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Monday October 26, 2009 - 20:12:33 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (26 October 2009)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4845 level and was capped around the $1.5060 level.  The common currency established a fresh multi-month high before eroding and moving away from the psychologically-important US$ 1.5000 figure.  The common currency failed to sustain gains it scored after a People’s Bank of China research report was released that favoured more euro purchases by the central bank.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.4480 to $1.5060.  The common currency was also propelled lower on a growing view the U.S. dollar’s sell-off may have been overdone recently.  Also adding to the dollar’s gains were reports in the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times that the Fed is considering ways to remove liquidity from the system, possibly through reverse repos.  European Central Bank member Liikanen reported the U.S.’s commitment to its strong dollar policy is “justified” and said strong exchange rate fluctuation “are undesirable as they increase economic uncertainty.”  French finance minister Lagarde warned France’s labour market is set to wosen over the next several quarters.  The September unemployment rate climbed 0.8% with 2.575 million now officially unemployed.  German Chancellor Merkel indicated the formulation of monetary policy will be “incredibly difficult” for her new government and pessimistically warned the “crisis” will extend into 2011.  Data released in Germany today saw the Novembe GfK consumer confidence survey decline to 4 from 4.2 in October.  European Central Bank member Noyer warned “There are signs that parts of the financial industry have resumed risk taking practices reminiscent of those which led to the crisis.”  In U.S. news, the Chicago Fed’s Midwest Manufacturing Index improved 1.0% to 82.3 in September, the highest reading since February 2008.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4445 level. 



¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥92.25 level and was supported around the ¥91.55 level.  Prime Minister Hatoyama reported the “employment and current situation still requires us to remain alert.”  Hatoyama failed to provide specifics as to how his Democratic Party of Japan administration would reduce Japan’s escalating public debt.  Other media outlets have joined Nikkei in reported Bank of Japan believes deflationary pressures will remain in Japan through at least 2011.  The central bank now sees core consumer prices excluding fresh food falling 0.5% in the year starting 1 April 2011 with economic growth ramping up to 1.2%.  It remains probable the central bank will not increase interest rates anytime soon. The discontinuation of BoJ’s emergency liquidity programs is sleighted for the end of December and any indication of a change in that time frame could impact the yen.  It is also possible the BoJ will indicate its schedule for these changes as early as this week.  In addition, Japan’s Policy Board may release its latest round of economic forecasts this week.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.77% to close at ¥10,232.62.  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 ¥136.80 level and was capped around the ¥138.45 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥149.15 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥90.30 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar strengthened vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8275 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8245.  The pair moved higher after Zhou Hai, a division chief at People’s Bank of China in Harbin, released a report indicating the central bank should sell dollars for euro and yen and diversify its massive foreign reserves portfolio.  While this represented Zhou’s personal opinion and not PBoC policy, it was enough to move the markets, especially given the size of China’s massive US$ 2.273 trillion foreign reserve war chest.  There remains widespread speculation the central bank will accelerate the removal of monetary stimuli and liquidity from the system, possibly resulting in further yuan appreciation.

The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.6250 level and was capped around the $1.6395 level.  Sterling continued its correction lower after economic data released on Friday revealed the U.K.’s gross domestic product fell 0.4% in the third quarter, defying expectations of a 0.1% expansion.  Traders reduced their exposure to sterling under the renewed premise Bank of England may need to expand its asset-purchasing program.  Sterling had been bid over the past couple of weeks on the growing perception the central bank would be discontinuing or at least not enlarging its asset-purchasing program.  BoE will publish its quarterly inflation report next month and its quantitative easing program will surely be revised by the MPC then. There is speculation the asset purchase program could balloon to ₤250 billion from the current ₤175 billion.  BoE’s next Monetary Policy Committee meeting will be held on 4-5 November.  MPC member Posen dovishly said “There is no evidence from relevant periods of U.K. or other major economies’ history that quantitative easing will result in high or sustained inflation.  Thus, high inflation is not what we should be worrying about…There are even indications that the recession – now a severe but normal one – is coming to an end.”  MPC member Miles said further quantitative easing decision will be dependent on inflationary pressures.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.6080 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.9095 level and was capped around the ₤0.9240 level. 


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