10:00 GMT- Apr 16 (global-view.com) The Greek debt situation appears to be on a faster track to some sort of conclusion than many were thinking as recently as the opening days of this week. No matter what the technicalities are, it is clear that the government is seeking in one way or another to exercise access to EU/IMF backstop financing, and the EU is meeting at his moment to figure out how to make it happen. The major stumbling bloc would appear to be populist opposition to aid from German voters on whom Chancellor Merkel depends on for political support. We had always assumed that the EU had no alternative other than to support Greece, but that is not so obvious now when what the Greek economy needs now more than anything else is a currency devaluation. The problem it that it is locked into the EUR "roach motel".
The bottom line heading into the weekend is that few traders will want to be long EUR over the weekend heading into Monday. The EUR is weaker vs. the USD and JPY today. Some say if the EUR is to survive as it is now, it will have to be trading significantly weaker by yearend. EZ CPI data were tame.
The EURUSD is down on the day while the EURGBP is steady. The GBPUSD is lower.
The solidity of the EU accord to backstop the Greek finances is currently in play. IMF issues are being raised as well.
The U.K. general election will be held on May 6. The vote has markets waiting each day for new headlines. New polls show the lead of the Conservatives over Labour slightly smaller. This goes on for another weeks. This weekend will see a three-way U.S. presidential-style debate.
We maintain a cautiously bearish bias for the EURUSD and GBPUSD. The EURGBP is a toss-up.
The EURCHF is steady. Some have been noting that the SNB has changed tactics and it has has been in the markets supporting the EUR vs. CHF much of the time. Weakness of the EUR vs. the CHF is a bad omen for the EUR.
The USDJPY pair is lower, and the EURJPY cross is sharply weaker. More Toushin bonds are set for issuance. The Hatoyama government continues to pressure the Bank of Japan to stimulate growth and favors an easier exchange rate. A group of junior Japanese ruling party lawmakers (DPJ) called on the government Tuesday to push USDJPY to 120 to combat deflation. Some traders focus intently on the Japanese vs. U.S. 2-yr note spread (only the U.S. 2-yr moves much).
Chatter that there is a lot of yen waiting in the wings ready to be sold persists. We remain bullish USDJPY, but EURJPY is a tough call. Some say that an expected CNY revaluation would give the JPY a lift, but we would be surprised if the exchange rate is raised by more than a token amount.
The risk trade is mostly off today. The commodity currencies (CAD, AUD and NZD) are mixed. Recent comments by Canadian FinMin Flaherty suggest little concern about the strength of the currency. A strong currency eases the pressure from the central bank to tighten policy too early. The Bank of Canada meets on Tuesday. Oil and gold are mixed. We continue to favor the AUD and CAD from a fundamental perspective.
Far East equities closed lower. European bourses are mixed. U.S. equities are lower. U.S. Treasuries are still watching the psychological 4.00% level in the 10-yr note. The U.S. 10-yr was last 3.82%, -3 bps. Bonds are used as a counter to risk trades because risk investments must somehow be financed. When the cost of money moves up (higher interest rates), the return and allure of risk trades falls.
UPCOMING DATA HIGHLIGHTS:. In North America, the U.S. will see the release of Housing Starts, Building Permits and the University of Michigan Survey. Canada will release manufacturing sales.
See ECONOMIC CALENDAR for a complete list of future forex market events and consensus data estimates. Go to the forex forum for up-to-date market developments and technical trading ideas.
John M. Bland is an author, and co-founder and partner of Global-View.com in 1996. Before that, he was a Vice-President and senior dealer in the fx inter-bank and futures trading arm of the Continental Grain Company in NYC. Previous to that, he was an early member of the Chemical Bank (NYC) corporate advisory service. He also worked in international liability management. John has an MBA from the Hass School at the University of California at Berkeley and a bachelors degree in International Economics from Berkeley.
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