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Friday June 10, 2005 - 13:26:55 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (10 June 2005)

The euro tumbled vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2180 level, a new weekly low, after the release of the U.S. April trade deficit that came in just better than expectations at -US$ 57.0 billion. Importantly, March’s tally was upwardly revised from –US$ 55.0 billion, suggesting the recent lower prints may not be anomalies and a trend may be developing wherein the U.S. requires less overseas investment to fund its mammoth imbalances. The common currency moved back to the $1.2230 level after the number but failed to hold that level and quickly came off. Earlier, the pair had traded as high as the $1.2245 level. Other data released today saw the May import price index print at -1.3%, down from April’s print of +0.80%. The recent decrease in imported price inflation will likely have little, if any, impact on the dollar because Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan made it abundantly clear yesterday that the Federal Open Market Committee believes rates will continue to be raised at a “measured pace.” Traders are also talking about Greenspan’s comments regarding the U.S. housing market. Greenspan said a “froth” is evident in some areas of the country where prices have escalated to unsustainable levels, but made it clear he does not believe the housing sector is experiencing an “asset bubble” and said the U.S. economy as a whole is “on a reasonable firm footing.” Data released in the eurozone today saw German wholesale prices fall 1.0% m/m in May, while the annual rate receded to +1.7% from +3.2% in April. France’s trade deficit worsened to -€3.215 billion in April from March’s €2.344 billion level while French manufacturing output improved in April. European Central Bank Chief Economist Issing talked yesterday and countered criticism that a “one-size-fits-all” monetary policy straitjackets certain countries in the eurozone. He conceded, however, that “Paradoxically, EMU could be identified by European citizens as the cause of low growth and employment creation.” Euro offers are cited around the $1.2250/ 80 levels.


The yen was flat vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today, confined to a very tight range that supported the greenback around the ¥107.30 level and capped the pair around the ¥107.60 level. The yen’s moves were limited on its crosses as well with the exception of sterling/ yen. Data released in Japan today saw the May domestic corporate goods price index fall 0.1% m/m and climb 1.8% y/y, an indication that deflation remains a problem at the factory gate level. Finance minister Tanigaki, who will attend this weekend’s G8 meeting of finance ministers in London, today said China’s yuan policy should be more flexible but said the decision is China’s to make. Nikkei reported Bank of Japan will inject some ¥ 670 billion into the money market early next week to prevent the current account surplus from falling below target. The central bank has recently agreed to permit the current account surplus to drop below its ¥30 – 35 trillion range and today’s early indication about next week’s decision is likely a signal to G8 policymakers that Japan will continue to fight its persistently stubborn deflation. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 1.28% today to close at ¥11,304.23. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥107.20/ 106.95 levels. The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥131.10 level and printed just above the ¥131.65 level. Euro bids are seen around the ¥130.90 level and offers are seen around the ¥131.90 level. In Chinese news, People’s Bank of China kept its base interest rate unchanged at 3.25% today whereas most PBOC-watchers anticipated a +25bps move to higher rates on account of high core inflation data for May. China Securities Journal published a piece today that concluded the government’s only option for arresting trade disputes is to revalue the yuan. Data released in China overnight saw May industrial ex-factory prices rise 5.9% y/y. Also, January-May exports printed at US$ 276.4 billion, up 33.2% y/y, while imports were at US$ 246.38 billion, up 13.7% y/y.

The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8260 level and was supported around the $1.8175 level. Minor data released in the U.K. today saw the NIESR GDP measure up 0.3% in the three months to May from April’s three month period. Also, John Lewis Partnership department store sales rose 5.0% y/y in the week to 4 June. Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown will host this weekend’s G8 meeting of finance ministers in London. Brown and the U.K. are at odds with the European Union about the massive rebate the U.K. receives every year pursuant to its membership in the EU that Prime Minister Thatcher negotiated in the 1980s. The Financial Times today reported that U.K. interest rates will likely moved lower as early as August. Short sterling interest rate futures are pricing in a +25bps monetary easing in Q4 – perhaps around the time of the November quarterly inflation report. PPI, CPI, and labour market data will be released in the U.K. next week. Cable offers are seen around the $1.8260 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency receded to the ₤0.6690 level after failing to get above the ₤0.6720 level in active dealing.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2600 figure and was supported around the CHF 1.2520 level. Today’s print was actually the pair’s strongest since 13 October 2004. Credit Suisse today released a revised forecast for 2005 GDP growth in Switzerland and now expect it to come in around 1.3% from its earlier 1.6% level. Credit Suisse also believes Swiss National Bank will not tighten policy before the spring of 2006. SNB will convene next Thursday to deliberate monetary policy. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2525/ 05 levels. The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5355 level and held the CHF 1.5325 level.


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