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Thursday August 26, 2004 - 15:37:09 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (26 August 2004)



The euro lost some ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2045 level and was capped around the $1.2125 level. The pair came off marginally during early U.S. dealing after the release of weekly initial jobless claims data that saw a 10,000 increase to 343,000 persons. Half of the increase was attributable to Hurricane Charley and continuing claims rose 5,000 to 2.897 million. Traders are speculating if and how the hurricane will have impacted August U.S. non-farm payrolls when those data are released one week from tomorrow. Traders await comments from Fed Chairman Greenspan tomorrow as well as his testimony in Congress on 8 September. Atlanta Fed President Guynn spoke yesterday and said the Fed will continue to tighten monetary policy “in a measured way.” Guynn spoke cautiously about recent inflation data saying “although troublesome inflation problems do not seem imminent, a continuation of accommodative monetary policy is not appropriate as the economic expansion gains momentum and breadth.” A small amount of euro buying was seen earlier during European dealing on news that Russia’s central bank may increase its euro reserves in 2005. Data released in the eurozone today saw EMU-12 M3 money supply growth register an unexpected rise in July – the second in two months – on account of an acceleration in private sector credit growth. M3 rose to 5.5% in July from an unrevised 5.4% in June. The major data release in the eurozone saw a decline in the Ifo German business sentiment index in August that was less-than-expected with the headline business climate index receding to 95.3 from 95.6 in July. Ifo’s Nerb said the moderate German economic recovery should continue despite the pullback in the Ifo index. Euro bids are cited around the $1.2040 level.

¥

The yen moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥109.55 level after having trouble with the ¥110.30 level during European dealing. A retreat in October NYMEX crude futures to below US$ 43.00/barrel contributed to the yen’s strength but market participants have cited a recent decoupling between the yen and oil. News on this front today included a report that saboteurs have attacked some 20 separate oil pipelines in Iraq in a bid to disrupt oil production. News that the MoF plans to expand JGB purchases by foreigners by availing more withholding tax exemptions spurred some sales of the paid overnight as well. Capital flows data for the five trading days ending 20 August evidenced net yen outflows of ¥64.4 billion during the period. Also, Japan’s trade surplus grew 44.2% y/y, the 13th consecutive month of expansion. The Nikkei 225 stock index fell 0.01% to close at ¥11,129.33 after yesterday’s 144.69 point gain while the TOPIX index has gained ground for eight consecutive sessions. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥109.30. The euro weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the ¥ 132.35 level after testing offers around the ¥133.30 level. In Chinese news, the IFM yesterday warned that a soft landing in China’s economy “is not yet assured.”

 

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