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Thursday July 14, 2005 - 14:03:53 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (14 July 2005)

The euro turned around vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency moved to an intraday high around the US$ 1.2115 level and was supported around the $1.2055 level. The move was precipitated by relatively tame June U.S. consumer price inflation data that saw the headline number unchanged while the ex-food and energy component was up +0.1%. Also, June retail sales gained +1.7% while the ex-autos component was up +0.7%. Major discounts offered by U.S. automakers were accountable for the difference between the two components. Producer price inflation data will be released tomorrow and will evidence the inflation cost of goods leaving U.S. factory gates. Traders are currently pricing in a 100% chance that the Federal Reserve will hike rates by +25bps at its August Federal Open Market Committee meeting and around a 92% chance the Fed will go another +25bps at its September meeting. That would mean the federal funds target rate would be at 3.75% by the end of Q3 and with the eurozone and U.K. possibly reducing interest rates this year, the divergence between global yields would become more acute. European Central Bank Chief Economist Issing today said the EMU-12’s inflation outlook has “clearly worsened” since June and expressed “cautious optimism” regarding the eurozone’s economic outlook. The ECB released its July monthly report today and indicated risks to economic growth are on the downside. It also added the eurozone’s growth potential is “closer to the lower bound” of its 2.0% to 2.5% range. Data released in the eurozone today saw Germany final June HICP unrevised at +0.2% m/m and +1.8% y/y while final June HICP was confirmed at +2.1% y/y. Also, EMU-12 Q1 GDP was reported up 0.5% q/q from Q4. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2130/ 50 levels.


The yen lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥112.15 level and remained supported around the ¥111.65 level. The pair was unable to hold the ¥112 handle in early North American dealing follow the release of tame U.S. inflation data. Technically, the pair has been contained between the 76.4% and 50.0% retracement levels of the move from ¥112.10 to 110.75. Data released in Japan overnight saw corporate bankruptcy debt up +11.9% y/y. Capital flows data released overnight saw Japanese investors buy a net ¥255.5 billion in foreign bonds and ¥5.1 billion in foreign equities while foreign investors sold a net ¥122.7 billion in Japanese bonds and purchased ¥424.9 billion in Japanese equities. Dealers reported that a large Japanese automaker sold dollars around the ¥112.10 level. There are not many data scheduled to be released in Japan later this week. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.90% to close at ¥11,764.26. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥111.70 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥135.50 level and was supported around the ¥134.80 level. Euro offers are cited around the ¥136.20 level. In Chinese news, it was reported that China’s FX reserves climbed 51.1% y/y to US$ 711 billion, the latest confirmation that China continues to accumulate dollars at a torrid pace. Also, it was reported that the M2 and M1 money supplies were up 15.7% and 11.3% y/y, respectively. An official from People’s Bank of China overnight said there is a “slim chance” of a monetary tightening in the near future and Chinese Premier Wen said the Chinese economy is “sound” but added problems remain.

The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.7560 level and was capped around the $1.7645 level. Sterling was knocked lower after the British Chamber of Commerce released its quarterly economic survey and spotlighted risks to both the service sector and manufacturing sector. BCC also called on Bank of England to expand monetary policy next month. Specifically, BCC reported that the sales and orders balance indices in the service sector weakened in Q2 and the Q2 home sales balance was reduced to 12% from 23% in Q1, its lowest level since Q4 1998. Cable offers are cited around the US$ 1.7675 level. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6880 level and was supported around the ₤0.6840 level.


The Swiss franc moved marginally higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2860 level and was supported around the $1.2930 level. Technically, today’s low is right around the 50% retracement level of the move from CHF 1.2645 to CHF 1.3075. Swiss May retail sales data will be released tomorrow. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2815 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5565 level and was capped around the CHF 1.5600 figure.


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