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Friday March 27, 2009 - 14:18:35 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (27 March 2009)

The euro fell sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3290 level and was capped around the US$ 1.3590 level.  Stops were reached below the $1.3435 level as the common currency reached its lowest level this week.  Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA sought government aid after announcing its Q4 2008 profit plunged 47%.  Data released in the eurozone today saw January industrial new orders decline 3.4% while France reported its Q4 2008 gross domestic product was off 1.1% q/q and 0.9% y/y.  Bank of Italy reported the EMU-16 economy contracted at a slower pace in March.  Germany reported January import prices were off 0.5%.  In U.S. news, traders will pay close attention to the meeting in Washington, D.C. today between President Obama and the chief executives of several financial institutions.  Some U.S. banks are now trying to return the TARP funds they borrowed last year or withdrawing their TARP applications.  The other big news in Washington, D.C. continues to be Treasury Secretary Geithner’s plans to enhance regulation of derivatives and seek power to seize troubled financial institutions.  Data released in the U.S. todays saw February personal spending climb +0.2% while personal income was off 0.2%.  Also, the personal consumption expenditures core price index was up +0.2% m/m and 1.8% y/y.  Additionally, final March University of Michigan consumer sentiment printed at 57.3, up from 56.3 at the end of February.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3245 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥97.10 level and was capped around the ¥98.85 level.  Sentiment in global equities markets soured overnight and the yen moved higher as risk aversion increased.  Data released in Japan overnight saw February retail sales decline 5.8% y/y, the sharpest decline since February 2002 and the fifth consecutive monthly decline.  Also, February core consumer prices were flat y/y but most economists expect annualized rates of inflation to turn negative soon.  Core consumer price inflation for the Tokyo area softened to a preliminary 0.4% in March.  Many traders believe Bank of Japan will soon increase its purchase of asset-backed securities to try and ease credit strains.  Japan’s fiscal year concludes on 31 March and some financial institutions may receive subordinated loans from the central bank to bolster temporary liquidity demand.   The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.11% to close at ¥8,626.90.  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 ¥129.35 level and was capped around the ¥133.85 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥139.00 figure while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥85.05 level.  The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8280 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8304.  People’s Bank of China called for enhanced international financial regulation to arise from the G20 meeting in London next week.

The British pound weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.4265 level and was capped around the $1.4495 level.  Bank of England Chief Economist Dale reported said the central bank may only need to purchased a “relatively small” amount of corporate bonds as part of its quantitative easing strategy.  BoE has purchased ₤13 billion in government bonds and ₤128 million in corporate bonds to date.  Yields on gilts have declined 40-60 basis points since the BoE announced it will purchase government debt.  Dale also sees an economic recovery materializing by the end of the year.  Chancellor of the Exchequer Darling said the government will likely hold a “significant” stake in the U.K. banking sector for years to come.  The government has injected ₤37 billion of capital into major banks and offered insurance against toxic assets worth hundreds of billions more. Data released in the U.K. today saw the Q4 current account deficit narrow more than expected to ₤7.6 billion.  Prime Minister Brown indicated the government will not implement a broad second fiscal stimulus next month when the Budget statement is released.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.4085 level.  The euro came off vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.9275 level and was capped around the ₤0.9420 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.1440 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1220 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the March KOF leading indicator decline to -1.79.  U.S. dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.1165 level.  The euro came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5175 level while the British pound gained ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6385 level.



The Australian dollar moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.6900 figure and was capped around the $0.7030 level.  Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.6785 level.


The Canadian dollar came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.2410 level and was supported around the C$ 1.2265 level.  U.S. dollar bids are cited around the C$ 1.2065 level.


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