Daily Market Commentary
The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.5555 level and was capped around the $1.5630 level. Technically, today’s intraday high and low were right around the 50% and 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.6020 to $1.5280. European Central Bank President Trichet reinforced expectations the central bank is unlikely to ease monetary policy anytime soon. Trichet reported policymakers must prevent higher inflation from igniting higher pay deals that could in turn lead to an inflationary spiral. Germany’s Bundesbank released its monthly bulletin today in which it reported the ECB’s “central monetary policy challenge remains the firm anchoring of longer-term inflation expectations.” Germany’s ZEW research institute will release its economic expectations tomorrow for May. The German Economy Ministry today reported the economy will slow in the next few months. Data released in the eurozone today saw March construction output fall 2.2% m/m and 1.4% y/y. In U.S. news, traders await the release of the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting from 30 April on Wednesday. Policymakers voted to reduce the federal funds target rate by 25bps at that meeting and dealers await any clue that the Fed may be close to ending its long-term rate-easing cycle. Data released in the U.S. today saw the April leading index up 0.1%. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.5230 level.
The yen appreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥103.65 level and was capped around the ¥104.30 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from ¥108.60 to ¥95.70. Data released in Japan overnight saw April department store sales off 3.4% y/y, the latest evidence that final private demand is lagging. The government announced an initiative today to expand foreign investment in Japan. The coincident index and tertiary index will be released tonight. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.35% to close at ¥14,269.61. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥103.00/ 101.35 levels. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥161.80 level and was capped around the ¥162.50 level. The British pound and Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥203.05 and ¥99.20 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.9753 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.9890 and the pair’s lowest close since the yuan revaluation of July 2005.
The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9490 level and was capped around the $1.9625 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from US$ 2.0025 to $1.9360. Data released in the U.K. overnight saw Rightmove May house prices up 1.2%, reaching its highest level in nearly six years. RICS reported U.K. house sales may decline more than 40% in 2008 and Lloyds TSB business optimism survey reached new lows in April. It was also reported that Bank of England Deputy Governor Lomax is resigning from the central bank effective next month. Candidates to succeed her include MPC’s Bean and Tucker. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9360/ 1.9100 levels. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.7980 level and was supported around the ₤0.7950 level.
The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0530 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0415 level. Swiss April producer and import prices data will be released tomorrow. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0760 level. The euro and British pound gained ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6350 and CHF 2.0525 levels, respectively.