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Tuesday December 9, 2008 - 20:31:11 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (9 December 2008)

The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2800 figure and was capped around the $1.3000 figure.  The greenback moved to intraday highs in the North American session after U.S. equity markets moved lower and further data were released that evidenced  further weakness in the U.S. housing sector.  The National Association of Realtors’ pending home sales index fell 0.7% m/m but was not as weak as expected.  The Institute for Supply Management’s December 2008 semiannual economic forecast was released today and reported the U.S. manufacturing sector is expected to weaken in 2009 with the service sector posting nominal growth.  In eurozone news, the December ZEW economic expectations index printed at -45.2 in December, higher than November’s print of -53.5.  Nonetheless, most private economists do not expect the German economy will emerge from a recession any earlier than the middle of 2009.  European Central Bank member Liikanen dovishly said “Inflation is set to slow in the coming months in the euro zone.”  Likewise, ECB member Nowotny reported “The ECB has always aimed to have some downward room for maneuver...2.5 per cent does not have to be the last word, we have to look at further developments." Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2135 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥91.95 level and was capped around the ¥93.05 level.  Risk aversion returned to the markets as U.S. equity markets were unable to notch a third consecutive day of gains.  Data released in Japan overnight saw Q3 economic growth decline 0.5% q/q and an annualized 1.8%, worse-than-expected.  The decline in GDP was mostly attributable to a decline in inventory and government spending.  Yomiuri reported Japan is considering may spend an additional US$ 216 billion on additional fiscal stimulus measures, equivalent to about 3.6% of GDP.  Other data released today saw the October coincident index fall 2.5% m/m.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥104.15 level.  The euro lost ground vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥118.40 level and was capped around the ¥120.25 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥135.45 and ¥75.90 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8735 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8800.  People’s Bank of China official Zhang Tao said the central bank needs to remain alert that inflation could rebound in the next six to twelve months.  Data released in China overnight saw November property prices up 0.2% y/y.

The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.4675 level and was capped around the $1.4910 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw October manufacturing output decline sharply, off 1.4% m/m and 5.2% y/y, while industrial output was off 1.7% y/y, the largest decline since January 2003.  Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Sentance reported the current economic recession is likely to be as deep as the three most recent economic recessions in the U.K.  The decline in industrial output render it possible that Q3 gross domestic product may have decline more than the 0.5% pullback reported earlier.  Cable offers are cited around the US$ 1.4865 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.8760 level and was supported around the ₤0.8665 level. 


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