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Monday November 7, 2005 - 14:32:00 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (7 November 2005)

The euro extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.1780 level after encountering offers around the $1.1830 level. The common currency crashed through a key technical level of $1.1870 in North American dealing on Friday, triggering large stops. The pair is now trading at levels not seen since May of last year. Chartists are eyeing further downside targets for the pair including the $1.1635/ 1.1450 levels. One reason cited for the dollar’s continued strength is the definite near-term course of Federal Reserve monetary policy. Fed officials have made it abundantly clear they will continue to raise interest rates and most Fed-watchers seen the fed funds target rate getting at least as high as the 4.50% level. In contrast, it is largely unknown when the European Central Bank will begin to tighten policy, although ECB President Trichet today said the central bank can move on policy “at any time.” Another reason cited for the dollar’s surge is a reported slowdown in euro-buying reserve adjustments by global central banks and monetary authorities. Now is an ideal time for oil-exporting countries to convert their petrodollar reserves into euros but there is not much evidence that this is happening at the moment. Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority Governor Hamad Saud al-Sayyari today indicated the dollar is reaping the rewards of higher interest rates, corporate inflows, and steady growth. Dealers are watching developments in France where violence has enveloped the country for the eleventh consecutive night. There is some commentary that this may be the start of a jihad by terrorists. Eurozone finance ministers convene in Brussels this evening and inflation is at the top of their agenda. Officials are expected to conclude “there are no second-round effects” from oil prices despite EMU-12 inflation that is around 2.5%, significantly above the ECB’s ceiling target of 2.0%. ECB’s Garganes echoed Trichet’s remarks today saying the central bank’s policy is one of “strong vigilance” and added the ECB “will act” if additional risks “show any signs of materializing.” Data released in the eurozone today saw German September industrial output up 1.2% m/m while EMU-12 retail sales were off 0.4% m/m and up 0.9% y/y. Thursday is the big day for the dollar this week as the September trade balance and October import price inflation data will be released. Euro offers are cited around the $1.1870/ 1.2110 levels.

¥/ CNY

The yen moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥117.65 level after encountering offers around the ¥118.35 level. The pair gained more than 250 pips last week and is trading at levels not seen since August 2003. Technically, today’s high was just above the 50% retracement of the move from ¥101.10 to ¥135.15. Data released in Japan today saw the September index of leading indicators recede to 50 from 100 in August while the coincident index fell to 55.6 from 80.0. Bank of Japan Governor Fukui today said a change in monetary policy is possible next year but added a policy move is not yet on the BoJ’s radar. Fukui’s comments are a market departure from the central bank’s recent hawkish comments regarding the prospect of higher rates and sound more like the dovish, deflation-minded comments from MoF officials as of late. The big news in Japan will come on Friday when Q3 GDP and October CPI data are released. Traders will review the CPI data to determine if there is any indication that positive annualized inflation is evident yet in the Japanese economy. The Nikkei 225 stock index closed off 0.10% at ¥14,061.60, near a 52-week high. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥117.20/ 116.55 levels. The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥139.00 figure after running out of steam around the ¥139.70 level. The British pound and Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥205.30 and ¥89.95 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at the CNY 8.0877 level, up from CNY 8.0856. People’s Bank of China released a statement about further exchange rate reform today reading “We will gradually push forward reform of the exchange rate mechanism, establish a market-oriented, managed floating exchange rate system and maintain the basic stability of the yuan at a reasonable and balanced level. China's active exchange rate reform, sound international balance of payments, ample foreign exchange reserves and gradual opening of the capital account have provided a good external environment for China's financial stability.” President Bush will travel to China within the next two weeks and his administration is said to be pushing the Chinese government for another yuan revaluation. Hong Kong Monetary Authority Chief Executive Yam today said the likelihood of another revaluation is “quite low.”

The British pound extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.7390 level after being capped around the $1.7515 level. The pair is about 120 pips from 2005 lows and if these levels are given, cable will be at levels not seen since December 2003. Data released in the U.K. today saw September manufacturing output off 0.3% m/m, below estimates and the largest decline since March. On an annualized basis, manufacturing output was 0.8% y/y weaker. Technically, this means the beleaguered manufacturing sector is teetering on the edge of recession. NIESR will release its latest U.K. GDP estimate overnight. Cable offers are cited around the $1.7545 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.6775 level and was supported around the £0.6740 level

The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.3105 level and was supported around the CHF 1.3040 level. Technically, the pair has not traded at these levels since April of 2004. Swiss National Bank Chairman Roth was quoted yesterday as saying interest rates will “normalize” but added the central bank “does not want to implement an aggressive monetary policy.” SNB is expected to tighten policy around its 15 December year-end policy meeting. Data released in Switzerland today saw the October unemployment rate print at 3.7%, up from 3.6% in September. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2990 level. The euro and British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.5420 and CHF 2.2775 levels, respectively.


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