The euro appreciated vis-Ă -vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3490
level and was supported around the $1.3340 level. The common currency rocketed higher on news
that the European Union may be more supportive of a financial aid package for
Greece than previously believed by the markets.Fitch downgraded Greeceâ€™s credit rating to the lowest investment grade
possible but European officials announced plans to support Greece if needed,
pushing the yield on 10-year Greek debt down by 29 bps from yesterdayâ€™s
eleven-year highs.The financial package
is said to include an arrangement between the International Monetary Fund, the
eurozone, and other European Union institutions whereby Greece would have to
apply to both the EU and the IMF jointly to avail of as much as â‚¬20 billion in
funding.The European Unionâ€™s credits to
Greece would incorporate bilateral loans at a rate higher than the IMFâ€™s credit
facility but would be more attractive than prevailing rates in the market.European Central Bank President Trichet
called on governments to reduce spending soon and added Europeâ€™s economic
recovery may be a â€śbumpy road.â€ťData
released in Germany today saw the February trade balance print at â‚¬12.6 billion
while the February current account printed at â‚¬9.1 billion.In
U.S. news, February wholesale inventories printed at +0.6%, up from the
upwardly revised prior reading of +0.1%.Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke last night reported â€śpolicymakers must
respond forcefully, creatively, and decisively to severe financial crises.â€ťEuro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3175
The yen appreciated
vis-Ă -vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ÂĄ93.10
level and was capped around the ÂĄ93.80 level. Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa met Prime
Minister Hatoyama today in the first of a series of quarterly meetings where
the central bank will likely be pressured by the government to enact new easing
measures.Shirakawa reported the central
bankâ€™s monthly purchase of ÂĄ1.8 trillion in Japanese government bonds was not
discussed during the meeting.Hatoyama
reported both the government and central bank will take measures to counter
deflation.Bank of Japan this week
maintained its assessment of the economy, reporting â€śJapanâ€™s economy has been
picking up mainly due to improvement in overseas economic conditions and to
various policy measures.â€ťBoJ reiterated
the economy still lacks â€śmomentum to support a self-sustained recovery in
domestic private demand.â€ťThe central
bank also reported corporate sentiment is improving, capital spending is
leveling out, and the deceleration in consumer prices will moderate.Data released in Japan yesterday saw the
February current account total print at ÂĄ1.47 trillion while February machine
orders were off 5.4% m/m and 7.1% y/y.Also, March bankruptcies were off 14.5% y/y and March machine tool
orders were up 262.1% y/y.Additionally,
the March economy watchersâ€™ survey improved at the both the current and outlook
levels.The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed
0.32% to close at ÂĄ11,204.34.U.S.
dollar offers are cited around the ÂĄ96.85 level.The
euro moved higher vis-Ă -vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around
the ÂĄ125.80 level and was supported around the ÂĄ124.65 level.The
British pound moved higher vis-Ă -vis the yen as sterling tested offers
around the ÂĄ144.30 level while the Swiss
franc moved higher vis-Ă -vis the yen and tested offers around the ÂĄ87.70 level.
In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated
vis-Ă -vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8236 in the
over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8243. The government plans to sell about CNY 200
billion of bonds on behalf of local governments this quarter.The move higher in the yuan was expected by
most dealers as simmering tensions between the U.S. and China have thawed a
little bit in the run-up to next weekâ€™s meeting in Washington, D.C. between
leadership from the two countries.Treasury
Secretary Geithner met with Chinese leadership in Beijing yesterday to stress
the importance of bilateral relations.Peopleâ€™s
Bank of China sold about CNY 15 billion in three-year bills this week, its first
sale since June 2008 and the central bankâ€™s latest attempt to drain liquidity
and manage money supply growth.There is
a growing sense that China is close to announcing an important shift in its
currency policy, possibly including a further liberalization of the yuanâ€™s
British pound appreciated vis-Ă -vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers
around the US$ 1.5390 level and was supported around the $1.5265 level. As expected, Bank of Englandâ€™s Monetary Policy
Committee kept its main Bank rate unchanged at 0.50% yesterday and kept its
asset purchase program unchanged at ÂŁ200 billion.Bank for International Settlements yesterday
issued a stern warning about the size of U.K. sovereign debt.Many data were released in the U.K. this week.
First, March Halifax house prices were up 1.1% m/m and 5.2% y/y for the most
recent three-month period.Second,
February industrial production was up 1.0% m/m and off 0.1% y/y.Third, February manufacturing production was
up 1.3% m/m and 1.4% y/y.Fourth, the
March NIESR GDP estimate came in at +0.4%, unchanged from the revised prior
reading.Cable bids are cited around the
US$ 1.4455 level.The euro moved higher vis-Ă -vis the British pound as the single
currency tested offers around the ÂŁ0.8775 level and was supported around the ÂŁ0.8705
franc appreciated vis-Ă -vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids
around the CHF 1.0655 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0760 level. Swiss National Bank Governing Board member
Danthine said â€śavoiding inflationâ€ť is a â€śmedium-termâ€ť challenge.Data released in Switzerland this week saw the March unemployment rate decline to
4.2% from 4.4% in February.Swiss
National Bankâ€™s 2009 Annual Report was released this week in which the central
bank indicated it expects GDP growth around 1% this year, down from the prior
forecast of 1.5%.Swiss National Bank is
thought to have intervened again this week by selling the franc but this will
remain unconfirmed and is far from certain because while the pair appreciated
quickly, it did not appreciate by more than 35 pips.U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF
1.0920 level.The euro moved higher vis-Ă -vis the Swiss franc as the single
currency tested offers around the CHF 1.4395 level while the British pound moved higher vis-Ă -vis the Swiss franc and tested
offers around the CHF 1.6510 level.
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