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Tuesday September 15, 2009 - 21:59:19 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (15 September 2009)

The euro extended recent gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4685 level and was supported around the $1.4560 level. The common currency established another intraday high dating to 18 December 2008 as traders assumed more risk in their portfolio and chased higher-yielding currencies.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the August headline producer price index climb 1.7% m/m and off -4.3% y/y, up from the July reading of -0.9% m/m and -6.8%, respectively.  The core ex-food and energy component was up 0.2% m/m and 2.3% y/y, up from the prior reading of -0.1% and down from the prior reading of 2.6%, respectively.  These data suggest some pricing power may be returning to the wholesale market in the U.S. and could presage a small amount of inflation.  Federal Reserve policymakers would likely approve of higher inflation because inflation is now seen as being under target.  Other data released in the U.S. today saw August advance retail sales up a stronger-than-expected 2.7%, a steep increase from the revised July print of -0.2%, while the ex-autos component also reversed course and was up 1.1%.  Additionally, the September Empire State manufacturing index improved to 18.88 from the prior reading of 12.08 while July business inventories were off 1.0%.  The positive tenor to U.S. economic data continues and while it has resulted in a bid in many asset markets, the Federal Reserve is likely to keep interest rates unchanged for quite some time.  On the policy front, Group of 20 policymakers will convene in Pittsburgh in a couple of weeks next week and are likely to press for higher capital requirements at many “systemically-important banks.”  In eurozone news, the German ZEW economic expectations index rose to 57.7 in September from 56.1 in August, defying expectations for a stronger print.   Also, EMU-16 labour costs were up 4.0% y/y in Q2, an acceleration from +3.6% in Q1.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3900 figure.



¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥91.65 level and was supported around the ¥90.80 level.  Bank of Japan’s Policy Board is expected to keep its overnight call rate target unchanged this week and keep its emergency lending programs intact.  BoJ’s quarterly tankan survey will be released on 1 October and could provide the central bank with some near-term direction on monetary policy.  Deflation remains a sizable threat in the Japanese economy with consumer prices having fallen 2.2% in July.  Finance minister Yosano verbally intervened against the yen’s recent appreciation, noting “sudden currency moves are unwelcome.”  Data released in Japan overnight saw August final machine tool orders off 71.5% y/y.  There is some speculation in the Japanese media that Bank of Japan will adopt a “more positive assessment” of the Japanese economy this week but it is not known if the assessment will be an upgrade.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.15% to close at ¥10,217.62.  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 ¥133.70 level and was supported around the ¥132.75 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥149.45 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥88.15 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8225 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8224.  The Obama administration yesterday announced tariffs on Chinese tires and other goods while China announced it is launching an anti-dumping investigation into U.S. chicken and auto products.  Most economists do not believe a trade war will ensue.

The British pound weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.6400 figure and was capped around the $1.6655 level.  Sterling came off after it was reported U.K. annual consumer price inflation remained below the central bank’s 2.0% target for a third consecutive month in August, up 1.6% y/y.  This was below July’s print of 1.8% and represented the weakest result since January 2005.  Sterling was also weaker after Bank of England Governor King reported reducing the interest it pays on deposits could be a “useful supplement” to current monetary policy.  Prime Minister Brown reported the government will reduce fiscal spending to rein in the fiscal deficit.  Other data saw the July DCLG house price index off 8.3%.  The opposition U.K. Conservative party reported it would seek a loose monetary policy from the BoE if it wins the general election.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.6330 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.8895 level and was supported around the ₤0.8770 level.


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