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Friday September 18, 2009 - 18:13:54 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (18 September 2009)

The euro ceded sone gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4645 level and was capped around the $1.4745 level.  The common currency failed to establish another multi-month high again today for the first time since 4 September.  The greenback moved higher at the expense of European currencies on speculation that U.K. banking giant Lloyds lacks capital.  Three-month U.S. dollar interbank lending rates fell to a record low of 0.289% today meaning Libor is now lower than the yen’s and Swiss franc’s Libor rates, rendering the U.S. dollar a funding currency for carry trades.  Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke’s renomination was made official today by the Obama administration.  The Fed is currently devising plans to limit bank employees’ pay in an attempt to discourage excessive risk-taking.  Data to be released in the U.S. next week include August leading indicators, the September Richmond Fed manufacturing index, and July house prices.  In eurozone news, the EMU-16 July current account moved into surplus at €6.6 billion for the for the first time since February 2008, up from June’s revised deficit of €4.3 billion.  Also, German producer price inflation rose 0.5% m/m and fell 6.9% y/y with the ex-energy component up 0.3% m/m and off 3.4% y/y.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3900 figure.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥91.55 level and was supported around the ¥90.90 level.  Bank of Japan Governor Yamaguchi reported that maintaining emergency credit programs for “a long time…may hurt an autonomous recovery of market functions and invite the distortion of the allocation of resources.”  He added, however, that a “positive mechanism has started to take hold in the Japanese economy.”  The central bank voted to keep monetary policy unchanged last night and upgraded its assessment of the economy.  New finance minister Fujii verbally intervened saying exchange rates “should be determined by the state of a nation’s economy.”  His comments suggest the new Democratic Party of Japan government may not be inclined to sell the yen through actual intervention.  In contrast, former finance minister Yosano said his government had “unshakable” support for the U.S.’s strong dollar policy.  The Japanese government has not officially intervened in the markets since March 2004.  As expected, Bank of Japan yesterday upgraded its assessment of the Japanese economy and noted the economy is “showing signs of recovery.”  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.70% to close at ¥10,370.54.  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 ¥134.45 level and was supported around the ¥133.70 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥148.25 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥88.80 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8291 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8200.  This week’s U.S. TICS investment flows data revealed China was a net buyer of U.S. government assets last month. People’s Bank of China reported it has kept the yuan stable vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar to promote regional stability.  PBoC also reported “the Australian dollar is a shadow currency of the yuan.”

The British pound fell sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.6230 level and was capped around the $1.6455 level.  Concerns that U.K. banking giant Lloyds may be experiencing a liquidity shortfall weighed heavily on sterling.  Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Miles was quoted as saying “We may get a couple of quarters pretty soon of very small increases in GDP.  If you take that technical definition, we might be out of the recession in six or nine months.”  BoE also reported U.K. lenders are not seeing any significant increase in demand for new business loans.  Data released in the U.K. today saw CML August average gross mortgage lending off 13% at ₤12.6 billion.  Prime Minister Brown today called for the immediate establishment of crisis management groups to manage troubles at multinational banks.  Group of Twenty officials convene in Pittsburgh next week.  Other data released in the U.K. today saw the M4 money supply increase 0.1% m/m and 12.6% y/y while August public sector net borrowing improved to ₤16.1 billion from ₤8 billion in July.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.6030 level.  The euro extended recent gains vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.9055 level and was supported around the ₤0.8955 level.

 

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