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Friday July 23, 2004 - 15:21:17 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis

The euro depreciated vis--vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2155 level after encountering resistance around the $1.2265 level during Australasian dealing. Decent stops were triggered below the $1.2210 level during European dealing and this propelled the pair to intraday lows. Dealers continue to attribute the euros losses to comments from Fed Chairman Greenspan this week in which he reaffirmed the Feds commitment to gradual monetary easing and removed doubt about the FOMCs likely course of action on 10 August. Greenspan also didnt completely remove the possibility of a 50bps interest rate hike if conditions should warrant in the future. Comments from Chicago Fed President Moskow reaffirmed Greenspans remarks and comments from other Fed officials this week. In contrast, comments from ECBs Issing and Weber this week lend credence to the notion the ECB is on hold and is not close to raising rates in the near future. Provisional July CPI data from some German states is lower than or meeting expectations. Preliminary pan-German CPI data are expected on Monday. German import prices fell a larger-than-expected 0.6% m/m in June, mostly on account of oil prices, with the annual rate falling to +2.0% from +2.5%. Other data released in the eurozone today saw Italian May retail sales register their largest y/y fall on record, off 3.2% y/y.

The yen lost marginal ground vis--vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the 110.30 level after finding good demand around the 109.65 level during early North American dealing. A 1.0% m/m slide in the May tertiary index that tracks the service sector contributed to the yens weakness after its 2.2% gain in April. The all-industries index declined 0.7% m/m. Capital flows data released overnight saw net yen inflows of 437.7 billion in the five trading days to 16 July as foreign investors were net buyers of Japanese equities and bonds. Some stops were triggered above the 110.00 figure during the pairs ascent and the 109.90/85 level provided some support during a brief pullback. The Nikkei 225 stock index shed 0.87% to close at 11,187.33. The euro weakened vis--vis the yen today as the single currency tested bids around the 133.80 level after being capped around the 134.70 level during Australasian dealing. Strong stops were hit below the 134.00 figure during the move lower.

The British pound depreciated vis--vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8330 level after peaking around the $1.8450 level during Australasian dealing. Data released in the U.K. today saw Q2 GDP expand at its fastest rate since Q3 2000, up 0.9% q/q and +3.7% y/y. A rise in industrial production was primarily responsible for the economic expansion. Overall, however, the GDP data were slightly weaker-than-expected and prompted more cable sales. Cable bids are cited around the $1.8325/ $1.8290 level and cable offers are seen around the $1.8450/55 levels. The euro came off vis--vis the British pound today as the single currency tested bids around the 0.6610 level after running out of steam around the 0.6660 level.


The Swiss franc came off vis--vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2645 level after hitting major stops above the CHF 1.2600 figure. Bids around the CHF 1.2480 level supported the pair during European dealing and the greenback basically moved higher in one-way dealing. Swiss National Bank added overnight liquidity at 0.28% today. The euro gained marginal ground vis--vis the Swiss franc today as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5325 level.


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