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Monday September 20, 2004 - 15:32:53 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (20 September 2004)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2185 level during Australasian dealing and was supported around the $1.2125 level during North American dealing. Many traders are on the sidelines ahead of tomorrow’s FOMC interest rate decision. Fed policymakers are expected to raise the federal funds target rate by 25bps. After tomorrow’s meeting, there are two FOMC meetings remaining this year and many Fed-watchers expect the Fed will sit tight at the November FOMC meeting. Tomorrow’s FOMC meeting is also the final meeting before the November U.S. presidential election, adding additional significance to the Fed’s decision. The Fed’s statement on monetary policy will likely play a larger role than the actual decision itself. The statement also takes on added importance because the European Central Bank’s monetary policy stance has become more hawkish over the past couple of weeks and any indication that the Fed may be keeping its powder dry for a longer period of time could result in some euro appreciation. Traders will also pay attention to August leading indicators, existing home sales, and durable goods orders. In eurozone news, Germany’s Schroeders’s SPD sustained some losses at the regional polls yesterday. Also, six German states are planning to releases provisional September CPI data on Thursday. Data released in Germany today saw July industrial production grow +1.6% m/m while manufacturing orders climbed +3.0% m/m. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2120/$1.2090 levels.


The yen traded in a narrow range vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥110.15 level and was supported around the ¥109.70 level during European dealing. There was a dearth of liquidity during Australasian dealing on account of a holiday in Japan and reduced liquidity is also expected on Thursday on account of another market holiday. Technically, the pair has been trapped in a ¥111.00/ ¥108.75 range for weeks and is trading between the 21-week and 55-week moving averages. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥109.30/ ¥108.70 levels. Dollar offers are seen around the ¥110.30/ 60 levels with additional selling pressure around the ¥111.50 levels. The euro weakened vis-à-vis the yen today as the single currency tested bids around the ¥133.15 level and was capped around the ¥134.05 level. In Chinese news, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou said “price movements can be considered stable,” leading to speculation that Chinese interest rates are not being changed anytime soon. Additionally, traders note that Chinese President Hu Jintao consolidated military power over the weekend and is now the “undisputed” leader of China.


The British pound fell sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.7815 level after failing to get above the $1.7930 level. Bank of England released an inflation survey overnight that forecasts a median inflation rate of 2.3% over the next twelve months compared with 2.4% in the May survey. Also, around 73% expect interest rates to rise in the next year. Data released in the U.K. today saw the public sector net borrowing requirement at £5.155 billion, below August 2003’s £5.204 billion level. Cable bids are cited around the $1.7800 figure with additional bids eyed around the $1.7740 level. Cable offers are seen around $1.7930/ 80 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound today as the single currency tested offers around the £0.6815 level.


The Swiss franc lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2775 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2680 level. Technically, many traders expect the pair will test offers around the CHF 1.2815 level this week. Dollar bids are cited around the $1.2650 level with additional bids around the $1.2570 level. Dollar offers are seen around the $1.2860/$1.2920 levels with an option barrier seen around the CHF 1.3000 figure. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc today as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5500 figure.


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