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Friday November 13, 2009 - 16:52:21 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (13 November 2009)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4900 figure and was supported around the $1.4825 level. U.S. equity markets added to recent gains and this prompted more risk-taking in higher-yielding currencies, sending the common currency higher.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the September trade deficit widen to –US$ 36.5 billion from a revised August total of –US$ 30.8 billion while the October import price index was up 0.7% m/m and off 5.7% y/y, both lower than expected.  Also, the mid-November University of Michigan consumer sentiment indicator fell to 66.0 from 70.6 the prior month.  Some dealers are already speculating that Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke’s speech on Monday will be dovish and could precipitate additional dollar weakness.  PIMCO is now predicting the Fed will not increase interest rates until the end of 2010 at the earliest.  Chicago Fed President Evans said the Fed should not adopt policies to prick perceived asset bubbles.  In eurozone news, EMU-16 gross domestic product data revelated the economy expanded 0.4% q/q in the third quarter after declining 0.2% in the second quarter, representing the bloc’s first quarter of economic growth in 1.5 years.  On an annualized basis, GDP growth was off 4.1% y/y from 4.8% y/y in the second quarter.  German Economics minister Bruederle reported “no ‘all-clear’ can yet be given” on account of the “serious financial and economic crisis.”  ECB member Weber pessimistically reported “overall growth will be more sluggish over the ecoming years.  I caution a bit that the speed limit for the euro-area and German economy won’t beat the 1.5 percent we were used to. It will be more below 1 percent.”  German real GDP was up 0.7% q/q.  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 ¥89.45 level and was capped around the ¥90.40 level.  Prime Minister Hatoyama met with President Obama in Tokyo today and it is not known if they discussed exchange rates.  Finance ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group verbally intervened overnight to support the U.S. dollar, one day after U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner said the U.S.’s borrowing needs will be much less than expected and two days after he reiterated the U.S.’s strong dollar policy.  Financial Services minister Kamei reported Bank of Japan’s understanding of the Japanese economy is “weak” and implored the central bank “to look carefully at the real economy.”  Finance minister Fujii said it is too early to determine if a second extra budget is needed and added the Japanese economy is still “very unstable.”  Hong Kong Chief Executive Tsang reported he is “scared” the U.S. is making decisions that imitate those Japan made in the run-up to its bubble period in the late 1980s.  Tsang said the U.S. dollar carry trade has resulted and added “gyrations in financial markets and bubbles in asset markets remain ahead of us.”  Data released in Japan overnight saw the September consumer confidence index remain unchanged at 40.5.  Obama will also travel to Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, and Seoul.  Data released in the Japan overnight saw revised September industrial production improve to +2.1% m/m.  BoJ’s Policy Board recently predicted core consumer prices will decline 1.5% in the year ending March 2010, decline 0.8% in the fiscal year ending March 2011, and decline 0.4% in the fiscal year ending March 2012.  The central bank recently reported it will stop its purchase of corporate debt and commercial paper at the end of 2009.  BoJ Policy Board’s next interest rate decision is scheduled for 19 November.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.35% to close at ¥9,770.31.  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 ¥132.85 level and was capped around the ¥134.45 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥148.95 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥88.00 figure. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar climbed vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8240 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8208.  People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Zhu Min reported the Chinese economy is experiencing a “V”-shaped recovery and said the central bank needs to switch its focus in 2010 to the quality of economic growth, rather than the pace.  Pressure is increasing on China to further liberalize its yuan, especially with Obama’s pending visit.  Data released in China this week saw October industrial output up 16.1% while retail sales were up 16.2% and consumer price inflation was off 0.5%.  Additionally, it was reported that the October trade balance printed at US$ 24 billion.  State Information Centre official Zhu this week reported Chinese policymakers are unlikely to allow the yuan to appreciate this year and foreign pressures won’t make result in a policy shift by Chinese officials. 

The British pound appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as sterling tested offers around the US$ 1.6700 figure and was supported around the $1.6570 level.  Traders chased sterling higher as demand for risk intensified despite the U.S. government’s calls for a strong U.S. dollar.  Bank of England Governor King has been trying to steer sterling lower by suggesting the central bank may continue to expand its asset purchase program.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.6410 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.8905 level and was capped around the ₤0.8965 level. 

 

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0135 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0185 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the October producer and import prices index decline 0.4% m/m and 4.7% y/y.  Swiss National Bank directorate member Jordan said the economic slump was “relatively modest” and talked down the franc by saying the euro is the “most important” currency.  Jordan added the SNB will continue to provide banks with necessary liquidity and said “successful” currency interventions stopped the franc’s gains.  SNB President Roth said global interest rate policy is not coordinated and said banks will have to dramatically cut rates.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0220 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5090 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6950 level.

 

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