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Tuesday July 5, 2005 - 15:12:46 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (5 July 2005)

The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.1940 level and was supported around the $1.1870 level. Today’s low represents a fresh multi-month low and the common currency has not been this week since May 2004. The pair spiked to an intraday high in European dealing after Market News International cited an anonymous European Central Bank source who indicated the next move for eurozone interest rates would be higher and not lower. Many traders currently believe the ECB will be forced to expand monetary policy before the end of the year. Another reason cited for the euro’s gains today was a larger-than-expected 1.1% m/m and 2.0% y/y rise in EMU-12 retail sales. Data released in the U.S. today saw May factory orders rise 2.9% in May, the best print in fourteen months and above March’s and April’s 0.7% expansions. Ex-transportation, factory orders were off 0.1%, an improvement over April’s 0.4% decline. May durable goods orders improved 5.5%, up from 1.5% in April. Traders will continue to position themselves ahead of this week’s key June U.S. non-farm payrolls report with most forecasts focusing on gains of just under 200,000 jobs last month. Other eurozone data released today saw Germany May retail sales gain 1.2% m/m and 2.7% y/y. Traders will also closely watch this week’s G8 summit in Gleneagles and how President Bush interacts with European leaders. Market participants also want to see how sour relations are between the U.K. and other European countries – particularly France – given their current public row regarding the U.K.’s multi-billion euro rebate from the EU and France’s unwavering stance on agricultural farm subsidies. Euro bids are seen around the $1.1865 level while euro offers are cited around the $1.1940/ 50 levels.


The yen lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥112.15 level, its highest level since 30 July 2004. European players pushed the pair to multi-month highs, briefly testing resistance above the ¥112.00 figure. The yen had mixed success against other major currencies with the euro and Swiss franc yen crosses strengthening and British pound and Australian dollar yen crosses depreciating. Finance minister Tanigaki said the effect of high oil prices on the global economy “should be carefully monitored.” NYMEX crude futures are creeping higher towards the $60.00 level and dealers typically believe this impacts the Japanese economy more than others on account of its significant dependence on imported energy. Traders are watching Japan’s Diet to see if key legislation that would reform the colossal postal savings system passes both houses. Option traders had cited an option barrier around the ¥112.00 figure but this crumbled earlier and another option barrier is seen around the ¥112.50 level. The Nikkei 225 stock index shed 0.30% to close at ¥11,616.70. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥111.50/ 30 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥133.35 level and was supported around the ¥132.70 area. Euro offers are seen around the ¥133.50/ 60 levels. In Chinese news, all eyes are on this week’s G8 summit in Gleneagles and whether or not officials pressure Chinese President Hu Jintao regarding reform of China’s yuan currency. Hu will visit the United States in September and some dealers believe this could coincide with more details about liberalization of China’s foreign exchange regime.

The British pound extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.7505 level after failing to get above the $1.7620 level earlier in European dealing. Data released in the U.K. today saw June retail sales off 0.5% y/y but the decline was less than many expected. Also, Nationwide reported that U.K. consumer confidence fell last month while CIPS indicated the U.K. services PMI measures improved to 55.8 last month from 55.1 in May. Today’s data call into question the market’s current view that Bank of England’s next monetary policy move will be towards lower rates. BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee convenes tomorrow and Thursday and while a change in policy is not expected, any indication that more than two policymakers voted for a cut will be seen as dovish for rate expectations. Cable offers are seen around the $1.7585/ $1.7645 levels while cable bids are cited around the $1.7480 level. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6785 level and was supported around the ₤0.6755 level.


The Swiss franc gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2995 level and failed to gain traction above the CHF 1.3070 level, a fresh multi-month high dating to May 2004. Many dealers cite increased sales of the Swiss franc for the U.S. dollar on account of carry trades, a strategy that reflects the low cost of borrowing in Switzerland. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2945 level. The euro gained small ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5530 level while the British pound came off and tested bids around the CHF 2.2865 level.


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