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Thursday July 28, 2005 - 14:39:28 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (28 July 2005)

The euro weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2035 level and was capped around the $1.2105 level. The common currency established an intraday high during North American dealing and stopped just short of testing the $1.2110 level, the 50% retracement level of the move from $1.2255 to $1.1965. The dollar failed to derive strength from yesterday’s Beige Book release by the Federal Reserve that highlighted the relative strength of the U.S. economy. Data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims rise 5,000 to 310,000 – better-than-expected – while continuing claims gained 32,000 to 2.60 million. Traders are poising themselves for tomorrow’s preliminary U.S. Q2 GDP print and final July University of Michigan consumer sentiment number. Most estimates are focusing on economic expansion of 3.5% in Q2 in what would be a decline from Q4 2004’s and Q1’s healthy 3.8% pace. The big news in the eurozone today was a purported comment from Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi who said “(former European Commission President) Prodi’s euro has screwed everybody.” The lack of confidence in the euro in Italy was originally thought to have been limited to a couple of cabinet members and a right-wing party but Berlusconi’s comment evidences a deeper crisis of confidence in the common currency. A European Commission official countered Berlusconi’s comment saying “We think the euro has not caused those problems and has been a very good thing for the European Union.” German Economy Minister Clement today said the European Central Bank should have reduced interest rates a long time ago. Data released in Germany today saw the July jobless total rise 68,000 m/m to 4.772 million. Also, new orders for German plant and machinery expanded 14% y/y last month. Other EMU-12 data released today saw June EMU-12 M3 growth print at 7.5% y/y while the April – June M3 total gained 7.2% y/y. Also, French June PPI was up 0.4% m/m and 2.9% y/y. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2145 level.


The yen gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥112.10 level and was capped around the ¥112.80 level. After peaking at an intraday high, stops were reached below the ¥112.55/ 40/ 30 levels. The ¥113 handle remains elusive for the pair as it was only able to pierce the figure once on 20 July. Options traders cite a barrier option around the ¥113.00 figure and this is capping the pair’s gains in the short-term. Data released in Japan today saw June commercial sales climb 2.3% y/y while retail sales gained +0.1% m/m and 3.1% y/y. Traders continue to express concern whether Prime Minister Koizumi has the votes in the Diet to privatize Japan’s massive postal savings system. A vote on the legislation is scheduled for 4 or 5 August and Koizumi has indicated he will call a snap election if the bill is not passed. Some of the recent yen-selling activity has been linked to this political uncertainty. A Nikkei article published today cites a Japan Research Institute story that predicts Japan’s GDP will gain 0.4% in the Chinese yuan appreciates 15% over the next 3-4 years. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.20% to close at ¥11,858.31. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥111.55 level. The euro climbed marginally vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥136.10 level, just above the 61.8% retracement level of the recent ¥137.20 – 133.55 range. The British pound and Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the yen as they tested offers around the ¥196.95 and ¥87.05 levels. In Chinese news, People’s Bank of China Vice Governor Wu Xiaoling indicated the central bank will permit market forces to determine the yuan’s value following last week’s initial 2.1% revaluation. Wu also indicated PBOC is preparing to launch foreign exchange derivatives but did not elaborate on a time frame. PBOC Governor Zhou was today quoted as saying domestic Chinese firms should utilize non-dollar currencies such as the euro and yen.

The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.7535 level and was supported around the $1.7405 level. Data released in the U.K. today saw July Nationwide house prices climb 0.2% m/m and 2.6% y/y, the lightest gain since 1996. Technically, today’s high is right around the 50% retracement level of the move from $1.7785 to $1.7270. Cable offers are cited around the $1.7590 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.6895 level and was capped around the £0.6925 level.


The Swiss franc gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2895 level after encountering offers just below the CHF 1.3000 figure. Technically, today’s low is just above the 50% retracement level of the move from the CHF 1.2565 level to the CHF 1.3080 level. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2820 level. The euro lost ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5610 level while the British pound tested offers around the CHF 2.2645 level.


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