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Thursday October 23, 2008 - 16:41:34 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (23 October 2008)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2725 level and was capped around the $1.2890 level.  Traders are talking about reports that the Bush administration may implement a US$ 40 billion plan to help troubled homeowners refinance their mortgages.  Along the same lines, Federal Reserve Governor Duke reported the US$ 300 billion Hope for Homeowners program that was announced a couple of weeks ago is nearly ready to become operational. That program would provide financial assistance for borrowers looking to refinance their properties.  Data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims climb 15,000 to 478,000 while continuing jobless claims were off 6,000. Also, the U.S. August house price index fell 0.6%.  U.S. Treasury’s interim assistant secretary for financial stability Kashkari reported there have been signs of improvement in the markets but added they “remain fragile.”   In eurozone news, EMU-15 August industrial new orders fell more-than-expected while the EMU-15 current account deficit expanded to -€8.4 billion, its worst level since December 2000.  European Central Bank member Gonzalez-Paramo reported there “is a confirmation of a slowdown in growth and a deterioration in the outlook for growth in the euro area and globally, which means the pressure on inflation will be lower, and this, together with the lowering of commodity prices, is explaining that we are in a position to diminish rates without adding to inflationary risks in the medium term."  A Group of 20 summit will be held on 15 November to discuss financial reforms.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2475 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥96.85 level and was capped around the ¥98.30 level.  Chief Cabinet Secretary Kawamura said “The yen's rise may bring some benefits but we need to pay attention to how it will affect the real economy through exports and imports.”  The yen’s strength is coincident with reports that Japan’s economy is quickly weakening.   Data released in Japan saw September exports expand a mere 1.5% y/y, the latest evidence the economy may be entering a recession.  Capital flows data revealed that foreign investors sold a net ¥792.2 billion in Japanese bonds last week with the four-week total around ¥3.7 trillion.  The Nikkei 225 stock index shed 2.46% to close at ¥8,460.98.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥104.15 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥123.40 level and was capped around the ¥126.25 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥155.45 and ¥82.85 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8354 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8341.

The British pound fell sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.6040 level and was capped around the $1.6345 level.  Traders remain convinced Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will continue reducing interest rates in the coming months, taking the repo rate lower from its current 4.5% level.  MPC member Barker today warned it could be months before businesses see any improvements in conditions while MPC’s Besley said the recent reduction in oil and commodity prices was a welcome development for inflation.  Data released in the U.K. today saw September retail sales off 0.4% m/m and up 1.8% y/y.  U.K. GDP data will be released tomorrow and are expected to have contracted between July and September.  Also, BBA reported that September mortgage approvals were off 56.6% y/y.  Cable bids are seen around the $1.5925 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.7980 level and was supported around the ₤0.7835 level.

 

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Real-time forex market news reports and features providing other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the headlines below. At the top of the forex blog page you will find the latest forex trading information. Scroll down the page if you are looking for less recent currency trading information. Scroll to the bottom of fx blog headlines and click on the link for past reports on forex. Currency world news reports from previous years can be found on the left sidebar under "FX Archives."



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