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Tuesday June 14, 2005 - 14:11:41 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (14 June 2005)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2055 level after tested offers around the $1.2150 level. The common currency retested daily highs in North American dealing after the release of softer-than-expected U.S. data. May headline retail sales fell 0.5% while the ex-autos component was off 0.2%. The big number was the release of the May producer price index that was reported down 0.6% m/m – the largest monthly decline since April 2003. The ex-food and energy “core” rate rose 0.1% as crude goods prices receded 2.0% last month – the largest decline since January. Traders have one day before finding out if the decrease in factory gate price pressures results in lower consumer price inflation pressures. Even if CPI are lower, they are unlikely to prevent the Federal Open Market Committee from tightening monetary policy when policymakers convene on 29-30 June. Three Fed speakers are on the docket for later today. U.S. Treasury Secretary Snow spoke today and underscored the importance for Europe to reach its growth potential. Snow also refused to comment on the euro. April Treasury International Capital data will be released tomorrow and will provide the latest measure of international portfolio flows in the U.S. and how well the U.S. is funding its massive current account deficits. Traders seem to be focusing less on the U.S.’s structural imbalances like the current account deficit lately given decent U.S. economic growth and many negative factors in Europe, including its own structural problems like unemployment and budgetary problems. In eurozone news, Bank of France reported French Q2 GDP growth will be around 0.5%. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2090/ 1.2120 levels.


The yen moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥109.10 level after failing to get above the ¥109.60 level. The pair moved to intraday lows following the release of less-than-stellar U.S. data in the North American session. The big question on traders’ minds is whether or not the dollar will have enough energy to trade with a ¥110 handle and what kind of options-related offers are in place below the figure. A mix of offers and stops are reported between the ¥109.90 and ¥110.00 levels. Data released in Japan overnight saw May corporate failures rise 1.5% m/m while Tokyo-area May department store sales receded 2.9% y/y, the 39th decline in 42 months. Finance minister Tanigaki spoke today and said he “doesn’t think it will be too long” before China revalues its currency. April machine orders will be released on Thursday. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.22% to close at ¥11,335.92. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥109.05/ ¥108.85 levels. The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥132.10 level and was capped around the ¥133.00 figure. Stops are cited below the ¥132.00 figure. In Chinese news, Asian Development Bank’s Kuroda called on China to revalue its yuan soon and gradually. People’s Bank of China downwardly revised its 2005 consumer price inflation forecast to 3%-3.5% from 4.0%, a possible indication the central bank may not need to tighten monetary policy this year. May retail sales gained 12.8% y/y to RMB 489.9 billion while May wholesale prices were up 3.2% y/y.

The British pound weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the $1.8030 level after spiking to the $1.8150 level in North American dealing. Less-than-stellar U.S. economic data saw the pair move to weekly highs. Data released in the U.K. today saw RICS house prices fall at their fastest pace since November 1992. Other data released today saw May CPI rise 1.9% y/y for the third consecutive month. Traders have recently been pricing in lower U.K. interest rates via the short sterling futures contract and today’s data have reduced the expectations of monetary expansion this year. Another sterling-positive event today was a speech by Bank of England Governor King who reported it is a “difficult” task to balance risks by added the Monetary Policy Committee will react “promptly” to whatever risks “appear to be materializing in the months ahead.” King noted that inflation is expanding near its long-run average but acknowledged that “domestic demand growth has weakened for five consecutive quarters.” King sees the Q1 growth of nearly 13% in broad money – its fastest pace since 1997 – as being inflationary and added import prices may continue to place upward pressure on inflation. Cable offers are cited around the $1.8160 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6660 level and was capped around the ₤0.6725 level.


The Swiss franc lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2775 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2670 level. Today’s high represents the pair’s strongest print since September 2004 and if the CHF 1.2780 level is absorbed, chartists will begin to eye the CHF 1.3135 level. Swiss National Bank will hold its quarterly monetary policy meeting on Thursday and is likely to keep the three-month LIBOR target range unchanged at 0.25% - 1.25%. Minor data released in Switzerland today saw May bankruptcies down 8.4% y/y. Traders also await remarks from SNB President Roth this week. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2460 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5375 level and was capped around the CHF 1.5410 level.


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