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Thursday April 15, 2010 - 23:05:55 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (15 April 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3520 level and was capped around the $1.3665 level.  There is an increasing consensus among traders that Greece will be forced to tap its credit facilities with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.  Greece is said to have sufficient cash to meet its obligations until the beginning of May at which time some € 8.8 billion in bond redemptions will come due.  Greek finance officials scaled back a planned bond auction for the end of April to less than US$ 5 billion from a much larger facility that was planned.  European Central Bank member Bini-Smaghi today said the Greek crisis is at a “turning point” but those comments are inconsistent with the run-up in spread between Greek ten-year debt and German bonds to more than 400 basis points.  The European Central Bank released its April monthly report today in which it pessimistically said “It remains to be seen whether significant progress will be made in the main deficit and surplus economies in terms of living up to the commitments made at the Pittsburgh G20 Summit last September.” The ECB added “Since the outbreak of the crisis, global imbalances have narrowed, but this narrowing is likely to remain transitory to the extent that it has been driven by cyclical factors that are likely to reverse from 2010 onwards. Another key reason why global imbalances are likely to re-widen in the period ahead is that the main structural factors that led to the initial build-up in imbalances are likely to remain largely in place.”  G20 officials will convene in Washington, D.C. from next week at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.  ECB member Stark said the central bank will “oppose any call to cut deficits with inflation” and added the ECB still views current rates as appropriate even though inflation risks seem “tilted to the upside.”  He added he is concerned about a “dramatic” fiscal deterioration and said the European economic expansion may not be sustainable.  In U.S. news, data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims print at 484,000, up from last week’s 460,000 tally, while continuing jobless claims were higher at 4.639 million.  These data indicate the U.S. labour market has not had much traction early in the second quarter.  Other data released today saw the April Empire State manufacturing index print at 31.86 from the prior reading of 22.86 while February net long-term Treasury International Capital flows came in at +US$ 47.1 billion, up from the revised print of +US$ 15.0 billion.  Total net TIC flows were at +US$ 9.0 billion, up from the revised –US$ 10.2 billion.  Also, March industrial production printed at +0.1%, March capacity utilization came in at 73.2%, the April Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index improved to 20.2, and the April NAHB housing market index came in at +19.  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 ¥92.85 level and was capped around the ¥93.50 level.  Bank of Japan upgraded its economic assessment in seven of the country’s nine areas. The central bank reported the local economies “had picked up, although there remained differences in the pace and extent of the recovery.”  The upgrade increases the likelihood the central bank will increase their estimates for economic growth and inflation when its semi-annual outlook is released on 30 April.  Data released in Japan overnight saw February industrial production decline 0.9% m/m and climb 31.3% y/y while February capacity utilization was up 0.0% m/m.  Traders await the release of the government’s April economic report overnight.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.61% to close at ¥11,273.79.  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 ¥126.30 level and was capped around the ¥127.65 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥143.25 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥87.70 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8260 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8258.  Many data were released in China overnight.  First, Q1 real GDP came in on the high end of expectations, printing at an annualized growth rate of 11.9% y/y.  Also, the March producer price index was up 5.9% y/y and March consumer prices were up 2.4% y/y.  Additionally, March retail sales were up 18.0% y/y and March industrial production was up 18.1% y/y.  These data make it extremely likely the Chinese government will revalue its yuan currency or widen its trading band by an estimated 2-3%.  Some traders believe this move could take place as early as next week while most China-watchers believe it will happen before the end of the second quarter. 

The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5455 level and was capped around the $1.5505 level.  Prime Minister Brown and Tory leader Cameron debated ahead of the 6 May general election.  Many political pundits believe the contest will result in a hung Parliament and some now say the general election is too close to call with Cameron perhaps still holding a slight lead over Brown.  Data released in the U.K. today saw March Nationwide consumer confidence print at 72, down from a revised +81.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5140 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8750 level and was capped around the £0.8830 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0610 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0505 level.  March producer and import prices data will be released tomorrow.  Swiss National Bank Vice Chairman Jordan said regulators cannot allow governments to be “blackmailed” into protecting banks from collapse during future financial crises.  There was talk yesterday that the Swiss National Bank may have sold francs for euro in an intervention to try and support the Swiss export sector.  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 1.4330 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6390 level.


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