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Wednesday April 14, 2010 - 23:45:50 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (14 April 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3680 level and was supported around the $1.3595 level.  U.S. equities staged an impressive performance following a strong showing in first quarter earnings by U.S. technology giant Intel and U.S. banking giant JPMorgan Chase Bank.  Both companies beat the street’s forecasts and put a bid in U.S. equities markets, helping the common currency to advance on that premise that riskier assets may outperform.  Traders are still very much focused, however, on Greece’s woes with many dealers speculating the country will be forced to borrow funds from the International Monetary Fund and European Union partners in the event that it is unable to refinance several billion euro in maturing debt over the next several weeks.  Data released in the eurozone today saw EMU-16 February industrial production climb 0.9% m/m and 4.1% y/y.  The European Central Bank will publish its April monthly report tomorrow and EMU-16 consumer price inflation and trade balance numbers will be released on Friday.  European Central Bank policymaker Stark reported eurozone debt-to-GDP may top 100%.  ECB’s Wellink said the U.S. economic recovery has been behind the euro’s recent decline and called for a strengthening of the European Union’s Growth and Stability Pact.  In U.S. news, data released today saw the March consumer price index climb 0.1% m/m and 2.3% y/y at the headline level with the ex-food and energy rate up 0.0% m/m and 1.1% y/y.  Also, March advance retail sales were up 1.6% with the ex-autos component up 0.6%.  Additionally, February business inventories were up 0.5%, up from the revised prior reading of 0.2%.  The Fed’s Beige Book was released today and reported that the economy expanded “somewhat” across most of the U.S. in March on the heels of better consumer spending and greater manufacturing activity.  Dallas Fed President Fisher noted he sees a “positive momentum” in the U.S. economy but warned the jobless rate may remain high “for a rather long time” and added “there is still a lot of slack in the the economy.” Fed Chairman Bernanke called on China to loosen the yuan’s exchange rate because “it would give them more autonomy in their monetary policy so they could address inflation and bubbles.”  Fed President Lacker said the economy is a “long way from a full recovery.”  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3175 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥93.70 level and was supported around the ¥92.80 level.  Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa reiterated the central bank will maintain its easy monetary policy for now, one day after he testified the economy is improving and noted the central bank’s inflation targets may need to be upwardly revised.  BoJ released data overnight that confirmed the outstanding amounts of global credit swaps on sovereign debt climbed 31% in the year that ended on 5 February, underscoring investors’ concerns over government finances.  Japanese swaps grew faster than swaps involving the U.S. and the U.K., a further indication that fears have been mounting as Japan’s fiscal position deteriorates.  Shirakawa also reiterated declines in consumer prices will moderate and said final private demand for durable goods is improving.  Yesterday, 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 to be released in Japan overnight include February industrial production and capacity utilization.  The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.39% to close at ¥11,204.90.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥96.85 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥127.65 level and was supported around the ¥126.75 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥144.65 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥88.85 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8258 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8256. China reported foreign pressure to revalue its yuan currency is not justified and said global economic problems are not a result of the yuan’s value.  Many dealers believe China will revalue its yuan currency by 30 June with some prominent China-watchers calling for a revaluation as soon as May or even earlier.  Data released in China overnight saw the March NDRC housing price index print at 11.7, up from the prior reading of 10.7.  Also, it was reported that March actual final direct investment was up 12.08% y/y.  Many data will be released in China overnight 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$ 1.5490 level and was supported around the $1.5370 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw March Nationwide consumer confidence decline to +72 from an upwardly revised +81.  Traders are closely monitoring the lead-up to the U.K. general election on 6 May amid talk that Prime Minister Brown may have narrowed the gap against Tory challenger Cameron, the presumed favourite.  Dealers are still speculating the most likely scenario will be a hung Parliament and sterling has generally been weaker as a result of this premise.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5140 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8805 level and was capped around the £0.8865 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0500 figure and was capped around the CHF 1.0560 level.  There was talk today that the Swiss National Bank may have sold francs for euro in an intervention to try and support the Swiss export sector.  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 1.4385 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6300 figure.

 

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