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Monday June 28, 2004 - 15:05:47 GMT
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Forex Market News and Commentary (28 June 2004)

The euro spiked higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2230 level following a spike higher from the $1.2175 level during early North American dealing. The pair moved lower to test bids around the 100-hr moving average during European dealing when it was learned that the U.S. had transferred sovereignty to Iraq some two days early. Geopolitical events may still dictate some markets moves this week, however, as there are reports that major terrorist attacks may still be planned for this week. Selling pressure from Asian names around the $1.2190 level was absorbed during the move higher later in the session. Options traders report an option barrier around the $1.2235 level. In addition to the transition of sovereignty to Iraq, traders are closely watching other events this week including the FOMC’s interest rate decision on Wednesday. The Fed is expected to tighten policy by 25bps on that day. Also, Wednesday is the last day of the first half and second quarter of 2004 and there could be related volatility. ECB chief economist Issing characterized the recent decline in German business confidence as “disappointing.” ECB’s Wellink spoke from the BIS today said he sees signs of global inflationary pressures “edging higher” and said commodity prices are the most visible inflation threat. He said global central banks need to tighten macroeconomic policies. In other news out of Basel today, G10 central bankers and regulators approved the so-called Basel II revision to the capital adequacy framework. Data released in the eurozone today saw EMU-12 M3 money supply growth below expectations at +4.7% y/y and these data have many traders guessing the ECB will not change monetary policy this week. Germany’s Jule consumer sentiment indicator rose to 5.0 in June while Italy’s June service sector confidence fell to +15 from +17. Also, Italian May PPI rose 0.9% m/m, above forecast. Euro bids are cited around the $1.2120/ 00 levels. Data released in the U.S. today saw May personal income increase +0.6% while personal consumption expenditures expanded 1.0% with real personal consumption expenditures up +0.4%. The lower real PCE data suggests that higher oil prices are deflating real spending. The headline figure, however, was the largest since October 2001.


The yen lost a small around of ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today but the greenback looked to be on the defensive during early North American dealing after encountering offers around the ¥108.20 level. The pair traded above its 100-hour moving average for a couple of hours but soon found itself below the ¥107.75 level. The move higher during Australasian dealing was precipitated by weaker-than-expected Japanese retail sales that saw a 1.2% m/m and 2.5% y/y decline in May with large store sales off 3.5% y/y. Technically, dollar bids are expected to emerge around the ¥107.35 level. Traders await the release of this week’s quarterly tankan survey of corporate sentiment on Thursday. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed +0.88% to close at ¥11,884.06. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥107.00 figure with stops below that level. Dollar offers are cited around the ¥108.00 figure. The yen lost considerable ground vis-à-vis the euro today as the single currency tested offers around the ¥131.80 level after finding good demand around the ¥131.40 level during early North American dealing. A large French automotive company was seen buying the cross through the ¥131.70 level. Euro offers are cited around the ¥132.35 level.


The British pound climbed higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8340 level before slipping below the $1.8300 figure during North American dealing. Cable spike to the $1.8275 level during European dealing but ran out of steam before testing offers around the $1.8350 level, an area that saw firm selling pressure on 21 June. Bank of England issued a half-yearly Financial Stability report today in which it concluded risks to U.K. financial stability have receded in the previous six months but added the “debt-laden U.K. consumer sector” is a concern. Cable bids are cited around the $1.8210/ 00 levels with additional bids seen around the $1.8170/25 levels. The euro was little changed vis-à-vis the British pound today as the single currency tested offers around the £0.6685 level and remained supported around the £0.6650 level. Euro bids are cited around the £0.6640 level and euro offers are cited around the £0.6700 figure.


The Swiss franc retraced most of its losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2435 level during early North American dealing. The pair spike more than 50 pips lower in short order after the pair tested offers around the CHF 1.2555 level. Swiss National Bank added one-week liquidity at 0.27% today. Traders await the release of Swiss KOF data on Wednesday and CPI data on Thursday. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc today as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5235 level.


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