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Wednesday July 6, 2005 - 14:53:48 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (6 July 2005)

The euro retraced most of its intraday gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency ran out of steam around the US$ 1.1950 level. The common currency remained supported around the $1.1890 level and today’s range is similar to yesterday’s daily activity. All eyes are on the Group of Eight summit that begins today in Gleneagles, Scotland. A preliminary copy of G8 officials’ communiqué was reported in the media last night and it did not have any comment about currencies. Nevertheless, traders will closely monitor all developments to see how much pressure – if any – officials exert on Chinese President Hu regarding China’s yuan currency. Development aid for Africa is also on the agenda and dealers believe it will be interesting to see if the U.K. and eurozone – particularly France – paper over their differences regarding transfer payment rebates to the U.K. and continental farm subsidies. Another issue for the euro remains some political wrangling in Italy where the Northern League political party confirmed it has about 100,000 of the 500,000 signatures required to try and hold a referendum regarding reintroduction of the lira. Traders will see a referendum as a major blow to the common currency. European Central Bank President Trichet today called for structural reforms in Europe, a plea he has made before. Other dire news out of the eurozone today saw the Italian government confirmed public debt may reach 108.2% of GDP in 2005, up from 106.6% in 2004 while French finance minister Breton warned French GDP growth may fall below 2% this year. European Central Bank will announce its monetary policy decision tomorrow and is not expected to change interest rates at this time. ECB’s Caruana today said the current monetary policy landscape is not an obstacle to economic growth while Bundesbank’s Reckers suggested the ECB will not change rates until the summer of 2006. Data released in the eurozone today saw German May manufacturing orders climb 2.7% m/m, more-than-expected. Also, EMU-12 PMU printed at 49.1 last month, down from May’s 50.2 print. In U.S. news, St. Louis Fed President Poole speaks about Fed policy after Chairman Greenspan’s retirement in January today. Data scheduled for release in the U.S. today includes the ISM’s non-manufacturing index for June and it is expected to improve to 59.0 last month from 58.5 in May. Euro offers are cited around the $1.1965/ 95 levels.


The yen remained in a fairly tight range vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥111.90 level and remained supported around the ¥111.45 level. The pair has been unable to get above the ¥112.00 figure and to the ¥112.10 level where it peaked yesterday. Bank of Japan Governor Fukui spoke today and said the central bank will maintain its quantitative easing policy until deflationary risks abate. Characterizing the economy, Fukui indicated it is expected “to recover going forward, as production rises moderately, capital investment expands, and consumer spending is solid.” He suggested year-on-year changes in the consumer price index continues to register declines “because the corporate sector continues to curtail personnel cost.” Data released in Japan today saw the May index of leading economic indicators print at 40.0, below the “boom-or-bust” 50.0 level for the eighth time in nine months. The coincident index came in at 55.6, above the 50.0 level for only the third time in some nine months. On the political front, Prime Minister Koizumi renewed a pledge to seek a snap election if key postal privatization legislation is not passed by both houses of Japan’s Diet. Option traders cite large upcoming expiries around the ¥112.50 and ¥113.00 levels. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.11% to close at ¥11,603.53. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥111.30/ 05 levels and also around the ¥110.80 level. The euro was flat vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥133.45 level and was supported around the ¥132.90 level. Euro offers are seen around the ¥133.50 level.

The British pound extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the US$ 1.7515 level and was capped around the $1.7605 level. Cable got a bit of a boost when it was reported that London was awarded the 2012 Olympic Games, a decision that came down in Singapore and followed contentious lobbying by finalists, including Paris. Data released in the U.K. today saw June REC pay pressures recede with demand for staff at its slowest pace in twenty months. BRC reported shop prices came off 0.31% m/m and were up 0.39% last month. Also, May manufacturing output was unchanged m/m and off 1.7% y/y while May industrial production was up 0.1% m/m and off 1.9% y/y. These data suggest there may be a moderation afoot in the beleaguered U.K. manufacturing sector. Other data released today saw U.K. mortgage equity withdrawal receded to ₤6.4 billion in Q1 2005 from ₤8.3 billion in Q3. These data reflect the effect of higher interest rates and mortgage costs in the U.K. and are negative for the pound because they result in less money for consumption. Most traders do not think Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will change interest rates tomorrow but the minutes – due in two weeks – may reveal increasing pressure to expand monetary policy. Cable offers are seen around the $1.7645 level. The euro gained marginal ground and tested offers around the ₤0.6795 level and remained supported around the ₤0.6775 level.


The Swiss franc gained some ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2995 level after running into offers around the CHF 1.3065 level. Today’s high was just below yesterday’s multi-month high around the CHF 1.3070 level. Technically, the pair has retraced 23.6% of its appreciation from CHF 1.2770 to CHF 1.3070. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2965 level. The euro was little-changed vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency was supported around the CHF 1.5525 level and capped around the CHF 1.5550 level. The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as sterling tested bids around the CHF 2.2850 level.


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