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Monday September 27, 2004 - 15:11:56 GMT
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Forex Market Analysis and Commentary (27 September 2004)

The euro was little-changed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2295 level and was supported around the $1.2245 level. The pair was quite compared with Friday’s wild ride that saw the pair spike above the $1.2360 level and later test bids around the $1.2240 level. Data released in the U.S. today saw August building permits issued upwardly revised to a decrease of 4.7% from the originally-reported -5.5% rate. G7 finance ministers will convene in Washington, D.C. this weekend and one of the key topics will be China’s foreign exchange regime. U.S. Treasury Secretary Snow has very visibly and politically said that China is not doing enough to liberalize its yuan currency and traders can expect some heightened rhetoric in the post-meeting communiqué as President Bush needs to score some political gains with his export-dependent political constituencies. Bank of Spain Governor Caruana today said “the growth in oil prices” is a risk factor that can effect economic growth “as much as inflationary risks.” Caruana also said the ECB continues to be “vigilant” on oil prices. Data released in the eurozone today saw EMU-12 M3 growth up 5.5% from a downwardly revised 5.4% in July. Other data released today saw the pan-German Ifo business sentiment index stable in September with the headline index falling to 95.2 from 95.3 in August. Ifo’s Nerb was in the media today saying the economic upmove remains “intact.” Also, Italian September services confidence declined on account of the worsening economic outlook in that country. Euro bids are cited around the $1.2225 level.


The yen weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥111.30 level, the first time it has traded there since 13 August. Stops were triggered above the ¥111.10 level during the move higher in early North American dealing. The end of the week marks the end of Japan’s fiscal half-year and many dealers expect the dollar to remain firm so that Japanese exporters can book decent stronger overseas profits on their income statements. Data released in Japan today saw the August corporate goods price index decline 0.3% y/y in August, the 77th consecutive monthly decline. These data confirm that deflation is still a sizable problem in the Japanese economy. Capital flows data released overnight for the five trading days ending 17 September saw net yen outflows of ¥1.1792 trillion during the period as Japanese investors were net buyers of foreign equities and foreign bonds. In political news, PM Koizumi reshuffled his cabinet today and retained Tanigaki as Finance Minister. Takenaka, however, is stepping down as Financial Services Minister and is will focus on concentration of the Postal Service. Tanigaki will meet his G7 colleagues in Washington, D.C. this weekend and today said the surge in oil prices will be discussed. Dollar bids are seen around the ¥110.50 level. The euro climbed higher vis-à-vis the yen today as the single currency tested offers around the ¥136.80 level and was supported around the ¥135.70 level.


The British pound moved modestly higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8080 level after finding bids around the $1.8030 level. Data released in the U.K. today saw BBA mortgage approvals decline further in August with the number of loans approved for home purchases receding to 64,032 to 70,756 in July. Mortgage refinancing approvals also declined but at a lesser pace. These data are the latest indication that the Bank of England’s interest rate increases are having an impact on the U.K. housing sector. The refinancing data, however, suggest mortgage equity extractions will continue to support the U.K. economy in the short-term. On the political front, U.K. Brown will give a speech to the Labour Party that focuses on India and China. Separately, PM Blair is fending off calls for his resignation. The euro gained a small amount of ground vis-à-vis the British pound today as the single currency tested offers around the £0.6815 level and was supported around the £0.6780 level.


The Swiss franc was relatively unchanged vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2650 level and tested bids around the CHF 1.2580 level. The pair moved to intraday lows during North American dealing when the euro tried to gain traction above the $1.2300 figure. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc today as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5510 level.


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