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Friday September 12, 2008 - 14:49:42 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (12 September 2008)

The euro moved sharply higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4145 level and was supported around the $1.3970 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.4910 to $1.3880.  The common currency moved higher as traders continued to react to Lehman Brothers’ funding problems and the potential imminent collapse or takeover of the bank.  Interestingly, U.S. commercial banks have been borrowing funds from the Federal Reserve at a record pace while primary dealers didn’t tap the discount lending window last week that was created for them to enhance liquidity in the U.S. financial system.  Data released in the U.S. today saw August retail sales decline 0.3%, the second consecutive monthly drop, while the ex-autos component was off 0.7%.  Also, the August producer price index fell 0.9%, the largest monthly drop since October 2006.  The annualized rate fell to 9.6% but is still very elevated.  Additionally, August business inventories were up 1.1% and the mid-September University of Michigan consumer sentiment indicator rose to 73.1 from 63.0 in August.  In eurozone news, Eurogroup’s Juncker said the eurozone is not “on the brink of a recession.” EMU-15 finance ministers and central bankers are convening in Nice today and tomorrow to discuss the slowing eurozone economy. Data released in the eurozone today saw EMU-15 industrial output fall 0.3% m/m and 1.7% y/y. These data reinforce the view that the eurozone economy may contract in Q3.  Other data saw EMU-15 employment expand 0.2% q/q in Q2.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3840 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥106.80 level and was capped around the ¥107.85 level.  The dollar was lower across the board as traders doubted the immediate survivability of troubled U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers and speculated who would assume control of the institution.  Bank of American and Barclays are being touted as two private-sector candidates to purchase the bank while other reports indicate the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve may facilitate a sale to a consortium of banks this weekend to avoid any possibility of systemic risk moving through the U.S. financial system.  Lehman’s share price traded below $4.00 in after-hours trading overnight.  Data released in Japan overnight saw the economy shrink 0.7% in the April – June period, worse than the initial 0.6% provisional estimate.  This is equivalent to a 3.0% annualized decline and was mostly attributable to a sharp decline in capital spending and a decrease in net exports.  These data did little to alter the view that Bank of Japan’s Policy Board will keep borrowing costs unchanged next week.  In fact, the swaps market is pricing in virtually no change in official Japanese interest rates over the next twelve months.  Other data July industrial production upwardly revised to 1.3% m/m.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.93% to close at ¥12,214.76.  U.S. dollar bids are cited around the ¥102.45 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥107.70 level and was supported around the ¥106.70 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥190.65 and ¥94.95 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8450 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8465.  Data released in China overnight saw August retail sales up 23.2% y/y to CNY 876.8 billion while industrial value-added output was up 15.7% between January and August. 

The British pound appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.7810 level and was supported around the US$ 1.7540 level.  Cable added to yesterday’s gains following the U.S. dollar’s sharp decline and a somewhat hawkish set of comments from Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Tucker today.  Tucker noted the growth and inflation outlook has recently been on the downside but that these declines have been offset by the recent depreciation of the pound.  He also reported inflation measures are “flashing warning signs” and surmised headline inflation will likely rise above 4.4%.  Interestingly, Tucker suggested the markets may have misinterpreted the BoE’s recent quarterly inflation report as paving the way for rate cuts.  Cable bids are cited around the $1.6540 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.7935 level and was capped around the ₤0.7980 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today
as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.1295 level and was capped around the CHF 1.1400 figure.  Most traders expect Swiss National Bank will keep interest rates unchanged next Thursday.   U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1430 level.  The euro and British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6035 and CHF 2.0200 levels, respectively.


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Tue 31 July 2018
AA JP- Bank of Japan
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Wed 1 Aug 2018
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AA 12:15 US- ADP Private Payrolls
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