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Tuesday July 26, 2005 - 16:17:57 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (26 July 2005)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.1980 level and was capped around the $1.2065 level. This is the common currency’s first foray below the psychologically-important $1.2000 figure since 11 July. Stops were triggered below the $1.2025/ 20 level on the move downward. In eurozone news, the German Ifo business climate index rose more-than-expected to 95.0 from 93.3 in June and the currency gained a small amount of ground. The current conditions index rose to 94.9 from 93.7 in June and the expectations index improved to 95.0 from 92.9. The pair failed to gain much ground from a media report that quoted anonymous European Central Bank officials as saying monetary policy is unlikely to be changed anytime soon despite widespread pressure on the ECB to lower interest rates. Other data released today saw German July preliminary CPI up 0.4% m/m and 1.9% y/y. In U.S. news, the July U.S. consumer confidence index receded to 103.2 from a revised 106.2 in June and was lowe-than-expected. Options traders cite a large expiry at $1.1950 at 1400 GMT today. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2040/ 80 levels.


The yen depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥112.60 level and was supported around the ¥111.40 level. Stops were reached above the ¥111.75/ ¥112.00/ ¥112.30 levels, key short-term technical resistance areas. The impetus for a lower yen was a warning from People’s Bank of China that essentially told the market not to expect too much in terms of revaluation. PBOC reported “The 2.1% adjustment does not mean that the yuan exchange rate has been appreciated as a first step and that there will be further adjustments. Some foreign media have misunderstood the content of the foreign exchange reform, with some even thinking that the 2.1% is just an initial adjustment.” China’s decision to revalue last Thursday was well-received by the markets and G7 officials but many expected a revaluation between 5% and 10%. The yen suffered as a result of today’s PBOC announcement because it is seen as a close proxy for the Chinese yuan. Data released in Japan today saw the June corporate services price index rise 0.1% m/m, the first increase in three months, while the annualized rate fell 0.4% in June, the 57th consecutive decline. On the political front, some Japanese media outlets are reporting that most Japanese citizens want Prime Minister Koizumi to call an early election. Some yen weakness has recently been attributed to the upcoming postal savings system privatization in Japan with some traders believing Koizumi will suffer politically as a result of the vote. Finance minister Tanigaki today said he is closely watching how China manages its new foreign exchange regime. The Nikkei 225 stock index shed 0.21% today to close at ¥11,737.96. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥111.75/ ¥110.90 levels. The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥135.05 level and remained supported around the ¥134.35 level. The British pound, Swiss franc, and Australian dollars all gained vis-à-vis the yen too, reaching offers around the ¥195.50, ¥86.50, and ¥85.30 levels. In Chinese news, PBOC’s announcement caught many traders off guard following widespread speculation that Thursday’s move was merely the first in a series of exchange rate adjustments. There are also reports out of China that a turf war of sorts has developed that pits pro-revaluation PBOC Governor Zhou against the government and Premier Wen who is said to be answerable to old Communist Party stalwarts and a major export sector constituency. The dollar closed at RMB 8.1099 today. It was reported that China’s full-year trade surplus is expected to reach more than US$ 80 billion. In political news, it is being reported China will hold its annual plenary session in October and discuss China’s eleventh five-year plan.

The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.7350 level and was capped around the $1.7470 level. Sterling hit stops below the $1.7410 and $1.7385 levels during the move lower and came within 20 pips of reaching yesterday’s low. Data released in the U.K. today saw new manufacturing orders decline for the third consecutive quarter in the three months to July. Notably, however, the CBI reported the first improvement in export orders since October 1995. Halifax today reported that it expects house prices to fall by 2% in 2005. Cable offers are cited around the $1.7440 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.6890 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.3025 level and remained supported around the CHF 1.2940 level. Today’s high represents the pair’s strongest print since 20 July. Union Bank of Switzerland released its June Consumption Indicator today and it evidenced a “minor acceleration” in Swiss consumption growth last month but concluded final private demand is “in good shape overall.” Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2975 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency briefly tested bids below the CHF 1.5600 figure.


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