is important because consumption accounts for 55% of Japan’s economy and a recovery is vital to Japan’s eventual emergence from its long-standing battle with deflation. Japan’s leading index came in at 25.0 for April while the coincident index printed at 44.4. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.57% to close at ¥11,281.03. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥106.75/ 60 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥130.80 level and topped out around the ¥131.85 level. Dealers cited demand for a Polish seven-year ¥75 billion samurai bond issuance overnight. In Chinese news, China announced that it sees oil consumption climbing around 3% per annum through 2020. U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Quarles last night said he does not expect U.S. Treasury yields to rise if Asian central banks slow their purchases because other players would pick up the slack.

The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8390 level and found support around the $1.8325 level. A spike down to the $1.8330 level in early European dealing shook out some weaker longs but the pair resumed its march higher and established an intraday high in early North American dealing. Data released in the U.K. today saw the May BRC shop price index climb 0.37% m/m and 0.65% y/y. CBI, on the other hand, issued a report that claims the U.K. retail slowdown has spread to the consumer services sector. Another report from the U.K. media today suggests confidence in the U.K. economy has receded sharply in recent weeks, possibly presaging a deterioration in final private demand. Cable offers are cited around the $1.8405/ 10 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6715 level and remained supported around the ₤0.6690 level.


The Swiss franc gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2410 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2465 level. Technically, the CHF 1.2430 level remains an important pivot point that represents a 38.2% retracement of the move from CHF 1.4270 to CHF 1.1300. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2370 level. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5340 level and was supported around the CHF 1.5295 level.


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