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Thursday June 10, 2004 - 15:42:07 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (10 June 2004)

The euro erased some losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today and moved into positive territory as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2085 level after finding bids around the $1.2025 level. The move to an intraday high saw the common currency test its 200-day moving average at 1.2080 and Asian names were seen buying the pair around the $1.2050 level. Chartists cite technical bids around the $1.1995 level that represents a 61.8% retracement of the $1.1749/1.2349 range. Data released in the U.S. today saw a surprising 12,000 increase in weekly jobless claims to 352,000 but continuing claims were down 106,000 to 2.881 million. Other U.S. data released today saw May import prices increase 1.6% in May with petroleum prices up 10.3% last month. The ECB released its monthly report today and said “external and domestic conditions are such that the economic recovery in the euro area is likely to be sustained in the remainder of this year and to gather pace later on." The central bank added “short-term indicators of household spending, while mixed, suggest that private consumption growth may remain robust in the second quarter of 2004… On the downside, future developments in oil and commodity prices pose a risk.” ECB’s Noyer spoke today and chastised his native France for not doing enough to control public spending. French public spending is 54.4% of GDP and policymakers want it below 50.0%. Noyer’s comments were a direct rebuttal to France’s call for a change to the ECB’s mandate of maintaining price stability as a principal function. Data released in the eurozone today saw French Q1 non-farm payrolls lower while French April manufacturing output climbed +0.4% m/m and +0.1% y/y. New York Fed President Geithner was on the wires yesterday saying the FOMC “will do what is necessary to achieve price stability” while Treasury Secretary Snow said U.S. tax receipts are above forecast. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2100 figure with technical bids cited around the $1.1995 level. Euro stops are cited below the $1.1990/50 levels.


The yen gained more ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥109.15 level after failing to get above the ¥110.60 level during Australasian dealing. Traders reacted to robust Japanese economic data that saw April core machinery orders up 11.8% m/m and 16.9% y/y. Also, the May domestic CGPI was up 0.1% m/m and 1.1% y/y while the April current account surplus was up 23.1% y/y. Capital flows data released overnight saw substantial net yen outflows of ¥1.6848 trillion in the five trading days to 4 June. Options traders cite a large option roll-off at 1400 GMT at the ¥110.00 figure and this may be keeping the dollar depressed. MoF’s Hayashi spoke today and said a “rapid and premature” rise in long-term yields is not good but in reality, higher yields are reflective of the improving economic data that have been released lately. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.10% to close at ¥11,575.97. Dollar offers are cited around the ¥110.50/ ¥111.00 levels with stops seen above the ¥111.10 level. The euro fell sharply vis-à-vis the yen today as the single currency tested bids around the ¥131.55 level but recovered above the ¥132.00 figure during North American dealing. Euro offers are cited around the ¥133.00 figure with euro bids cited around the ¥131.85 level.


The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8190 level before moving back to the $1.8300 figure during North American dealing. Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee today voted to raise its repo rate by 25bps to 4.50% in a decision that represented its first back-to-back interest rate hike in four years. Today’s tightening also represented the fourth hike during this current tightening cycle. The MPC reported "…the global economic recovery is continuing. In the UK, official data and business surveys suggest that output growth remains around, or above, trend…household spending, public consumption and investment have all grown strongly (along with) the housing market.” The MPC also made it clear the move was made to control future inflation and alluded to the “rising” cost pressures saying “as indicated in the May Inflation Report, a small and diminishing margin of spare capacity means that the inflationary pressures are likely to continue to build." Many traders believe the MPC may be on hold until August when the next Inflation Report will be released. The euro tested offers around the £0.6620 level and tested bids around the £0.6575 level. A large U.K. bank was seen selling a large amount of the cross during early London dealing.


The Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2435 level after being capped around the CHF 1.2575 level. The move lower during North American dealing was sharp as the pair absorbed some important technical support levels. Swiss National Bank added one-week liquidity at 0.11% today, the same level it has used since 2 April 2003. Many traders are buying Swiss francs ahead of the SNB’s policy announcement next week in anticipation of a tighter monetary policy. The euro spiked lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc today as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5040 level.


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