20:00 GMT- Apr 7 (global-view.com) Forex markets mainly digested a positive 10-yr auction on Wednesday. The yield on the 10-yr afterwards was down by about -10 bps to 3.86%. This kept it in range of the psychological 4.00% line. News highlights were the outcome of the Bank of Japan policy meeting (rates unchanged) and Services PMIs from Europe (flash estimate revised higher) and U.K., weaker than expected. As noted recently, USD sentiment has been developing positively, but that improving sentiment could be slowing.
As for the FOMC minutes yesterday it seems the central bank is starting to extricate itself from the extended period language straight-jacket. Such would be sensible if they are considering hiking rates in September (or in 4Q10). We do not read much more into the notes.
The EURUSD is weaker and the EURGBP is steady. The GBPUSD fell after a weaker than expected U.K. March Services PMl. The Eurozone March flash Services PMI was revised higher. Also the Greek mess just will not go away. In the U.K., the general election set for May 6 has the markets reacting to each new headline. This should go on for another month. Polls have been mixed, but most favor the Tories. We continue to have a fundamentally bearish bias for the EURUSD and GBPUSD. EURGBP is a toss-up.
The EURCHF is steady. The SNB may have been in the markets today. Some say all week. The central bank intervened noisily last week in the EURCHF cross and in USDCHF. The chronic weakness of the EUR vs. the CHF continues to be a bad omen for the EUR.
The USDJPY pair is lower, and the EURJPY cross is down. BOJ Governor Shirakawa said the economy has been picking up after the BOJ meeting Thursday. Nevertheless, its focus remains on combating deflation. There remains persistent talk that there is a lot of yen waiting in the wings ready to be sold. We remain bullish USDJPY, but EURJPY is a tough call.
.The risk trades continue to send mixed signals. The commodity currencies (CAD, AUD and NZD) are mixed. Comments by Canadian Finance Minister Flaherty late Tuesday suggested not too much concern about the strength of the currency. A major focus of his comments was the orderliness of the move. A stronger currency takes the pressure off the central bank to tighten policy. Oil and gold are mixed. We continue to favor the AUD and CAD from a fundamental perspective. The NZD is looking vulnerable.
Far East equities were higher. European bourses ended lower. U.S. equities are down. In U.S. Treasuries, the focus is on the 10-yr note and the psychological 4.00% level. The U.S. 10-yr was last 3.86%, -10 bps. Bonds are a counter to risk trades because risk investments must somehow be financed. When the cost of money moves up (higher interest rates), the return and allure of risk trades falls.
UPCOMING DATA HIGHLIGHTS:Far East markets on Thursday will see Japanese current account and machinery orders data. Australian employment data are due also. In Europe , Swiss unemployment data are slated. The Eurozone releases retail sales data and German industrial output is on the docket as well. The U.K.releases manufacturing and industrial output data. Monetary policy decisions are due from the Bank of England and European Central Bank. In North America, the U.S.releases weekly jobless statistics, weekly natural gas inventories and will hold a 30-yr auction.
See ECONOMIC CALENDAR for a complete list of future forex market events and consensus data estimates. Go to the forex forum for up-to-date market developments and technical trading ideas.
John M. Bland is an author, and co-founder and partner of Global-View.com in 1996. Before that, he was a Vice-President and senior dealer in the fx inter-bank and futures trading arm of the Continental Grain Company in NYC. Previous to that, he was an early member of the Chemical Bank (NYC) corporate advisory service. He also worked in international liability management. John has an MBA from the Hass School at the University of California at Berkeley and a bachelors degree in International Economics from Berkeley.
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