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Monday November 28, 2005 - 16:02:41 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (28 November 2005)

The euro retraced intraday losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today and tested offers around the US$ 1.1765 level after earlier plumbing lows around the $1.1680 level. Today’s intraday high is right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.2165 to $1.1640. The common currency made gains after the release of weak U.S. housing market data that saw October existing home sales off 2.74% to 7.09 million units. These data reflect the impact of higher interest rates. The Federal Reserve has tightened monetary policy multiple times for more than one year and is expected raise interest rates in December and late January. The question on Fed-watchers’ minds is what the Federal Open Market Committee will do when policymakers convene on 28 March. Also on the monetary policy front, European Central Bank’s Governing Council meets on Thursday to deliberate interest rates. Most dealers now expect the ECB to lift the main refinancing rate by 25bps to 2.25% in what would be the central bank’s tightening in several years. ECB President Trichet last week intimated the markets should not necessarily expect that a move higher in rates will usher in a series of rate hikes. The dollar has gained sizable ground vis-à-vis the euro over the past eleven months on account of interest rate differentials and the perception the Fed will be more aggressive with monetary policy than the ECB. The post-meeting press conference to be held by Trichet will be closely watched by traders this week irrespective of policymakers’ decision. French finance minister Breton today said all EMU-12 finance ministers “do not today see a risk of inflation” while Luxembourg’s Juncker said there is “no strict need” to hike rates. The big items on the docket in the U.S. this week include Thursday’s ISM manufacturing report and Friday’s November non-farm payrolls number. Also, G7 finance ministers and central bankers will convene in London on Friday and Saturday to discuss the global economy, oil prices, the bird flu, and Fed Chairman Greenspan’s departure from the Fed. Data released in Germany today saw the November GfK consumer climate index rise to 3.3 from 3.1 in October. Euro offers are cited around the $1.1795/ 1.1840 levels.

¥/ CNY

The yen lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥119.90 level and was supported around the ¥119.55 level. Today’s high represents a fresh multi-year high for the pair and opens up the ¥120.00 figure as the next psychological barrier for the pair. Data released in Japan overnight saw October retail sales fall 0.3% y/y, the first decline in eight months, while October commercial sales were up 1.9% y/y. The Nikkei reported private sector capital spending may gain 15.2% y/y in the next fiscal year. Business investment and consumption are both integral components of the Japanese economy and a recovery in these sectors will coincide with an end to Japan’s long-standing bout with deflation. The war of words between Bank of Japan and the government continued today with Liberal Democratic Party policy boss Nakagawa voicing his opposition to a change in monetary policy, noting the country has yet to beat deflation. The central bank is unlikely to begin to unwind its long-standing quantitative easing policy before the end of the current fiscal year in March. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.37% to close at ¥14,986.94, a new five-year high. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥119.50/ 05 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥140.70 level and was supported just below the ¥140.00 figure. The British pound came off marginally vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥204.30 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥90.85 level. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback closed at CNY 8.0825, up from CNY 8.0815. A Chinese government report released today estimates the economy will have grown 9.4% in 2005 and sees growth of 9.2% in 2006.

The British pound edged marginally higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.1760 level and was supported around the $1.7045 level. Today’s intraday low was the pair’s weakest print of the year and represents a fresh two-year low. Data released in the U.K. today saw November Hometrack house prices remain flat following sixteen months of declines. On the political front, a European Union official said it is “urgent” for the EU to reach a budget agreement at next month’s EU summit in the U.K. The budget involves the period from 2007 – 2013. Cable offers are cited around the $1.7225/ 1.7280 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.6865 level and was supported around the £0.6825 level.


The Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.3110 level after testing offers around the CHF 1.3235 level. Technically, today’s high was right around the 76.4% retracement of the move from CHF 1.3285 to CHF 1.3060. Swiss November CPI data will be released on Wednesday followed by Q3 GDP and November manufacturing PMI on Thursday. Most traders believe Swiss National Bank will tighten monetary policy next month. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.3085/ 20 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5480 level while the British pound came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 2.2520 level.


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