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Wednesday June 29, 2005 - 14:10:09 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (29 June 2005)

The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2025 level after failing to get above the $1.2075 level. The pair move towards retesting intraday lows after the release of final Q1 U.S. GDP data that saw a +3.8% print, above expectations and above the previous revision of +3.5% and initial estimate of +3.1%. Also, the GDP inflation measure rose 2.0% in Q1, down from the previous estimate of 2.2% and up from Q4’s 1.7% level. The Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day interest rate meetings began today and dealers await the Fed’s decision at 18:15 GMT tomorrow. Most traders believe the Fed will lift the federal funds target rate by +25bps and the real question remains what the Fed will say about inflation prospects and whether they offer any clues about a pause in monetary tightening. Data released in the eurozone today saw French May producer price inflation fall 0.3% m/m and up 2.4% y/y. Germany’s DIW institute downwardly revised its 2005 GDP forecast to +0.9% from +1.8% and lowered its Q2 GDP forecast to -0.1% q/q from +0.2%. Similarly, the IMF raised its 2005 GDP forecast to 1.0%. Also, Bundesbank upwardly revised Germany’s April industrial output to 1.3% from March’s level. The European Commission today reported Italy must remedy its budget deficit by the end of 2007 and Fitch Ratings reduced Italy’s credit ratings outlook to negative, as it has done with Portugal. In other European Union news, French Prime Minister de Villepin called on the European Central Bank to increase its dialogue with eurozone countries to “coordinate economic policies in the region.” Euro bids are cited around the $1.1980 level with stops below that area.


The yen extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥110.40 level and was supported around the ¥109.70 level. This represented the pair’s highest level since 8 October 2004 and dealers suggest the pair’s upside is now only limited by an option barrier that is cited around the ¥110.50 level. Data released in Japan overnight saw May industrial production decline 2.3% m/m and was up +0.9% y/y. The government is forecasting industrial production growth of +1.7% in June but next month’s tally is expected to fall 1.2%. As has been the case in recent months, adjustments in the information technology sector were behind the weak industrial production number. Other data released today saw May construction machinery shipments climb 15.2% y/y. Also, it was reported that Japanese direct investment overseas fell 6.3% to ¥3.82 trillion. Traders continue to monitor the price of oil and its damaging effect on Japan’s economy; NYMEX futures are back down around $58.00 on profit-taking. Dealers await Friday’s release of the quarterly Bank of Japan tankan survey of consumer sentiment. Most forecasts are pointing to a marginal pullback in corporate sentiment among large manufacturers and non-manufacturers on account of higher oil prices. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.55% to close at ¥11,577.44. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥109.55 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency traded as high as the ¥133.20 level and was supported around the ¥132.45 area. Stops were reached above the ¥132.80 level. In Chinese news, People’s Bank of China has been criticized by the National Audit Office for “off-budget spending.” Also, the official government newspaper – People’s Daily – published a significant piece about why China has to revalue the yuan carefully. Chinese officials will attend the G8 summit in Gleneagles but are unlikely to revalue the yuan anytime soon.

The British pound depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8020 level and was capped around the $1.8180 level. Many traders believe the pair is headed towards to $1.7965 level that, if broken, would open up the $1.7480 area. Data released in the U.K. today saw BoE May mortgage approvals print at 96,000, up from April’s 95,000 tally and the strongest print since July 2004. Also, May net consumer credit came in around ₤1.845 billion, up from ₤1.337 billion in April. In contrast, CBI reported June sales could be the worse on record with the total sales volume falling to -19 from -7 in May. The underlying three-month sales balance printed at -13, down from -10 in May. These data are important because they suggest final private demand is waning. Many dealers believe Bank of England’s next interest rate will be lower, probably in H2. Cable offers are cited around the $1.8085 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6680 level and was supported around the ₤0.6625 level.


The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2855 level and was supported around the $1.2785 level. Data released in Switzerland today saw the June KOF leading indicator print at 0.46 while the May and June tallies were downwardly revised to 0.49 and 0.53, respectively. These data suggest Swiss economic growth may be stagnant through Q3 and Q4. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2735 level. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5475 level and was supported around the CHF 1.5430 level.


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