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Tuesday February 9, 2010 - 21:18:08 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (9 February 2010)

The euro appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3840 level and was supported around the $1.3640 level.  The common currency added to intraday gains during the North American session as U.S. equities were on the positive side out of the gate.  Many rumours circulated during the European and North American sessions involving Greece’s deficit problems.  First, dealers reacted to chatter that European Central Bank President Trichet cut short a trip to Sydney where he was meeting with central bank governors and returned to Europe for an emergency meeting of the ECB, a story the central bank denied.  Later, it was reported by a senior German ruling coalition “source” that eurozone governments have decided in principle to help Greece but a German spokesman later denied the report.  In addition to Greece, traders remain fixated on the deficits of Spain and Portugal.  The so-called sovereign credit crisis will likely extend to other countries outside of the eurozone in due course but in the short-term, the issue remains a net negative for the common currency.  European Union leaders will convene on Thursday to discuss strategies to accelerate economic growth but Greece is not currently on the agenda.  Data released in the eurozone today saw Germany’s December trade surplus print at €16.7 billion, down from €17.0 billion in November.  Also, German December consumer price inflation was confirmed at -0.6% m/m and up +0.8% y/y.  In U.S. news, data released in the U.S. today saw December wholesale inventories off 0.8%.   Data to be released in the U.S. tomorrow include MBA mortgage applications and the December trade balance.  The Federal Reserve will release testimony tomorrow by Fed Chairman Bernanke regarding the Fed’s strategy to exit its low interest rate and liquidity programs.  Bernanke was to testify before the House Financial Services Committee about “Unwinding Emergency Federal Liquidity Programs and Implications for Economic Recovery” tomorrow but this is being delayed on account of weather.  Bernanke is next scheduled to testify around 20 February.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3530 level.

 

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥89.80 level and was supported around the ¥89.20 level.  National Strategy minister Sengoku reported the government will “watch the economy closely” as the fiscal year ends.  The Tokyo three-month interbank offered rate (Tibor) for yen deposits declined to a multi-year low, reaching 0.44462% and reflecting all of the unwanted liquidity available in the Japanese financial system. BoJ Deputy Governor Yamaguchi yesterday warned economic growth “may stall” temporarily and said “growth may be in a pretty severe state through this summer, so we can’t really expect a rapid expansion.”  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.19% to close at ¥9,932.90.  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 ¥123.65 level and was supported around the ¥121.70 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥140.40 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥84.25 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8267 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8266. People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou hawkishly said “Right now the inflation rate has started to go up, but the level is still relatively low.  We need to closely watch (the level of inflation).”  Some economists expect China’s consumer price inflation likely advanced 2.1% y/y last month.  Japanese think tank Nomura Institute of Capital Markets today reported China may permit the yuan to strengthen at an annual rate of 5% vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar after possibly raising borrowing costs in June. 

The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5650 level and was supported around the $1.5560 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw the December total trade deficit rise to ₤3.3 billion from ₤2.9 billion while the goods trade deficit increased to ₤7.3 billion from ₤6.8 billion.  Also, the January RICS house price balance improved last month.  Chancellor of the Exchequer Darling recently reported he fully supports Bank of England’s asset purchase pause that was announced on Thursday, adding the U.K. gilt market responded well.  BoE has recently announced the weaker pound has benefited the U.K. economy.  The central bank will publish its quarterly inflation report and new economic forecasts tomorrow. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5340 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.8815 level and was supported around the ₤0.8755 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0655 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0745 level.  Swiss National Bank member Jordan is quoted as having said it is premature to raise interest rates from their near zero per cent level.  Jordan also reported the SNB will continue to prevent an “excessive” appreciate of the Swiss franc, adding the franc is seen as a “safe haven.”  Data released in Switzerland today saw December real retail sales up 4.7% while the January unemployment rate rose to 4.5% from 4.4%.  Some dealers are still talking about Friday’s reported intervention by Swiss National Bank in which the central bank is rumoued to have bid on the EUR/CHF cross some 280 pips above the current market price.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0810 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.4685 level while the British pound came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.6635 level.

 

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