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Tuesday August 23, 2005 - 15:13:09 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (23 August 2005)

The euro depreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the $1.2190 level after testing offers around the $1.2250/ 55 level. Technically, the common currency was capped today around the 23.6% retracement of the $1.3480 - $1.1870 range. The euro got a brief lift today after it was reported the German August expectations index printed at +50.0, up from +37.0 in July and significantly above expectations. In other German news, final Q2 GDP growth was flat q/q and Germany’s state budget deficit in H1 2005 lessened to 3.6% of GDP, down from 4.0% in H1 2004. These data potentially bode well for Thursday’s release of Germany’s Ifo business sentiment. Other EMU-12 data released today saw France’s June current account deficit at €561 million, down from a revised €2.51 billion in May. Data released yesterday saw net portfolio investment into the eurozone escalate to €105.1 billion in June from €22.7 billion in May. In U.S. news, July existing home sales fell 2.6% but sales remained at their third highest level on record. Also, retail chain store sales fell 0.3% last week. Chicago Fed President Moskow is scheduled to speak tomorrow about the U.S. economy. Also, July durable goods orders data for the U.S. will be released tomorrow and are expected to worsen and possibly decline, according to most forecasts. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2260/ $1.2305 levels.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥110.15 level and was supported around the ¥109.60 level. Technically, the pair today tested the 50% retracement of the recent ¥106.45 - ¥113.70 range and the 38.2% retracement of the broader ¥104.15 - ¥113.70 range. Traders have essentially already priced in a victory by Prime Minister Koizumi and his reformed Liberal Democratic Party at the snap election he called for 11 September and the yen may be unable to score much more ground if and when he wins. A Koizumi victory would likely pave the way for passage of a bill that would privatize the massive US$ 3 trillion+ Japanese postal system and also mean continuity for financial and economic reforms his current government have undertaken. Dealers are also monitoring the price of oil and its impact on Asian oil import-dependent countries including Japan. Front-month NYMEX crude oil futures are again trading north of US$ 70.00 per barrel. Data released in Japan today saw the June tertiary index rise 1.0% m/m, evidence of increased spending in the service sector, while the all-industries index was up 1.3%. Flows into Japanese equities continue to be strong as the Nikkei 225 stock index reached its highest level since July 2001 today. Notably, foreign investors have purchased ¥6 trillion in Japanese equities already this year. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.16% to close at ¥12,472.93. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥109.25/ 108.20/ 107.80 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥134.80 level and was supported around the ¥133.85 level. The British pound and Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥198.10 and ¥86.75 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback closed at CNY 8.1012 level, down from CNY 8.1056 yesterday. In an important announcement today, a Chinese government official was quoted as saying the yuan’s trading band will widen after provisions for market-making and currency futures and options are introduced.

The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.7960 level after encountering offers around the $1.8015 level. There were no significant data released in the U.K. today and the CBI industrial trends report will be released tomorrow followed by August Nationwide house prices, total business investment, and July BBA mortgage approvals on Thursday. Additionally, Q2 U.K. GDP will be released on Friday. Technically, cable was today capped around the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.9215 - $1.7270. Cable offers are cited around the $1.8080 level. The euro weakened vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.6780 level after testing offers around the £0.6810 level.


The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2740 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2680 level. Technically, the pair stopped just short of testing offers around the 50% retracement of the move from CHF 1.3055 to CHF 1.2430. Data released in Switzerland today saw the July trade surplus print at CHF 741.9 million, off 14.1% y/y. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2630/ CHF 1.2590 levels. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5540 level while the British pound tested offers around the CHF 2.2900 figure.


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