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Tuesday January 27, 2009 - 18:12:11 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (27 January 2009)

The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3205 level and was supported around the $1.2860 level.  The common currency moved higher after eurozone data printed better than expected.  The German January Ifo business confidence index rebounded slightly to 83.0 from 82.7, the first improvement in eight months.  Also, the November current account balance was in deficit by €16.0 billion, the largest every for the eurozone since 1999.  European Central Bank President Nowotny reported there is no room for a “wait and see” approach, adding ECB policymakers have are “having a big discussion about how to avoid deflation. The goal of the ECB is inflation not more than but also close to 2 per cent...We are very actively fighting inflation but also very actively fighting deflation.” ECB’s Quaden added “We are probably ready to cut further. But I am launching an appeal to the banks to pass on the impact on rates that they impose on investors and consumers… The fourth quarter in particular was truly catastrophic with negative quarterly growth of at least minus 1 per cent.” The German government reported 2009 borrowing may exceed €36.8 billion.  In U.S. news, Geithner’s nomination was approved by the Senate and he is now the new U.S. Treasury Secretary.  Geithner is likely to spearhead the manner in which the next US$ 350 billion TARP injection is appropriate and oversee the proposed US$ 825 billion fiscal stimulus.  He is also expected to announce new measures to ease credit strains in the next couple of weeks.  Traders await the Federal Reserve’s interest rate announcement tomorrow with many wondering what additional credit easing facilities the Fed can creatively conjure and implement.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the S&P/ Case-Shiller November house price index fall a record 18.2% y/y.  Also, January consumer confidence fell to 37.7 from a revised 38.6 in December while the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index improved to -49.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2475 level.



¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥90.05 level and was supported around the ¥88.70 level.  Minutes from Bank of Japan’s Policy Board meeting were released overnight and some policymakers said a further decrease in the current 0.1% overnight call rate should not be ruled out. Other policymakers opposed the decrease to 0.1% and argued the emphasis on policy should be geared to longer-term rates and improving corporate financing.  The Japanese government enacted a US$ 53 billion extra budget today to finance the government’s stimulus plans.  Prime Minister Aso will speak in Parliament tomorrow and is facing intense political pressure ahead of the election that must be held by October.  The government also announced it will purchase shares in companies that have serious capital problems as a result of the financial crisis.  Data released in Japan overnight saw December corporate service prices off 0.5% m/m and 2.5% y/y.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 4.93% to close at ¥8,061.07.  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 ¥116.10 level and was capped around the ¥119.45 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥127.65 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥124.25 level.  The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8392 in the over-the-counter market.


The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today
as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.4240 level and was supported around the $1.3925 level.  Cable gained ground despite a gloomy report from U.K. retailers that saw the CBI monthly retail sales balance improve to -47 from 055 in December, albeit a better print than expected.  Notably, however, the February outlook was the worst since 1983 at -52. Final private demand remains quite weak in the U.K. and most traders expect Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee will continue to ease interest rates in the near future. Business Secretary Mandelson is expected to announce new measures to support U.S. automakers soon.  Cable offers are cited around the US$ 1.4615 level. The euro moved sharply lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.9280 level and was capped around the ₤0.9445 level.



The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today
as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.1435 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1315 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the December UBS consumption indicator improve to 1.15 from 0.96 in November.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1550 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5085 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6155 level.


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