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Tuesday September 1, 2009 - 22:04:08 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (1 September 2009)

The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4175 level and was capped around the $1.4380 level.  U.S. equity prices moved lower on a story that a major U.S. financial institution may have fresh problems with some chatter suggesting Wells Fargo is the bank being discussed on trading desks.  Some dealers believe more problems could come to roost in the U.S. economy, particularly with the troubled U.S. commercial real estate sector.  Banks and holders of commercial mortgage-backed securities could face significant problems when commercial mortgages come due and borrowers are unable to finance debt on account of lower valuations even though cash flow is sufficient.  Some traders see the CMBS issue remaining a problem for at least the next two years.  European Central Bank member Noyer suggested other currencies may see their influence expand alongside the U.S. dollar and euro.  Noyer also called on banks to rebuild their capital bases and finance their economies with their profits rather than paying dividends and bonuses.  German finance minister Steinbrueck warned that corporate insolvencies may rise in Q4 2009 and Q1 2010 and called on banks to pass on lower official interest rates fron the European Central Bank.  Data released in Germany today saw German retail sales improve for the first time in three months while German August unemployment fell unexpectedly by 1,000 to 3.46 million.  ECB member Nowotny reported “I don’t see a perspective of a ‘W’-shaped recession if there’s no premature exit strategy.  What I see is the danger that we’ll have very low rates of positive growth for some time.”  In U.S. news, data released in the U.S. today saw the August ISM manufacturing index improve to 52.9 from 50.5, up from the prior reading of 48.9, while the ISM prices paid component improved sharply to 65.0 from the prior reading of 55.0.  Also, July construction spending was off 2.2% m/m and July pending home sales were up 3.2% m/m and 12.9% y/y.  Despite the improvement in today’s economic data, there is not a sense that official interest rates will be rising anytime soon.   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 ¥92.80 level and was capped around the ¥93.45 level.  Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Nishimura reported the most “pressing” issue for the central bank remains fighting the recession, adding deflationary pressures remain a problem.  Notably, consumer prices were off 2.2% in July and Nishimura added “many unconventional policies will eventually be terminated” after market conditions improve.  Additionally, he warned the process of rebuilding financial markets will be “long and slow.”  The yen was bid to a six-week high as U.S. equities moved lower on fresh worries about the U.S. banking sector.  Likely incoming Prime Minister Hatoyama met Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa and finance ministry officials today ahead of the Group of 20 meeting of central bankers and finance officials later this week.  On Sunday, the Democratic Party of Japan won a landslide victory in the general election over the long-incumbent Liberal Democratic Party of Japan.  The DJP won 308 seats in the lower house of parliament and the LDP’s representation fell to 119 from 300.  Traders are carefully assessing the election results to determine how well the DPJ will be able to control spending and manage the government.  There is widespread speculation the DPJ will attempt to inflate public spending through new Japanese government bond issuance, possibly increasing social spending.  There is also skepticism that the yen’s post-electoral gains will be sustainable.  Some believe former Ministry of Finance official “Mr Yen” Sakakibara will get a portfolio in the new government.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.36% to close at ¥10,530.06.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥94.75 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥131.85 level and was capped around the ¥134.15 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥149.80 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥86.95 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar lost ground vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8257 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8290.  Data released in China overnight saw the August Purchasing Managers’ Index improve to 54.  China is experiencing its worst export slump in more than two decades and some economists are predicting China’s US$585 billion stimulus could lead to a surge in Chinese imports in the fourth quarter.


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