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Friday August 5, 2005 - 13:49:37 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (5 August 2005)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2325 level and was capped around the $1.2395 level. The common currency moved to intraday lows after the release of stronger-than-expected July non-farm payrolls that saw 207,000 new jobs created last month. This was above most forecasts that were looking for around 180,000 new jobs created. Notably, the June and May tallies were upwardly revised by 20,000 and 22,000, respectively. The July unemployment rate printed at 5.0% and average hourly earnings were up +0.4% m/m. After a couple of weeks where the U.S. dollar has not been able to gain much traction following decent economic numbers, traders are very curious to see how the greenback reacts to today’s positive data. The near-term consequence of today’s data is likely to be a +25bps increase in the federal funds target rate on Tuesday when Federal Open Market Committee policymakers convene. It is highly probable that Fed policymakers may allude to the recent uptick in wage prices as today’s average hourly earnings data were strong and recent testimony from Fed Chairman Greenspan evidences concern. In eurozone news, European Central Bank President Trichet spoke today and characterized eurozone interest rates as “appropriate” and alluded to recent “positive signals” in the EMU-12 economy. He said he is neither preparing the market for lower rates nor higher rates but added policymakers “remain vigilant.” Trichet noted that ten-year rates remain at their lowest historical levels in 100 years in most eurozone countries, suggesting monetary policy is not an impediment to growth. Data released in the eurozone today saw German June industrial output up 1.4% m/m, stronger-than-expected. Option traders cite the $1.2450 level as an exotic option barrier level. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2440/ 80 levels.


The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥111.95 level and was supported around the ¥111.10 level. Stops were reached above the ¥111.75 level, the 50% retracement level of the recent ¥113.70 – ¥109.85 range, and dealers are eyeing the ¥112.00/ 20 levels on the upside. Data released in Japan overnight saw June household spending fall 0.1% y/y, the third consecutive monthly decline, and was off 1.2% m/m. Also, the preliminary June leading index printed at 60.0, the first time it has been above the boom-or-bust 50.0 level in five months; the coincident index printed at 100. Moreover, it was reported that Japan’s foreign exchange reserves decline US$ 3.88 billion last month to US$ 839.66 billion but were the highest in the world for the 68th consecutive month. Political uncertainty in Japan is weighing on the yen at the present time with a vote expected next week on privatizing the postal savings system. Prime Minister Koizumi does not appear to have the necessary votes to move the measure through parliament and a key LDP swing voter overnight said he will oppose the bill. Koizumi has threatened to call a snap election if the measure is not passed. The Nikkei 225 stock index shed 0.98% to close at ¥11,766.48. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥111.45 level. The euro and British pound gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested the ¥138.40 and ¥198.85 levels, respectively. In Chinese news, the government reported the Chinese economy will continue to notch “rapid” economic growth with “a mild rise in prices.” The Chinese yuan depreciated today and closed at 8.1037 to the U.S. dollar.

The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.7715 level and was capped around the $1.7825 level. Today’s low was just below the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.9215 to $1.7270. Data released in the U.K. today saw June hours prices remain steady last month according to Halifax, gaining 0.2% m/m while the annual rate was off 2.3% y/y – its lowest since April 1996. Also, it was reported that industrial production activity was unchanged m/m and off 1.0% y/y in June and previous month’s data were upgraded. These data suggest that Q2 GDP data could be upwardly revised by around 0.1% from the initial 0.4% print. Manufacturing output data was also upwardly revised. Cable offers are cited around the $1.7800/ $1.7925 levels. The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.6965 level and was supported around the £0.6945 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2660 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2560 level. Today’s lowest was the lowest print since 10 June and was right around the 38.2% retracement level of the move from CHF 1.1740 to CHF 1.3080. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2565/ 1.2465 levels. The euro and British pound gained ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.5610 and 2.2440 levels, respectively.


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