10:00 GMT- Apr 19 (global-view.com) Trade Monday is being dominated by risk aversion as no one knows where civil case vs. Goldman Sachs will eventually lead. It could peter out or lead to an expanded investigation that could go on for months, or even years, involving a broad range of financial institutions of all stripes and governmental agencies from all over the globe. Our best guess is that it will not fade fast, but we really don't know. For the immediate future, it certainly should have a negative impact on risk trades, such as equities, and be supportive of treasuries.
The mortgage backed securities investigation, and the Iceland volcano, have moved the Greek debt off the front pages for a day, but the Greek mess has not been resolved either. Another safe harbor at the moment might be the JPY, but the Japanese government will not be pleased with this development.
The EURUSD is down on the day while the EURGBP is up. The GBPUSD is lower. The solidity of the EU accord to backstop the Greek finances is currently being questioned. IMF issues are being raised as well. Odds are the deal will hold, but there is an outside chance that the apparent accord could unravel with negative consequences for the EUR.
In the GBP, the markets are now zeroed in on the May 6 U.K. general election. An expected a close vote has traders waiting each day for new election headlines. Latest polls are suggesting that the odds of a hung Parliament are rising. This is the worst case scenario according to some, with no party winning a clear majority. This uncertainty has the GBP in play with negative implications.
We maintain a cautiously bearish bias for the EURUSD and GBPUSD. The EURGBP is a toss-up.
The EURCHF is higher. 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 slightly lower, and the EURJPY cross is 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. Junior Japanese ruling party lawmakers (DPJ) are calling on the government 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).
The risk trade is off today. The commodity currencies (CAD, AUD and NZD) are lower. Recent comments by the Canadian FinMin suggest little concern about the strength of the CAD. A strong currency eases the pressure from the central bank to tighten policy too early. The Bank of Canada meets tomorrow.. No rate changes are expected, but the main focus will be on the language about future policy. Oil and gold are down. We continue to favor the AUD and CAD from a fundamental perspective.
Far East equities closed lower. European bourses are down. 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 3.76%, -1 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 release Leading Economic Indicators.
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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