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Friday June 25, 2004 - 14:19:02 GMT
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Forex Market News and Commentary (25 June 2004)

The euro weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2105 level before moving back to the $1.2150 level during North American dealing. The move lower occurred before the announcement of a surprise fall in the June Ifo pan-German business confidence index to 94.6 from May’s 96.0 level. Ifo’s Sinn implored the European Central Bank to not cut rates now, suggesting another month of Ifo data was needed first to assess the necessity of additional monetary easing. It remains highly unlikely that the ECB will ease policy anyway, especially with the current oil price pressures that are beginning to circulate throughout the economy. Other eurozone data saw EMU-12 April industrial new orders climb +1.8% m/m but the annual rate decelerated to +6.0% y/y. EMU-12 combined direct/portfolio investment registered a net outflow of €6.3 billion in April, considerably less than March’s net outflow of €27.8 billion. Also, German import prices rose 0.7% m/m and +2.5% y/y in May. Options traders cite a large $1.2100 expiry at 1400 GMT. Data released in the U.S. today saw final Q1 GDP downwardly revised to 3.9% from earlier estimates of 4.4% following upward revisions to imports. Consumption was downwardly revised slightly. The GDP deflator came in around 2.9%, signaling increasing inflationary pressures, while the core market-based PCE index came in at 1.6%. On a positive note, corporate profits were upwardly revised. Other data released today in the U.S. saw final June University of Michigan consumer sentiment at 95.6 from May’s 90.2 level while existing home sales grew +2.6% to 6.8 million units. The next week is going to be quite busy in the markets with the transition of sovereignty to Iraq and the FOMC’s interest rate decision taking center stage. Euro bids are cited around the $1.2070 level and euro offers are seen around the $1.2180 level. Additional offers are also seen around the $1.2235/50 level.


The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥108.05 level before dropping back to the ¥107.55 level during North American dealing. Volumes were said to be thin during European dealing as many accounts were sidelined ahead of the weekend and loath to put on new positions ahead of the FOMC interest rate decision next Wednesday. The pair moved higher to the ¥107.25 level overnight following the release of weaker-than-expected Japanese CPI data that saw May nationwide core CPI off 0.3% y/y and Tokyo-area core CPI down 0.1% y/y. The Tokyo decline was the 57th consecutive monthly fall in consumer price pressures. These data reaffirm Bank of Japan’s ongoing commentary that deflation has not yet been vanquished. MoF’s Mizoguchi verbally intervened again saying “rapid currency moves are undesirable.” Bank of Japan left monetary policy unchanged following its Policy Board meeting overnight with its current account surplus target at ¥30/35 trillion. BoJ Governor Fukui said the central bank is not yet discussing an end to its easy quantitative policy. The Nikkei 225 stock index made a late-day rally to close 0.31% higher at ¥11,780.40. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥107.00 figure ahead of demand around the ¥106.80/50 levels. The euro gained small ground vis-à-vis the yen today as the single currency tested offers around the ¥ 131.10 level before retracing to the ¥130.75 level during North American dealing. Euro stops are cited above the ¥131.10 level ahead of additional selling pressure around the ¥131.30/60 levels. Euro bids are cited around the ¥130.20/00 levels with stops below that area.


The British pound weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8170 level after running out of gas around the $1.8265 level during Australasian dealing. Cable fell sharply below the $1.8200 figure during European dealing. Data released in the U.K. today saw BBA May mortgage approvals at +£10.156 billion, up from £9.68 billion. Traders have concluded that Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will continue to tighten policy this year but will do so gradually. Cable offers are cited around the $1.8250 level and cable bids are seen around the $1.8170 level. The euro gained small ground vis-à-vis the British pound today as the single currency tested offers around the £0.6680 level after finding good demand around the £0.6650 level. Euro bids are seen around the £0.6620 level with additional selling pressure seen around the £0.6680/£0.6710 level.


The Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2530 level after finding good bids around the CHF 1.2425 level. The pair gained back some of the ground it lost yesterday following yesterday’s bombings in Iraq and Turkey. Swiss National Bank added two-week liquidity at 0.27% today. The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5190 level after finding bids around the CHF 1.5125 level.


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