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Monday January 25, 2010 - 17:26:05 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (25 January 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4195 level and was supported around the $1.4125 level.  Greece won some confidence back from the markets today after floating €8 billion in new bonds in a transaction that was about three times oversubscribed – an affirmation that Greece’s credit concerns may be more manageable than most dealers believed last week.  Still, there are concerns that sovereign credit ratings may suffer more in the eurozone with Portugal on traders’ radar.  Data released in the eurozone today saw German GfK February consumer sentiment decline to 3.2 from 3.4 in January.  Also, EMU-16 factory orders increased sharply in November, up 2.7% m/m and off 0.5% y/y, the largest monthly increase since July 2009.  Most European regulators are applauding the Obama administration announcement last week that it will drastically attempt to alter the regulatory landscape of banking institutions in the U.S.  but have also said they have no plans to follow suit at this time.  In U.S. news, data released in the U.S. today saw December existing home sales print at 5.45 million, below expectations and below November’s print of 6.54 million.  This represented at 16.7% m/m decline. Also, the Dallas Fed’s January manufacturing activity index improved to 8.3%.  After a rough few days, it appears Fed Chairman Bernanke will garner the Senate votes needed for reconfirmation later this week and this has been market-supportive today.  Dealers will pay extremely close attention to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Wednesday night.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3885 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥90.35 level and was supported around the ¥89.80 level.  The yen came off as a better tone emerged at the beginning of the trading week, partially stimulated by Greece’s heavily oversubscribed debt sale.  The Japanese media reported Japan’s public debt may rocket to ¥973.16 trillion by the end of the next fiscal year.  Bank of Japan’s Policy Board will convene tomorrow and may announce another move to expand policy further to counter strong deflationary pressures, support the money markets, and stimulate the economy.  There is growing talk the central bank may expand its emergency loan program and broaden its purchase of Japanese government bonds and this chatter led to a weaker yen.  Another yen-negative factor overnight was a greater perception that Fed Chairman Bernanke will be reappointed by the Senate later this week, leading to more demand for higher-yielding assets.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.74% to close at ¥10,512.69.  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 offers around the ¥128.10 level and was supported around the ¥127.05 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥146.05 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥87.05 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8269 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8268.  Data released in China last week saw inflation accelerate 1.9% in December with gross domestic product climbing to 10.7% and this renders it likely People’s Bank of China will tighten monetary policy this year.  PBoC today reported it asked lenders to avoid excessive credit concentration and manage the pace of loan growth. 

The British pound moved sharply higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.6245 level and was supported around the $1.6090 level.  BRC’s headline consumer confidence index rose to +77 in December from +75 in October and +72 in June but half of respondents believe the economy will remain in a recession at the end of 2010.  Prime Minister Brown today said his government will not reduce spending in 2010 and said the Tories’ plan to do so would put the economic recovery “at risk.”  Bank of England Governor King is expected to speak tomorrow.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.6030 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.8730 level and was capped around the ₤0.8795 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0365 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0425 level.  Swiss National Bank President Hildebrand reported he is “extremely interested” in the Obama administration’s bank proposals.  The euro came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.4715 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6860 level. 

 

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