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Wednesday July 8, 2009 - 17:45:04 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (8 July 2009)

The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3830 level and was capped around the $1.3935 level.  Today’s intraday losses followed yesterday’s selling pressure and a couple of different factors led to market activity.  First, risk aversion remains elevated ahead of the U.S. earnings season with many investors unwilling to chase assets with higher yields.  Second, traders believe the Group of Eight’s communiqué that will follow their meeting in Italy will be long on climate treaty language and short on currency language.  There was speculation that China, Russia, or India could press officials to adopt a new international reserve currency and decrease dependence on the U.S. dollar.  While this may still remain an agenda for some countries, it does not appear it will be publicly topical at the G8 meeting.  To this end, the European Central Bank released a report today that indicates the global economic crisis has left major international currencies “broadly unaffected” and reiterated the U.S. dollar “has maintained…its status as the most important international currency globally.”  Third, the International Monetary Fund released a report today that indicates the global economic recovery is quite slow.  Fourth, ECB member Paramo indicated the ECB will “maintain a liquidity policy that ensures all solvent institutions with the right collateral…have unlimited access to this liquidity.”  Indications that the ECB will maintain an easy monetary policy have a negative impact on the euro as they suggest policymakers are in no hurry to unwind their monetary stimnuli.  Fourth, Q1 GDP was off 2.5% q/q and 4.9% y/y, an indication that EMY-16 economic growth revisions did little to dispel the view of recessionary activity in Q1.   Notably, year-over-year growth in eurozone bank loans to the private sector slowed to 1.8% in May from 2.3% in April, the lowest reading since at least 1992.  Data released in Germany today saw May industrial output surge a monthly 3.7%, up sharply from April’s -2.6% contraction.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3435 level.

 

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥92.15 level and was capped around the ¥94.85 level.  The pair continues to weaken on expectations that second quarter corporate earnings reports will be weaker-than-expected and lead some Japanese accounts to reduce their exposure to U.S. equities.  Today’s low represents the pair’s lowest print since 18 February.  The yen shook offer weaker-than-expected May core private-sector machinery orders that fell 3.0% m/m to a record low value.  Also, bank lending slowed last month to +1.8% from a record pace and June corporate bankruptcies were up more than 18% m/m and 7.4% y/y.  Collectively, today’s data does not bode well for capital and consumer spending in Japan’s domestic economy, and may be at odds with the government’s and Bank of Japan’s recent upgrades to their economic assessment.  The big talk involving BoJ is that officials could extend their emergency financial programs to support the economy when its Policy Board convenes on 14-15 July.  Some dealers believe an indication that BoJ will extend its policies past the September deadline will take focus away from policies’ exit strategies and lead to a weaker yen.  One wildcard that remains is Japan’s elections in mid-September, especially as Prime Minister Aso has little political support and no clear mandate.  BoJ’s consumer sentiment diffusion index printed at -81.4 for the April – June period, its first improvement in nearly two years.  Another component of the survey revealed consumers’ inflation expectations have remained firm.    Other data released overnight saw the core consumer price index decline 1.1% y/y in May, off sharply from April’s -0.1% print.  Additionally, the May current account surplus was off 34.4% y/y to ¥1.302 trillion.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 2.35% to close at ¥9,420.75.  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 ¥127.00 figure and was capped around the ¥132.10 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥146.75 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥83.95 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar was unchanged vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8318 in the over-the-counter market. 

The British pound extended its recent depreciation vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5980 level and was capped around the $1.6135 level.  Sterling continued its move lower on growing speculation the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will extend its quantitative easing scheme by lifting its asset purchasing plan beyond ₤150 billion.  An announcement could come tomorrow following the MPC’s meeting.  Data released in the U.K. today saw the Halifax June house price index off 0.5% m/m and 15.0% y/y.  Chancellor of the Exchequer Darling reported the government will establish a new financial stability council that will integrate the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority, and the U.K. Treasury.  Other data released today saw BRC June shop prices up 0.7%.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.3435 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.8670 level and was supported around the ₤0.8615 level.

 

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