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Thursday August 27, 2009 - 16:30:01 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (27 August 2009)

The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4220 level and was capped around the $1.4280 level.  U.S. equity markets were pinched lower as traders continue to speculate the Chinese government may try to slow its industrial sector, probably to the detriment of global growth.  Richmond Fed President Lacker hawkishly said the Fed may not need to purchase the entire US$ 1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities it has been authorized to purchase by the end of the year.   Data released in the U.S. today saw second quarter gross domestic product decline an annualized 1.0%, unchanged from the previous estimate, while the second quarter GDP price index fell to 0.0% from 0.2%.  Additionally, core personal consumption expenditures were unchanged at 2.0%, matching forecasts.  Other data released today saw weekly initial jobless claims fall to 570,000 from a revised 580,000 while continuing jobless claims printed at 6.133 million, down from 6.252 million.  This week’s U.S. economic data have added to the perception that the U.S. economy has likely bottomed out, though some bears are quick to note that the impact from the pending commercial real estate crisis has not been fully discounted by markets.  The Federal Reserve is seeking a delay in the disclosure of the identity of companies that received funds from its emergency lending programs.  In eurozone news, GfK reported German September sentiment improved to 3.7 from 3.4 in August.  Also, Germany’s inflation rose unexpectedly improved to 0% in August on a harmonized basis after declining an annualized 0.7% in July.  Other data released today saw loan growth to private sector borrowers in the eurozone decelerate significantly, off 0.4% m/m. Additionally, the ECB reported its annual M3 money supply indicator grew 0.3% last month.  ECB policymakers this week have been quite cautious in their assessments of the economy, noting it is unlikely they’ll move to unwind their monetary stimuli anytime soon.  ECB rate-setters will next convene on 3 September and are unlikely to change monetary policy at that time.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3900 figure.



¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥93.35 level and was capped around the ¥94.30 level.  The yen strengthened across the board as traders were loath to assume too much risk during a period of decreased market liquidity.  Vice finance minister Tango reported G20 central bankers and finance ministers will discuss the global economy and regulation of the financial markets when officials convene in London next week.  Ongoing concerns that China will curb excess growth in the industrial sector continue to result in yen weakness.  China remains a major engine of global growth and a weakening in industrial activity could precipitate slower global growth, thereby decreasing demand for higher-yielding assets.  The repatriation of overseas yen assets back to Japan is also benefiting the yen.  On the political front, Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama published an editorial that suggested Japan should work with other Asian countries to create a single regional currency “and aspire to move toward regional currency integration.”  It is likely that Hatoyama will become the next prime minister on 30 August if his Democratic Party of Japan defeats the long-incumbent Liberal Democratic Party.  There is growing speculation the Bank of Japan may extend its forecast for the end of deflation into early 2012 from early 2011, and this suggests the central bank will keep its ultra-easy monetary policy unchanged from quite some time.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.56% to close at ¥10,473.97.  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 ¥132.90 level and was capped around the ¥134.45 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥151.05 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥87.30 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8273 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8266.  Chinese Premier Wen this week said the markets need to avoid being “blindly optimistic” about the global economic recovery and added China must maintain its “moderately loose” monetary policy and “active” fiscal policy.  PBoC has reported it will ensure “reasonable and ample” liquidity.

The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.6155 level and was capped around the $ 1.6245 level.  Cable reached its lowest level since 13 July.  Bank of England Deputy Governor Bean reported it may take years to assess the efficacy of the central bank’s ₤175 billion asset purchasing program on account of “transmission lags.”  Bean added the impact of the bond purchase program has been “moderately encouraging.”  Cable offers are cited around the US$ 1.6355 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.8820 level and was supported around the ₤0.8770 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0660 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0705 level.  UBS reported buying back assets from the Swiss National Bank is not an “immediate concern.”  Swiss National Bank member Jordan this week reported it “isn’t time yet” to reverse its expansionary monetary policy, adding interest rates “will remain low.”  He also verbally intervened against further franc strength, saying it will be prevented “resolutely.”  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0790 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5240 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.7255 level. 


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