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Friday October 2, 2009 - 16:12:11 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (2 October 2009)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4645 level and was supported around the $1.4480 level.  There are several factors at work in the market today. First, U.S. employment data were released and they were worse-than-expected.  The common currency’s kneejerk reaction was to decline more than 55 pips on the number but dealers then lifted the pair to an intraday high.  It was reported that September non-farm payrolls fell 263,000, down from the revised prior reading of -201,000, while the September unemployment rate came in as expected at 9.8%, up from the prior reading of 9.7%.  September average hourly earnings were up 0.1% m/m and 2.5% y/y, both less than forecast, while September average weekly hours printed at 33.0, down from the prior reading of 33.1.  Collectively these data evidence a U.S. labour market that still has plenty of slack and that will be a laggard during the U.S. economic recovery.  Other data released today saw August factory orders off 0.8%, down from the upwardly revised 1.4% in July and the first decline in several months.  Second, traders are closely watching developments in Ireland where voters are deciding whether or not to accept a European Union constitution.  Third, Group of Seven officials are convening in Istanbul this weekend and may share some views on recent exchange rate developments.  There remains a movement afoot to replace the U.S. dollar as the main global reserve currency.  European Central Bank officials have also been talking the common currency lower over the past 24 hours.  In eurozone news, EMU-16 industrial producer prices increased 0.4% m/m in August following a revised 0.7% decline in July and were off 7.5% y/y.  In other U.S. news, Atlanta Fed President Lockhart reported he sees third quarter economic growth of 2.5% - 3.0%.  Boston Fed President Rosengren reported the government and Fed should keep their stimuli in place “untul private sector spending has resumed, and untul we are confident that the recovery will continue once the programs that have supported the economy over the past year are removed.”  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4445 level.


¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥88.60 level and was capped around the ¥89.65 level.  The pair’s downturn took place even after Group of Seven officials campaigned for a strong U.S. dollar in comments leading up to the weekend’s G7 summit in Istanbul.  The G7 summit, however, may not produce a market-moving communiqué because the Group of Twenty’s stature has grown over the past couple of weeks and China’s lack of inclusion in G7 matters does little to address China’s impact on global exchange rates.  Japanese finance minister Fujii reiterated he “will not raise” the issue of yen strength during the G7 meeting and added a stable foreign exchange market is preferable.  Data released in Japan overnight saw the August jobless rate print at 5.5%, lower than the 5.8% rate that was expected.  Also, August household spending came in a stronger-than-expected 2.6% y/y.   Bank of Japan’s quarterly tankan survey of business sentiment was released yesterday and presented a mixed picture.  The headline diffusion index improved to -33 from -48 last quarter and the next quarterly large manufacturer tankan is expected at -21.  The tankan for large non-manufacturers improved to -24 from -29 but the improvements in the main surveys were offset by other tankan data that confirmed capital expenditure plans have decreased 10.8% as a result of the yen’s strength. Large companies also reported they expect fiscal year 2009 profits to decline 22.0% and they see a dollar/ yen repatriation break-even exchange rate averaging 94.50 this fiscal year.  Finance minister Fujii reported he is not happy with the tankan’s results.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 2.47% to close at ¥9,731.87.  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 ¥130.40 level and was supported around the ¥129.00 figure.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥140.75 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥86.35 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8246 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8245.  Chinese financial markets will be closed from 1 October through 8 October for the National Day’s holiday.  Data released in Japan yesterday saw the September purchasing manager’s index rise to 54.3.  People’s Bank of China this week announced it will continue its loose monetary policy. 

The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5800 figure and was capped around the $1.5955 level.  Many data were released in the U.K. today.  First, Q2 housing equity withdrawals printed at -₤7.0 billion, up from ₤-7.3 billion in Q1.  This represented the fifth consecutive quarter there has been a net injection of equity back into residential real estate.  Second, September construction PMI fell to 46.7 from 47.7 in August. Third, September Nationwide house prices were up 0.9% m/m and unchanged y/y.  Data released in the U.K. yesterday saw the September manufacturing PMI reading decline to 49.5 from 49.7 in August.  Bank of England’s Credit Conditions survey revealed the availability of mortgages declined in the third quarter and the September business outlook for the next twelve months fell to +29 from +32 in August.  BoE Monetary Policy Committee member Miles yesterday reported there is no “immediate plan” to change the U.K. deposit rate.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5720 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.9195 level and was supported around the ₤0.9110 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0435 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0305 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw September manufacturing PMI rise to 54.3 from 50.2 in August.  There remains ongoing speculation the Swiss National Bank sold francs for euro via the Bank for International Settlements this week in its bid to stop the franc’s strength.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0535 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5095 level while the British pound weakened vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.6415 level.


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