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Monday July 12, 2004 - 14:29:09 GMT
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Forex Market News and Commentary (12 July 2004)

The euro lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2385 level before retracing its early losses and moving to the $1.2440 level. ECB’s Hurley today said the European Central Bank currently has “no bias” in its monetary policy stance but reiterated it remains “vigilant” on rising price pressures. Data released in the eurozone today saw German final June HICP remain unrevised m/m and +1.9% y/y. These data could mean that EMU-12 inflation data will remain unrevised at the flash estimate of +2.4% y/y when they are released on 16 July. French manufacturing output rose 0.5% m/m and +3.6% y/y in June, above most forecasts, while Italian industrial output was flat in May. German Chancellor Schroeder optimistically Germany’s economy could grow more strongly than government’s current forecast of economic growth of 1.5% to 1.8%. Traders await the release of the Kansas City Fed manufacturing index later in the U.S. session. Kansas City Fed President Hoenig spoke on Friday and said the Fed “does not want to get ahead of the curve…and we don’t want to get behind the curve [on inflation].” Traders await U.S. PPI and CPI data later in the week to determine if they will accelerate the FOMC’s current monetary tightening cycle. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2450 level while euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2375 level.


The yen extended its recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥108.35 level after finding good demand around the ¥107.55 level. Australasian dealers took the pair to intraday lows after Japan’s Prime Minister’s Koizumi coalition government survived a scare and retained a majority in the Upper House of the Diet. Opposition parties gained significant ground in yesterday’s election but the LDP and its ruling coalition still maintain a majority. Traders were concerned that if the LDP were to lose its majority, Japan’s financial and economic reforms may be imperiled. The pair might have wandered lower were it not for dollar bids said to be linked to defense of a ¥107.50 option barrier below which stops are cited. The dollar absorbed offers around the ¥108.20 level during its ascent but encountered resistance around the ¥108.40 level during North American dealing. Data released in Japan overnight saw the June domestic consumer goods price index up +0.3% m/m and +1.4% y/y while the May current account surplus rose 23.8% y/y to ¥1.7105 trillion. Also, the May trade surplus rocketed 37.7% to ¥1.1344 trillion. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥107.20/10 level and dollar offers are cited around the ¥108.50 level. The Nikkei 225 stock index finished up 1.39% to close at ¥11,582.28. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen today as the single currency tested offers around the ¥134.40 level after testing bids around the ¥133.45 level. Stops were hit around the ¥133.80 level during Australasian dealing before the pair staged a comeback. Euro offers are seen around the ¥134.50/90 levels.


The British pound gained modest ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8665 level before moving back to the $1.8625 level during North American dealing. Sterling bids were seen around the $1.8570 level overnight. Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown will give his annual Spending Review today and will establish plans for government spending from FY 2005/2006 to FY 2007/2008. Brown is expected to keep government spending at or above the trend rate of growth. The move lower during Australasian dealing was linked to sales of sterling/yen, said to be related to a report that HSBC will acquire a stake in Japanese bank Takefuji. Traders were also seen closing some cable longs amid uncertainty regarding the political future of PM Blair following major infighting between Blair’s camp and Brown’s camp over the weekend. Data released in the U.K. today saw June producer input prices -1.6% m/m and +3.3% y/y while June producer output prices were up +0.1% m/m and +2.6% y/y. Output prices have now increased for nine consecutive months and the annual rise at its highest level since May 1996. Collectively, however, many economists are currently dismissing the threat of pipeline inflation. Cable offers are cited around the $1.8690 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the British pound today as the single currency tested bids around the £0.6650 level. Euro bids are cited around the £0.6640 level while euro offers are cited around the £0.6680/85 level.


The Swiss franc lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the US$ 1.2265 level and found bids around the US$ 1.2205 level. Swiss National Bank raised the rate at which it injects money market liquidity today, adding one-week liquidity at 0.29% today. There are no significant data released scheduled this week in Switzerland. The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc today as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5195 level.


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