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Friday July 17, 2009 - 21:12:38 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (17 July 2009)

The euro lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4065 level and was capped around the $1.4150 level.  Better-than-expected earnings at major U.S. financial institutions including Citigroup and Bank of America led to a bid U.S. equity markets but the common currency was still kept on the defensive.  Two possible terrorist attacks in Jakarta overnight contributed to the dollar’s bid on safe haven demand.  Data released in the U.S. today saw June housing starts climb 3.6% m/m to an annualized rate of 582,000 units, the highest level since November 2008 and above the revised May print of 562,000.  Also, June building permits improved to 563,000 from 518,000 in May.  Data to be released in the U.S. on Monday include June leading indicators and the June Chicago Fed’s national activity index. All attention will be focused on Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke’s semi-annual testimony to Congress next week. Some Fed-watchers believe Bernanke may signal an end to the Fed’s massive credit easing policies.  Bernanke is likely to note that gross domestic product growth is not as weak as originally reported but that the U.S. labour sector is weaker than originally thought.  U.S. economic official Summers today reported risks to banks have been reduced over the past six months and said he is not alarmed on inflation yet.  Former Federal Reserve Governor Meyer does not see a return to “full” employment until 2015.  An improvement in the U.S. housing and construction industries would signal a major inflection pount in the economy.  In eurozone news, the EMU-16 May trade surplus narrowed to €1.9 billion from ₤2.7 billion in April.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3435 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥94.35 level and was supported around the ¥93.50 level.  The yen initially appreciated overnight following two bomb blasts in Jakarta and renewed concerns that troubled U.S. commercial lending giant CIT Group may be forced to file for bankruptcy.  Japanese financial markets will be closed on Monday and will reopen on Tuesday thus yen liquidity will be reduced.  Bank of Japan reported Governor Shirakawa will visit China between 21-24 July.  The yen initially gained following possible terrorist blasts overnight in Jakarta at two U.S.-owned hotels.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.55% to close at ¥9,395.32.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥104.15 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥133.45 level and was supported around the ¥131.70 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥152.40 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥86.60 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar strengthened vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8304 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8303.  U.S. Commerce Secretary Locke reported the U.S. wants China to liberalize its yuan convertibility and move to a free-floating exchange rate mechanism as quickly as possible.

The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.6265 level and was capped around the US$ 1.6445 level.  Bank of England Deputy Governor Bean said the central bank’s quantitative easing policy is best assessed on a quarterly basis rather than on a monthly basis.  Bean also reiterated the U.K. economy may grow by the end of 2009.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.6185 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.8655 level and was supported around the ₤0.8590 level. 

 

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