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Friday April 2, 2010 - 15:57:26 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (2 April 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3485 level and was capped around the $1.3590 level.  Some traders took advantage of very thin global liquidity to push the U.S. dollar higher following a decent U.S. March non-farm payrolls report that saw headline non-farm payrolls increase 162,000, up from an upwardly-revised -14,000 in February.  The unemployment rate remained at 9.7% and this is a positive sign because it means more people are returning to the labour force seeking full-time employment.  There were positive revisions to the payrolls data for the first two months of the year and average hours worked increased to 34.0 from the revised prior reading of 33.9.  Private jobs growth registered 123,000 with manufacturing payrolls up 17,000.  Average hourly earnings were up less-than-expected at -0.1% m/m and +1.8% y/y, signaling workers do not yet have pricing power with regard to wages.  On the whole, today’s labour report indicates the U.S. economy is on the mend but jobs growth is likely to remain muted and the “jobless recovery” is likely to continue.  The dollar also moved higher on a report that the Federal Reserve will be meeting on Monday to discuss a possible increase in the discount rate – another sign of monetary tightening.  The greenback is gaining ground on the premise that U.S. interest rates will normalize at a faster pace than eurozone interest rates.  February pending home sales data and ISM data will be released on Monday.  In eurozone news, traders await the release of the EMU-16 April Sentix investor confidence number on Tuesday.  Data released in the eurozone this week saw German March PMI improve to 60.2 while EMU-16 PMI improved to 56.6.  Liquidity is expected to remain quite thin through Monday in the eurozone and the United Kingdom for the Easter and Passover holidays.  Traders remain fixated on Greece’s debt woes with a new wave of skepticism regarding the country’s ability to successfully reduce its fiscal deficits and refinance its maturing debt in the second quarter.  European Central Bank member Kranjec reported the European Union “won’t do anything special” to support Greece.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3335 level.


¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥94.70 level and was supported around the ¥93.65 level.  Data released in Japan overnight saw the March monetary base decrease to +2.1% y/y from +2.2% y/y. Data to be released on Tuesday include the leading and coefficient indices.  As expected, yesterday’s Bank of Japan’s Q1 Tankan survey of corporate sentiment improved q/q with the large manufacturers’ index up to -14 from -24 in Q4 and the non-manufacturer’s index higher at -14 from -22.  Also, the large manufacturers’ outlook improved to -8 from -21 in Q4 and Q1 all-industry capital expenditures improved to -0.4% from -10.8%.  Today’s improvement represented the Tankan’s highest levels in eighteen months but they do not necessarily mean Japan’s economy will evidence a marked improvement, especially as final private demand remains tepid and deflation remains a significant problem.  There is market chatter that Bank of Japan will lift its assessment of the economy at the BoJ Policy Board meeting on 6-7 April, possibly on account of greater export activity.  BoJ’s 30 April Policy Board meeting will include its semi-annual economic projections and could be the meeting when Policy Board members adjust policy further following last month’s additional easing steps.  There will be an Upper House election in July and politicians will likely pressure the central bank to make policy easier far in advance of that election.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.37% to close at ¥11,286.09. 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 ¥127.90 level and was supported around the ¥127.15 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥143.95 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥88.65 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8257 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8264.  People’s Bank of China reported the U.S. dollar might experience a “technical rebound” but said its 2010 appreciation may not be “too big” on account of the U.S.’s high fiscal deficits and low interest rates.  PBoC also warned that new asset bubbles may be emerging globally.  Data released in China yestreday saw March manufacturing PMI improve to 55.1 from 52.0 in February.  People’s Bank of China reported yesterday it will continue its moderately loose monetary policy. 

The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5180 level and was capped around the $1.5295 level.  Sterling liquidity will remain light through Monday on account of Monday’s Bank holiday.  Bank of England yesterday issued its first quarter credit conditions survey today in which it reported U.K. mortgage demand may rise in the second quarter.  Data released in the U.K. yesterday saw March PMI manufacturing print at 57.2, up from the revised prior reading of 56.5.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.4455 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8870 level and was capped around the £0.8895 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0635 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0535 level.  Swiss National Bank is said to have intervened in the market yesterday by selling Swiss francs in what is estimated to have been a massive operation.  Swiss monetary, financial, and government officials have been warning that they will not tolerate a further increase in the franc in recent weeks but many traders speculated the central bank would not intervene to weaken the franc.  Data released in Switzerland yesterday saw the March PMI manufacturing survey improve to 65.5 from the prior reading of 57.4.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1180 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.4350 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6165 level.


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