As the New York market opens there has been virtually no movement in major exchange rates during the overseas sessions. Again, forex markets expect to take their cue from the U.S. stock indices and this is likely to cause continuing uncertainty.

The euro is marginally softer at $0.9620. Positive news for the euro zone came in the announcement that German industry orders gained 4.7% in February after two down months in December and January.

The seemingly never-ending effort to talk up the euro is picking up speed. Overnight the deluge of "hawkish" comments has continued with a contribution this morning by



Ernst Welteke

, who said that further tightening could not be ruled out as price pressures still persist. He identified high oil and import prices. "As long as these two factors are not reversed, fears persist that price developments may continue to be headed upwards," Welteke noted.

Also commenting this morning, was

Bank of France


Jean-Claude Trichet

who repeated the view that the euro's value did not reflect the strength of the euro zone economy. These remarks follow similar comments in the past couple of days from the president of the

European Central Bank

and two of his colleagues. Once again, a euro move has approached but failed to threaten key resistance levels around $0.9850.

"We're more optimistic on euro/dollar and see it as a bit oversold," said Michael Lewis of

Deutsche Bank

in London. Lewis suggests that $0.98 area is possible but feels that any rally will stall out at that level.

The yen remains on the sidelines with market opinion split over the balance of pros and cons. Following a New York close of 105.00, the yen has held in a narrow range overnight and is opening at 104.90.

With both the euro and the yen effectively steady the euro/yen cross has opened unchanged at 100.90.

Sterling has shown little reaction to the expected decision by the Monetary Policy Committee of the

Bank of England

to leave interest rates unchanged at 6%. This decision was absolutely in line with the consensus, as the pound is seen as too strong vs. the euro and British industry is very concerned about the resulting loss of competitiveness. Lewis sees the pound in a slightly lower trading range now that "no rate rise is likely for the next couple of months." Cable (the traders' name for the pound) is opening in New York at $1.5845, easing back from recent highs at $1.60.

The dollar/swiss franc relationship has also steadied and the dollar is now trading little changed at SF 1.6325. Against the SF, the euro remains weak but has lost ground to SF1.5720 back around on Tuesday.

The dollar is also steady against the $C at 1.4500 with these two currencies seen as moving broadly in tandem for the time being. The Canadian equity markets are looking reasonably strong and Canadian traders expect this factor to keep $C firm, particularly if the key 1.4450 level is broken.

The Australian dollar has given up yesterday's modest gains at $0.6025 as the market shows no real reaction to the 25-basis-point rise in interest rates announced on Wednesday.

Forex markets look to be quiet today with only equity market volatility likely to shake current levels. There is no strong consensus on any major currency pair and moves are likely to remain shallow and subject to reversal.