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Thursday August 11, 2005 - 16:09:46 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (11 August 2005)



The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2450 level and was supported around the $1.2380 level. Today’s high represents the common currency’s strongest print since 31 May and chartists are now eyeing the $1.2485/ 95 levels as the next upside target. The European Central Bank today characterized its current monetary policy as “appropriate” and predicted the eurozone economy will expand “in a sustained, albeit gradual, manner.” The ECB cited high oil prices, low consumer confidence, and “the persistence of global imbalances” as downside risks to stronger economic growth. Dealers concluded that the ECB’s monthly report was more hawkish than the July report and this supported the euro today. Data released in the eurozoen today saw Q2 GDP rise 0.3% q/q and 1.2% y/y, consistent with expectations but down from Q1’s 0.5% q/q and 1.4% y/y gains. Notably, the ECB left its Q3 growth forecast unchanged at a range of 0.2% to 0.6% while it now sees Q4 economic growth between 0.4% and 0.8% in what would be its strongest showing since Q4 2000. The German government today predicted economic growth will accelerate in H2 despite flat 0% expansion in Q2. In U.S. news, retail sales climbed 1.8% in July with automobile sales realizing their largest gains in nearly four years while the ex-autos component rose 0.3%. These data mean retail sales are up 10.3% y/y over the past year, the strongest gain in eleven years. Also, weekly initial jobless claims fell 6,000 to 308,000 last week. June business inventories data were released today and they evidenced the tightest inventory conditions on record with sales growth exceeding inventory accumulation. Even those these data add to the recent positive data from the U.S. economy, the U.S. dollar continues to weaken and is decoupling from recent economic performance. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2490 level.

¥/ RMB

The yen moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥109.75 level and was capped around the ¥110.70 level. Stops were triggered below the ¥110.05 level, the 38.2% retracement level of the move from ¥104.20 to ¥113.70. Traders moved into yen ahead of tonight’s Q2 Japanese GDP numbers with most forecasts focusing on a real 0.5% q/q, or 2.0% annualized, growth rate. This would represent the third consecutive quarterly expansion. Additionally, public opinion polls showing that increasing number of Japanese voters support Prime Minister Koizumi’s reform plans ahead of next month’s snap election on 11 September are also benefiting the yen. Koizumi dissolved parliament this week following its refusal to pass his pet postal privatization agenda. Data released in Japan today saw the June current account surplus fall 15.3% y/y to ¥1.087 trillion, the fourth decline in six months and below expectations. Likewise, the trade surplus lessened 23.1% y/y to ¥999.0 billion. Capital flows data released overnight saw Japanese investors buy a net ¥44.8 billion and ¥73.8 billion in foreign equities and bonds, respectively, in the latest weekly period. Foreign investors bought a net ¥495.0 billion in Japanese equities and sold a net ¥105.6 billion in Japanese bonds. Traders are closely monitoring the price of oil as September NYMEX crude continues to flirt with the psychologically-important US$ 65.00 figure. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 1.37% to close at ¥12,263.32. Dollar bids are seen around the ¥109.25 level. The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥136.55 level while the British pound appreciated and tested offers around the ¥199.10 level. In Chinese news, the yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at RMB 8.1002 from RMB 8.1062. Data released in China today saw China’s January – July trade balance rose 32% y/y to US$ 407.94 billion. Also, China’s CPI expanded 1.8% y/y in July, up from June’s 1.6% y/y gain.



The British pound moved sharply higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8090 level, its strongest showing since 30 June. Major stops were hit above the $1.8010 level and sterling eventually reached the 76.4% retracement level of the move from $1.8325 to $1.7270. There were no major data releases in the U.S. today and no major data releases are scheduled for tomorrow. The cable buying was seen as an extension of yesterday’s solid buying activity on the heels of a more hawkish-than-expected quarterly inflation report from Bank of England and corresponding hawkishness from BoE Governor King. Cable offers are cited around the $1.8240 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.6875 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2475 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2570 level. Today’s low represents the pair’s weakest trading levels since 8 June. Traders await the release of the Swiss July SECO consumer climate index. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2410 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5520 level while the British pound was little-changed vis-à-vis the Swiss franc.



 

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