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Tuesday September 8, 2009 - 21:42:38 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (8 September 2009)

The euro moved sharply higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4535 level and was supported around the $1.4330 level.  Today’s intraday high represented the pair’s strongest print since 18 December 2009.  Traders are talking about a few key factors. First, trading desks resumed normal operations today after the summer and long U.S. holiday weekend.  Second, one ongoing theme involves the record amount of U.S. Treasury supply projected for this year and its impact on the U.S. dollar.  The Obama administration today sought an increase in the debt ceiling so that more supply can be issued and a major concern among traders is that the value of the U.S. dollar will be eroded.  The United Nations was on the tape over the weekend suggesting Special Drawing Rights should replace become another major global reserve currency alongside the U.S. dollar.  China, which holds an appreciable amount of U.S. dollars, has been very vocal saying the U.S. must protect the value of the U.S. dollar.  Third, it is unlikely the Federal Reserve is going to raise interest rates anytime soon.  While some of the Fed’s quantitative easing programs will expire on their own, the Fed is likely to maintain an ultra-accommodative monetary policy for at least the next couple of business quarters.  In eurozone news, European Central Bank member Weber reported the central bank is closely examining developments in money and credit aggregates.  Weber added “When upward risks to medium-term price stability become apparent, then the time has come to raise the level of monetary policy restriction.  The negative late effects of the preceding (economic) downturn, in particular rising unemployment, have at this point not fully cropped up.”  Weber sees a “gradual” withdrawal from the ECB’s quantitative easing.  German finance minister Steinbrueck today said German gross domestic product growth is likely to contract by between 5% and 6% in 2009.  Data released in Germany today saw July industrial production fell 0.9% m/m and 17% y/y while the July trade surplus rose to €13.9 billion from €12.1 billion.  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 ¥92.00 figure and was capped around the ¥93.10 level.  The main catalyst was a considerably weaker U.S. dollar that fell relative to most other major currencies.  The Japanese government kept its economic assessment unchanged today, noting the economy is “picking up” while reducing its view of the labour market on account of record unemployment.  Economists cite declining income and spending as ongoing risk factors.  Data released in Japan overnight saw August economic sentiment decline to 41.7 from 42.4 in July, the first decline in eight months and the 29th consecutive month the index has been below the neutral 50.0 level.  Other data saw August corporate bankruptcies up 2.4% y/y while bank lending growth decelerated to +1.8% y/y.  Additionally, the August M3 money supply index was up 2% and the unadjusted current account surplus was off 19.4% y/y at ¥1.266 trillion.  Some Japan-watchers believe the new Democratic Party of Japan government may worsen Japan’s finances despite the DPJ’s statements that they’ll do not plan to dramatically increase supply of Japanese government bonds.  The Nikkei 225 stock climbed 0.70% to close at ¥10,393.23.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥94.75 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥133.85 level and was supported around the ¥132.80 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥151.30 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥88.30 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar lost ground vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8231 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8245.  People’s Bank of China adviser Fan Gang yesterday reported “macroeconomic policies must be preemptive. Some PBOC-watchers believe China is unlikely to lift interest rates or reserve requirements within the next six months.

The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.6495 level and was supported around the $1.6485 level.  Chancellor of the Exchequer Darling reported now is not the correct time to reduce U.K. fiscal spending.  Data released in the U.K. overnight saw like-for-like retail sales off 0.1% y/y in August, in contrast to overall retail sales growth of 2.2%.  NIESR reported the U.K. economy returned to growth in the three months ending in August with GDP up 0.2% from a 0.3% decline in the three months to July.  Other data saw July manufacturing output up 0.9% m/m and off 10.1% y/y.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.6030 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.8790 level and was supported around the ₤0.8730 level.


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