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Friday November 11, 2005 - 15:17:22 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (11 November 2005)

The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.1710 level and was supported around the $1.1610 level. Today’s range and volumes were thin on account of Armistice Day in Europe and Veteran’s Day in the U.S. with many money center banks on holiday or reporting thin liquidity. The common currency gained some temporary ground yesterday after the release of a worse-than-expected U.S. September trade deficit. As was the case with the U.S.’s October non-farm payrolls that were released a week ago, the U.S. dollar quickly recovered and moved to fresh multi-year highs. Traders continue to bet that the Federal Reserve will extend its monetary policy tightening cycle by raising interest rates, thereby increasing the attraction of U.S. dollar assets and the U.S. dollar. Most Fed-watchers envision at least another +50bps of tightening between December and February from the Fed. In contrast, the European Central Bank is also on the brink of adopting a tightening policy but it will take the central bank several meetings – if not several business quarters – to get eurozone interest rates near current U.S. levels. Data released in the eurozone today saw German final October CPI flat m/m and up 2.3% y/y. One of the main items on traders’ dockets next week is U.S. President Bush’s attendance at the APEC meeting and trip to China. Bush administration officials are said to be heavily pressing China to revalue its yuan currency. Next week’s U.S. Treasury International Capital data of international portfolio flows will also be closely watched to see if the U.S. financed its September trade deficit. Euro offers are cited around the US$% 1.1765 level while euro bears are eyeing the $1.1635 level as a major downside target.

¥/ CNY

The yen gained moderate ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥117.60 level after encountering offers around the ¥118.20 level. The yen notched gains on many of its crosses, reflecting some decent economic data that were released overnight along with a run-up in the Nikkei 225 stock index to fresh four-year highs. It was reported that the October corporate goods price index was up 0.2% m/m and 1.9% y/y, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. These wholesale inflation data are closely watched for any evidence that factory-level price pressures are filtering down to the retail level. Other data released today saw the Japanese economy expand 0.4% in the July – September quarter, or an annualized rate of 1.7%, exceeding most forecasts. Notably, domestic demand, private consumption, non-residential investment, and exports all rallied quarter-on-quarter. The GDP deflator fell to -1.1% y/y from -0.9%, indicating continuing price deflation. Japan’s October consumer confidence index was also released overnight and improved to 47.9 from 45.5 in September. Bank of Japan Governor Fukui spoke overnight and intimated the central bank’s monetary policy will remain gradualist. "We adopted the quantitative easing monetary policy as an emergency measure to help the Japanese economy from the risk of deflation spiraling and we cannot continue such an extraordinary policy forever. But even if we call off the policy, we will not make a drastic shift to (credit) tightening immediately. With regard to a more specific timing (on an end to the policy) we will make an appropriate decision by watching closely economic and financial conditions. As part of the process of ending the quantitative monetary easing framework, the current account reserve target will be reduced to the required levels and then the policy will be shifted back to the conventional interest rate-based one eventually,” Fukui said. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.53% to close at ¥14,155.06. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥117.60 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥137.50 level and was capped around the ¥138.25 level. The British pound and Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥204.80 and ¥89.45 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 8.0856, up from CNY 8.0847. Data released in China overnight saw January – October CPI up 1.9% y/y and it was also reported yesterday that China’s trade surplus with the U.S. exceeded US$ 20 billion last month. China’s government also released some forecasts overnight predicting China’s economy, industrial valued-added output, fixed-asset investment, and retail sales will have grown 9.4%, 16.2%, 25.3%, and 12.8% in 2005, respectively.

The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.7375 level and was capped around the $1.7435 level. The pair came within 50 pips of establishing a new multi-month low dating to July of this year. Minor data released in the U.K. today saw John Lewis Partnership department store sales up 2.8% in the week to 5 November. The U.K. holiday shopping period will be closely watched by traders because personal consumption and final private demand have been shaky in 2005 and the U.K. manufacturing sector is technically in a recession. U.K. economic growth will print below-trend in 2005 and a strong retail season for U.K. merchants could be sterling-positive. Cable offers are cited around the $1.7435/ 1.7500 levels. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.6705 level after testing offers around the £0.6730 level.


The Swiss franc gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.3160 level and was supported around the CHF 1.3120 level. Today’s tight range is attributable to European and U.S. holidays. KOF today reported the Swiss economy will likely continue to expand over the next several months, citing capacity utilization and the construction industry as having improved recently. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.3010 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5385 level while the British pound came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 2.2840 level.


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