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Friday February 26, 2010 - 22:03:46 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (26 February 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3680 level and was supported around the $1.3530 level.   The common currency rocketed higher after a news report emerged that suggested German bank KFW could purchase Greek bonds in an emergency.  German lawmakers are now reporting they could authorize up to €5 billion in financial assistance to Greece.  Greek Prime Minister Papandreou will meet with President Obama in the U.S. on 9 March.  Papandreou today warned “The dilemma is - are we going to let this country go bankrupt or are we going to react?  We have an obligation to the Greek people to do everything we can now, today, to face immediate dangers because tomorrow will be too late…No other country will pay our debts.” Data released in Germany today saw the February consumer price index rose 0.2% m/m and 0.4% y/y while EMU-16 CPI decreased 0.8% m/m and up 1.0% y/y.  In U.S. news, data released today saw the final February University of Michigan consumer sentiment indicator decline to 73.6 from 74.4.  Also, February Chicago PMI improved to 62.6 from 61.5.  Moreover, Q4 gross domestic product expanded at an annualized 5.9% q/q, up from the previous reading of 5.7%.  Other data saw the Q4 GDP price index up 0.4% while the Q4 core personal consumption expenditures were up 1.6% q/q.  Additionally, it was reported that January existing home sales were off 7.2% m/m, printing at an annualized 5.05% million units – down from the previous revised tally of 5.44 million.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3335 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥88.75 level and was capped around the ¥89.50 level.  Vice minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy Furukawa said deflation is a “serious” problem and the government is working with the central bank, “trying to overcome deflation as soon as possible.”  Data released in Japan overnight saw January core consumer prices decline 1.3% y/y.  Also data released in Japan today saw January retail sales climb 2.6%.  Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Yamaguchi this week said recent consumer price movements have been consistent with forecasts and said the market views Japanese finances as being “stable” but noted the “fiscal situation is very severe.”  Yamaguchi added the central bank is “always ready to take necessary action” and noted economic growth should be soft until the summer.  Data released in Japan yesterday saw the February retail investor sentiment index slump 22 index points to -48.  Most traders believe Japan’s deflationary pressures will persist through at least fiscal year 2011.   Bank of Japan this week reported the economic recovery is continuing but added “there is not yet sufficient momentum to support a self-sustaining recovery in domestic private demand.”  BoJ also noted exports and production will continue to improve and regarding deflation, the BoJ added “the year-on-year pace of decline in consumer prices…to remain more or less unchanged for the time being, and then moderate as the aggregate supply and demand balance improves gradually.” The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.24% to close at ¥10,126.03. 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 ¥121.65 level and was supported around the ¥120.50 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥134.65 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥83.10 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8260 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8268.  Chinese PMI data will be released on Monday.  Revised data released today confirmed China is the largest holder of U.S. Treasuries. Foreign holdings of U.S. debt now total US$ 2.7 trillion.

The British pound weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5150 level and was capped around the $1.5320 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw Q4 gross domestic product up 0.3% q/q and off 3.3% y/y.  Also, February Nationwide house prices were off 1% m/m and up 9.2% y/y.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.4455 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.8970 level and was supported around the ₤0.8865 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0695 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0815 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the February KOF leading indicator increase to 1.87, up from January’s print of 1.81.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.4625 level and was capped around the CHF 1.4640 level.  The British pound came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.6310 level and was capped around the CHF 1.6500 figure.

 

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