The euro appreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3690
level and was supported around the $1.3565 level. The common currency extended gains from late
last week after it was reported that eurozone officials reached an agreement to
provide financial assistance to Greece if that country cannot meet its
refinancing needs in the market.Greece
has billions of euro in bonds maturing over the next couple of months and the
recent increase in Greek yields may render it too expensive ‚Äď or even
impossible ‚Äď for Greece to refinance its maturing debt.The package offered by Greek officials is
said to total some US$ 61 billion.The
spread between Greek ten-year bonds and German bunds narrowed today to around
350bps.Dealers will again focus on the
significant fiscal problems of Spain and Portugal and eurozone officials may be
forced to assist them as well.European
Central Bank President Trichet reported the Greek plan as a ‚Äúpositive‚ÄĚ step and
called on the Greek government to meet its fiscal obligations.German Chancellor Merkel is said to be facing
major criticisms in her country for agreeing to the new financial assistance to
Greece at below-market rates.Data to be
released in Germany tomorrow include March consumer price inflation followed by
French February current account data and March consumer price inflation data on
Wednesday.In U.S. news, the March monthly budget statement printed at ‚ÄďUS$
65.4 billion.Data to be released in the
U.S. tomorrow include the March NFIB small business optimism index, February
trade balance, and March import price index.Fed Governors Duke and Tarullo spoke today about non-monetary
issues.Euro bids are cited
around the US$ 1.3175 level.
The yen depreciated
vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¬•93.60
level and was supported around the ¬•92.90 level. Minutes from the Bank of Japan Policy Board
meeting on 16-17 March were released overnight in which some rate-setters
concluded ‚Äúthere was no solid justification for enhancing monetary conditions.
The market may also increasingly come to consider that the bank would take
whatever policy action the market has anticipated.‚ÄĚBoJ policymakers doubled a lending program
for commercial banks to ¬•20 trillion.Many members said the program‚Äôs expansion ‚Äúreaffirmed the bank‚Äôs stance
on continuing to consistently make a contribution‚ÄĚ to improve economic growth
and overcome deflation.One common
criticism is that the program will accomplish little as far as actually
improving liquidity measures in the real economy and stimulating final private
demand.Data released in Japan overnight
saw March bank lending decline 1.8% y/y, worse than the prior reading of
-1.5%.Data to be released in the Australasian
session will include the March domestic corporate goods price index and March
Tokyo-area condominium sales.The Nikkei
225 stock index climbed 0.42% to close at 11,251.90.U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¬•96.85
level.The euro moved higher vis-√†-vis the yen as the single currency
tested offers around the ¬•127.45 level and was supported around the ¬•126.60
level.The British pound moved higher vis-√†-vis the yen as sterling tested
offers around the ¬•144.50 level while the
Swiss franc moved higher vis-√†-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¬•88.30
level. In Chinese news, the U.S.
dollar appreciated vis-√†-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY
6.8257 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8236. U.S. and Chinese officials will convene in
Washington, D.C. this week to discuss China‚Äôs exchange rate policy and other
financial aspects of the bilateral relationship.China today reported its foreign exchange
reserves totaled US$ 2.447 trillion at the end of March.Also, China‚Äôs trade surplus in the first
quarter was off 77% to US$ 14.49 billion. China is said to have posted a rare US$ 7.24
billion trade deficit in March.
British pound appreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers
around the US$ 1.5485 level and was supported around the $1.5365 level. Traders are closely monitoring the lead-up to
the U.K. general election on 6 May amid talk that Prime Minister Brown may have
narrowed the gap against Tory challenger Cameron, the presumed favourite.Dealers are still speculating the most likely
scenario will be a hung Parliament and sterling has generally been weaker as a
result of this premise.Data to be
released in the Australasian session include the BRC March retail sales monitor
and the March RICS house price balance.Cable
bids are cited around the US$ 1.5140 level.The euro moved higher
vis-√†-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ¬£0.8845
level and was supported around the ¬£0.8805 level.
franc appreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids
around the CHF 1.0530 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0615 level. Data to be released in Switzerland tomorrow
include the March producer and import price index. On Friday, Swiss National
Bank Governing Board member Danthine said ‚Äúavoiding inflation‚ÄĚ is a
‚Äúmedium-term‚ÄĚ challenge.Data released
in Switzerland last week saw the March unemployment rate decline to 4.2% from
4.4% in February.U.S. dollar offers are
cited around the CHF 1.0920 level.The euro moved lower vis-√†-vis the
Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.4380 level
while the British pound moved lower
vis-√†-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.6270 level.
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