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Friday September 10, 2004 - 15:55:50 GMT
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Forex Market Analysis and Commentary (10 September 2004)

The euro spiked higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2305 level during North American dealing after the release of U.S. economic data. It was reported that the July goods and services deficit was US$50.1 billion, less than June’s revised $55.0 billion level and less than the market’s expectations. The markets, however, focused on other economic data that saw the August producer price index fall 0.1%, following July’s 0.1% gain and June’s 0.3% decline. These data suggest there is less pressure on the FOMC to tighten policy sooner rather than later. It is noteworthy, however, that prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods climbed 1.0% in August after a +0.8% gain in July while the crude goods index came off 0.7% after July’s 0.2% decline. These data suggest there are some pipeline price pressures that could manifest further in coming months. On an annualized basis, year-on-year PPI is now +3.4% compared with July’s +4.0% y/y level while the core year-on-year rate is +1.5%. There was a lot of activity in the eurozone today with Austrian finance minister Grasser saying he “will refuse to allow any weakening of the Stability Pact.” He also called on EMU-12 finance ministers to apply the Pact equally in all countries. Dutch finance minister Zalm today said there is “no real anxiety yet” about high inflation in the eurozone. In contrast, Bank of France’s Noyer said the ECB remains “extremely vigilant” about second-round inflation effects from dearer oil and said the ECB is prepared to move rates higher if the current monetary stance changes. The ECB’s Governing Council last week said it “detected a certain number of upside risks [to inflation] that are not verified for the moment.” It was also reported that Luxembourg’s Juncker will be the next head of the “Eurogroup” for 2 ½ years from January 2005. U.S. Treasury Secretary Snow reiterated the U.S.’s long-standing strong dollar policy yesterday while San Francisco Fed President Yellen hawkishly said “there is reason for a strong presumption that rates will need to keep going up as we move forward.” Euro bids are cited around the $1.2190 level.


The yen weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today but retraced many of its intraday losses as the greenback failed to get above the ¥110.35 level and plummeted following the release of U.S. economic data. The pair’s move higher during Australasian dealing was prompted by a surprising downward revision to Q2 Japanese GDP data that saw a mere +0.3% economic expansion in the April-June period, equivalent to an annualized growth rate of 1.3%. This is down from the preliminary +0.4% q/q and +1.7% y/y rate. These data are the latest economic releases that provide evidence of a deceleration in Japan’s economic recovery and were inconsistent with the market’s expectations. Other data released overnight saw Japan’s corporate goods prices index rise 1.7% y/y in August following July’s +1.6% y/y rise. The Nikkei 225 stock index fell 0.79% to close at ¥11,083.23 with the TOPIX down marginally. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥109.10 level. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the yen today as the single currency tested offers around the ¥135.05 level after finding good bids around the ¥133.95 level. Stops were reached above the ¥134.20 level during the move higher.


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