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Tuesday July 27, 2004 - 15:02:22 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (27 July 2004)

The euro erased much of its intraday gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2190 level before moving back below the $1.2150 level during North American dealing. Bids for the common currency emerged around the $1.2120 level earlier in the day on news on a possible bomb aboard a United Airlines flight en route from Sydney but this level was later taken out following the release of better-than-expected U.S. economic data. It was reported that July consumer confidence came in at 106.1 in July from a revised 102.8 in June. Also, June new home sales were off 0.8% to 1.326 million units but this decline was better-than-expected. Better sentiment data were seen in Germany today also with the Ifo business climate indicator rising to 95.6 from 94.6, exceeding forecasts. This represented the first improvement since April with both the current conditions and business expectations indices notching gains. Ifo’s Nerb called on the ECB to keep interest rates unchanged. ECB’s Quaden today said the ECB will not raise interest rates “in coming months” but reiterated the “vigilance” mantra. ECB’s Weber spoke last night and said the German economy’s surprising H1 2004 growth rate and uptick in capacity utilization could result in a strong 2004 number. Weber sees Q2 GDP growth of +0.5% q/q, up from the +0.4% q/q pace in Q1. Other data released in the eurozone today saw Italian July business confidence above expectations. Kansas City Fed President Hoenig yesterday said the U.S. economy is continuing on a “good growth track” and said upward price pressures look “relatively manageable.” Hoenig also characterized the current federal funds target rate of 1.25% as “highly accommodative.” Traders await the release of U.S. durable goods data tomorrow and GDP data on Friday. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.1975 level.


The yen extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥110.45 level after finding bids around the ¥109.60 level during North American dealing. The move to intraday lows coincided with a two-day support line around the ¥109.65 level. A large U.S. financial institution in London was seen moving the pair to multi-day highs during North American dealing. Data released in Japan today saw the June corporate service price index flat m/m and off 0.4% y/y. Japanese exporters were seen on the offer around the intraday high with additional selling pressure detected around the ¥110.50 level. In government news, the CEFP approved a budgetary framework for the fiscal year beginning in April 2005. The framework seeks to keep discretionary outlays below the ¥47.6 trillion that is currently allocated for the fiscal year ending March 2005. The Nikkei 225 stock index ended lower for the fourth consecutive session today, dropping 1.15% to close at ¥11,031.54. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥109.40/ 109.20 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen today as the single currency tested offers around the ¥134.15 level after finding demand around the ¥133.20 level. Good intraday euro bids emerged around the ¥133.50 level during North American dealing.

The British pound dropped precipitously vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8270 level after failing to get through the $1.8450 level. The pair weakened substantially after the release of stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data. It was reported today that U.K. mortgage demand remained steady in June with the value of BBA mortgage approvals rising to £10.308 billion from £10.1333 billion in May. The number of mortgage approvals declined to 87,310 from 87,788. Traders are talking about next week’s Bank of England MPC meeting on 4-5 August. Some believe the MPC will tighten policy by another 25bps even though there is anecdotal evidence that final private demand may be moderating. CBI released its manufacturing survey today and respondents were less optimistic in July than in previous months. The CBI, however, believes the recovery in the manufacturing sector will continue to take root. The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.6620 level after testing bids around the £0.6580 level. The move above the £0.6600 figure coincided with cable’s failure at $1.8450.


The Swiss franc lost major ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2765 level after testing bids around the CHF 1.2600 figure. Stops were triggered above the CHF 1.2670 level during the move higher. Swiss National Bank added liquidity at 0.27% today. Traders await the Swiss KOF leading indicator on Friday. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc today as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5400 figure after finding bids around the CHF 1.5340 level.


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