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Monday November 30, 2009 - 22:59:49 GMT
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Forex Market Cpmmentary and Analysis (30 November 2009)

The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.5085 level and was supported around the $1.4960 level.  U.S. equities clawed back from earlier losses as dealers apparently discounted last week’s Dubai World news as a manageable issue at this time.  Dubai World, Dubai’s largest corporate entity, asked creditors for a six-month standstill agreement on up to US$ 60 billion in debt that it owes.  There is some concern that there could be contagion into other emerging market economies but investors did not buy the U.S. dollar en masse like they did during last week’s holiday-shortened trading.  The Federal Reserve announced it will conduct “small-scale, real value” three-way reverse repurchase transactions in the coming weeks and called the policy moves “ a matter of prudent advance planning” but added “no inference should be drawn about the timing of any change in the stance of monetary policy in the future.”  The three-party reverse repos will possibly be used by the Fed when it is ready to withdraw some of the US$ 1 trillion+ in liquidity that it has injected into the financial system.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the ISM November Chicago Business Barometer improve to 56.1 from 54.2 in October, suggesting a double-dip recession is not likely.  In eurozone news, November flash EMU-16 consumer prices was up 0.6% y/y, a reversal from October’s decline of 0.1% y/y, and this represented the first year-on-year improvement since April.  Ifo reported credit constraunts for German industry and trade worsened this month as a result of more restrictive lending policies by banks.  German Chancellor Merkel today called on banks to expand their lending programs today.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4720 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥85.85 level and was capped around the ¥87.05 level.  Finance minister Fujii reported commitments to other Group of Seven countries regarding currency flexibility preclude him from unilateral intervention but said it may be used bilaterally or multilaterally.  Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa pledged “decisive” action to assist the economic recovery and pledged “to do its utmost to overcome deflation both in terms of monetary easing and ensuring the stability of the financial markets.”  Shirakawa and Prime Minister Hatoyama plan to meet later this week and there is speculation the latter may press the former for additional quantitative easing steps.  On Friday, BoJ is said to have contacted Japanese and non-Japanese commercial banks on Friday to check exchange rate levels, a de facto verbal intervention that sometimes leads to actual intervention.  Hatoyama yesterday ordered cabinet ministers to prepare plans to contend with the surging yen in supplementary budget plans being drawn up.  Data released in Japan overnight saw October wages slide 1.7% y/y while the Q3 gross domestic product gap printed at -6.7%, up from -7.5% in Q2.  Other data released overnight saw manufacturing PMI decline to 52.3 from 54.3.  The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 2.91% to close at ¥9,345.55.  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 ¥128.95 level and was capped around the ¥130.80 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥141.00 figure while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥85.55 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8235 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8264.  People’s Bank of China advisor Fan Gang reported the Chinese economy will likely expand 8% to 9% in 2010.  Chinese and European officials held a summit meeting in China but European officials including ECB President Trichet and Ecofin’s Juncker apparently failed to convince China to change its yuan policy.

The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.6380 level and was capped around the $1.6590 level.  GfK reported U.K. consumer confidence weakened this month for the first time since January, retreating to -17 from -13 in October.  Also, October mortgage approvals were up 57,000 and the M4 money supply was up 1.6% m/m and 10.8% y/y.  Other data saw U.K. consumer credit evidence its largest net decline in record in October, falling a net ₤579 million from September’s -₤299 million fall.  Also, CBI reported U.K. service sector firms registered an unexpected decline in both sales and profits in the three months to November.  Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Posen said a double-dip recession is still a possibility in the U.K. and U.S. and said it is to early to begin exiting the BoE’s quantitative easing policy.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.6155 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.9155 level and was supported around the ₤0.9070 level.


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