Thursday June 9, 2005 - 15:01:14 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (9 June 2005)
The euro was flat vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2210 level and was capped around the $1.2250 level. Dealers moved the single currency higher after the release of Fed Chairman Greenspan’s comments wherein he said policymakers continue to “confront the same imbalances and uncertainties” that the Fed dealt with one year ago. Regarding interest rates, Greenspan said the Federal Open Market Committee” foresees further “measured” rate increases. The U.S. dollar has been offered this week on expectations that Greenspan would not counter comments from Dallas Fed President Fisher last week that suggested the Fed may be near the end of its current tightening cycle. The Fed chief also said the Fed does not believe recent economic data presages additional economic weakness, essentially discounting the recent “soft patch” the U.S. economy has undergone. Traders will closely monitor the question and answer session with legislators. The White House yesterday said it is maintaining its 2005 GDP forecast of +3.4% and upped its overall inflation forecast to +2.9%. A G8 source today said the G8 is likely to call for more Asian currency flexibility this weekend and additional U.S. budget consolidation. The G8 is also said to seek more structural reforms from Europe and Japan. The real question on traders’ minds is what the G8 will say regarding Europe’s recent political problems. Data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims fall 21,000 to 330,000. In eurozone news, France indicated its €4.5 billion jobs plan will “not boost” its government’s deficit. The European Central Bank released its June monthly report today in which it reported it expects underlying inflation pressure will “remain contained” but reiterated its “remains vigilant for upside risks to price stability.” ECB’s Liikanen today said EMU-12 inflationary pressures remain contained while Germany’s Ifo’s Sinn said the euro will recover when the current EU constitutional crisis has abated. Data released in the eurozone today saw Germany’s April trade surplus at €12.6 billion, down from €14.7 billion in March, while final May HICP was downwardly revised to +0.2% m/m and +1.4% y/y. Traders await tomorrow’s April trade data and many economist expect a widening of the gap to around US$ 58 billion. Euro stops are cited above the $1.2265 level.
The yen came off marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥107.60 level and was supported around the ¥107.10 level. The pair moved to intraday highs during North American dealing and came within 30 pips of establishing weekly highs. Data released in Japan today saw the May consumer confidence index rise to 48.3 from 47.4 in April while the April current account surplus rose 5.2% y/y to ¥1.6269 trillion. Also, capital flows data released overnight saw foreign investors as net buyers of Japanese equities for the third time in the past five weeks. Dealers will closely be watching Japanese finance minister Tanigaki in London this weekend to see if he offers any comments about the political fallout between Japan and China or if he reiterates the government’s position regarding the need for Bank of Japan to maintain its quantitative easing framework. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.07% to close at ¥11,160.88. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥106.95/ 85 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥131.65 level and was supported around the ¥130.90 level. Today’s high represents a 76.4% retracement of the weekly range. Bids are cited around the ¥130.80 level. In Chinese news, it was reconfirmed that Chinese finance minister Jin Renqing will attend the G8 meeting of finance ministers in London this weekend. Also, China’s Ministry of Commerce predicted China’s economy will likely expand more than 8% this year, the current official growth target. President Bush talked about China’s yuan currency yesterday saying he believes China understands “they’ve got to do something” while New York Senator Schumer said political support for the anti-Chinese goods bill in Congress is “very large.”
The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8185 level after peaking around the $1.8285 level during Asian dealing. Sterling spiked to the $1.8250/ 55 level during North American dealing – the 50% retracement level of the move from $1.8430 to $1.8075. Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates unchanged at 4.75% today for the tenth consecutive month, as expected. The pair gained some ground during European dealing after the released of U.K. economic data that revealed manufacturing output expanded 0.9% in April, more than the 0.4% forecast and significantly above March’s 1.6% decline while industrial production climbed 0.9%. Some MPC-watchers now believe policymakers will begin to ease policy, perhaps as early as August. Cable offers are seen around the $1.8295 level and cable bids are seen around the $1.8160 level. The euro came off marginally vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6690 level and was capped around the ₤0.6715 level.
The Swiss franc lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback climbed to the CHF 1.2575 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2510 level. The pair galloped above the CHF 1.2550 level after hitting stops above that area during Chairman Greenspan’s testimony. The pair is close to establishing a new multi-month high dating to October 2004. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5315 level and was capped around the CHF 1.5350 level.
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