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Tuesday April 13, 2010 - 18:11:01 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (13 April 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3545 level and was capped around the $1.3625 level.  The common currency did not have a major reaction to news that Greece successfully sold €1.2 billion in 26- and 52-week treasury bills – the first debt auction since the European Union and International Monetary Fund jointly announced a financial aid package for Greece this weekend worth up to €40 billion.  The big question among traders is whether or not Greece will be forced to tap its aid package.  A lackluster day in U.S. equities also prevented the common currency from making significant moves.  Many dealers believe the euro’s upside will be challenged in the medium-term by sub-par economic growth.  European Union officials will deliberate stricter fiscal surveillance later this week to try and avoid a repeat of the Greek situation.  Eurozone February industrial production will be released tomorrow and the European Central Bank will release its April monthly report on Thursday.  German data released today saw the March headline consumer price inflation number print at an unchanged +0.5% m/m and +1.1% y/y and were up 0.6% m/m and 1.2% y/y on a harmonized basis.  Also, the March wholesale price index was up 1.3% m/m and 4.3% y/y.  Other data saw the French February current account print at -€3.6 billion while the March consumer price index was up 0.5% m/m and 1.6% y/y.  In U.S. news, data released today saw the March NFIB small business optimism index recede to 86.8 while the February trade balance worsened to –US$ 39.7 billion with the March import price index up 0.7% m/m and 11.4% y/y.  The March consumer price index, March retail sales, and Fed Beige Book will be released tomorrow.  Fed Chairman Bernanke will speak later today and may use the opportunity to tweak some policymaking language, including the term “extended period” in reference to the probable length of time the Fed will keep rates low.  There is also a chance that Fed officials could give more information about a likely request from regional Fed banks to raise the discount rate.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3175 level.


¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥92.55 level and was capped around the ¥93.40 level.  The ruling Democratic Party of Japan released a draft document wherein policymakers defended the need for a weaker yen.  The document suggested the ¥120 level would be “convenient” and called for “drastic monetary easing,” adding the government and Bank of Japan should target an inflation level “over 2.0%.”  Data released in Japan today saw the March domestic corporate goods price index rise 0.2% m/m and decline 1.3% y/y, both lower than expected.  Also, March Tokyo-area condominium sales were up 54.2%.  BoJ Governor Shirakawa reported “We’re starting to see more positive signs than negative signs” including “slight” improvements in wages and commodities prices.  He added the economy is “picking up” and said declines in consumer prices are moderating.  Many dealers expect BoJ to raise their price forecasts when its Policy Board convenes again later this month.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.81% to close at ¥11,161.23.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥96.85 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥125.70 level and was capped around the ¥127.05 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥142.05 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥88.30 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8256 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8257.  Speculation is increasing that China will float its currency or announce a significant revaluation by the end of the quarter, possibly a widening of the USD/CNY band by about 3%.  President Obama met with President Hu last night and the two discussed trade relations and a more market-oriented yuan exchange rate.  Some economists are predicting China’s economy expanded an annualized 11.7% in the first quarter.  Many data will be released in China tomorrow including Q1 GDP, March PPI, March CPI, March retail sales, and March industrial production.

The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5450 level and was supported around the $1.5335 level.  Bank of England reported overall mortgage costs increased for the first time in six months in March.  Data released in the U.K. today saw February DCLG house prices climb 7.4% y/y, up from the prior reading of +6.2%, while the February total trade balance printed at -£2.061 billion.  Other data saw the March RICS house price balance come in at 9%, down from the February total of 18%.  March Nationwide consumer confidence data will be released tomorrow. Traders are closely monitoring the lead-up to the U.K. general election on 6 May amid talk that Prime Minister Brown may have narrowed the gap against Tory challenger Cameron, the presumed favourite.  Dealers are still speculating the most likely scenario will be a hung Parliament and sterling has generally been weaker as a result of this premise.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5140 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8800 figure and was capped around the £0.8860 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0540 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0600 figure.   Data to be released in Switzerland this week include the March producer and import price index. Last Friday, Swiss National Bank Governing Board member Danthine said “avoiding inflation” is a “medium-term” challenge.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0920 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.4335 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.6215 level.


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