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Friday October 7, 2005 - 13:33:00 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (7 October 2005)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2100 figure and was capped around the $1.2190 level. The common currency moved to intraday lows after the release of better-than-expected U.S. September non-farm payrolls data that saw the U.S. economy shed 35,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate printed at 5.1% and average hourly earnings climbed +0.2%. There had been a wide range of forecasts for the non-farm payrolls number on account of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In fact, most traders believe today’s report does not encompass the entire breadth of job losses related to the recent hurricanes. For instance, any U.S. worker who was on a payroll through 12 September and may have subsequently lost his job is not considered unemployed in this month’s survey. On a positive note, however, there was an aggregate upward revision of 77,000 payrolls between July’s and August’s reports and this is the latest indication the U.S. economy was in decent shape before the hurricanes struck. In eurozone news, dealers are still talking about the increasingly hawkish rhetoric that European Central Bank President Trichet used yesterday. Trichet indicated the ECB’s bias has shifted towards a tightening from its previous neutral bias. He reported the central bank is exhibiting “strong vigilance” about inflation risks and added “it is of the essence that inflation expectations remain firmly anchored at levels consistent with price stability.” The main eurozone refinancing rate has remained unchanged at 2.00% since June 2003 and many dealers believe the ECB will tighten policy in Q1 2006. On the political front, there is an indication that German Chancellor Schroeder will cede power to Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union in short order as the two flesh out details of a “grand coalition” comprised of their respective parties. Data released in the eurozone today saw German August industrial output recede 1.6% m/m. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2245 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥113.90 level and was supported around the ¥113.10 level. Technically, the pair has retraced 61.8% of its weekly range and chartists note the next upside target is around the ¥114.05 level. Data released in Japan overnight saw August household spending climb 4.8% m/m and fall 0.6% y/y, the fifth successive monthly decline. Also, the August leading index improved significantly to 100 from 45.5 while the coincident index rallied to 88.9 from 30.0. It was also reported that Japan’s foreign reserves declined by US$ 4.20 billion to US$ 843.56 billion, the latest evidence that Japan has not officially intervened in the market in some eighteen months. The Nikkei 225 stock index shed 0.99% to close at ¥13,227.74. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥113.30/ ¥112.60 levels. The euro was little-changed vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥137.60 level and tested offers around the ¥138.15 level. The British pound and Swiss franc lost ground vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥200.30 and ¥88.80 level, respectively. In Chinese news, it was reported that the U.S. and China will hold additional textile talks in Beijing next week. President Hu will speak extensively tomorrow about changes to China’s economic growth model. U.S. Treasury Secretary Snow and Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan will be traveling to China shortly for meetings with Chinese officials on 14 October. Snow is likely to press the Chinese for “more flexibility” and exchange rates that reflect “supply and demand.”

The British pound reversed course and depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.7595 level and was capped around the $1.7795 level. Yesterday, the pair gained 170 pips on the day but it has since given all of it back. In contrast to the eurozone and U.S. – where interest rates clearly have to rise – borrowing costs are likely to remain steady or decline in the U.K. Some Bank of England-watchers believe monetary policymakers may be leaning to lowering rates again in November. NIESR yesterday reported that Q3 U.K. economic growth is likely to post around 0.3% q/q growth. Yesterday’s manufacturing output and industrial output data were quite weak. Cable offers are cited around the $1.7675/ $1.7720 levels. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.6880 level and was supported around the £0.6840 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2825 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2695 level. Technically, the next upside target for the pair is around the CHF 1.2850 level, the 23.6% retracement level of the move from CHF 1.2235 to CHF 1.3040. Data released in Switzerland today saw Swiss bankruptcies climb 27.2% y/y last month. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2700 figure. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5520 level while the British pound weakened vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 2.2500 figure.


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