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Tuesday April 20, 2010 - 13:23:50 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (20 April 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3415 level and was capped around the $1.3495 level.  The common currency came off as traders digested many different economic data that were released today.  First, the February eurozone current account printed at -€3.9 billion, wider than the revised prior reading of -€1.7 billion, while the EMU-16 April ZEW economic sentiment survey printed at 46.0, up from the prior reading of 37.9.  Also, German March producer prices climbed to 0.7% m/m and -1.5% y/y while the April ZEW economic sentiment survey came in at 53.0 with the current situation survey improving to -39.2.  These data signify that sentiment conditions are improving in the eurozone’s largest economy but also evidence the dichotomy between improving eurozone economies and significantly overextended countries like Greece, Spain, and Portugal.  In U.S. news, data to be released tomorrow include MBA mortgage applications and data to be released on Thursday include March producer price data, weekly initial jobless claims, and March existing home sales.  Fed Chairman Bernanke defended the Federal Reserve’s role in the Lehman Brothers debacle, noting the Fed did not have supervisory powers over Lehman.  President Obama is expected to make a major speech this week in New York calling for regulatory reform.  Chicago Fed President Evans reported the U.S. recession is “definitely over” and added U.S. unemployment will need more time to decline. Evans also said low interest rates are “appropriate” for now.  Fed Governor Duke reported “the outlook for commercial real estate is not very favourable.”  Dealers are also evaluating Goldman Sachs’s stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings report today against the report from last Friday that the U.S. government is targeting them in a major fraud case related to the sub-prime mortgage crisis.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3175 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥92.95 level and was supported around the ¥92.40 level.  Finance minister Kan noted “I think inflation targeting is an attractive policy. We could have a goal of 1 per cent or something a little higher, like 2 per cent, and work with the BoJ until that goal is met.”  Most dealers believe the government is likely to keep pressuring Bank of Japan to ease policy further.  One reason the yen was pushed lower is because the London three-month interbank offered rate (Libor) for yen loans declined to 0.23688 yesterday, its lowest level since May 2006. At the same time, the spread between yen rates and dollar rates climbed to its highest level in eight months, rendering the U.S. dollar more attractive investment.  Further yen weakness could in fact be prompted by a renewal of the carry trade.  BoJ Governor Shirakawa said the central bank is not excluding any policy options at this time and reiterated weak demand is causing price declines.  Data released in Japan overnight saw March machine tool orders climb 262.2% y/y while March convenience store sales were off 4.9% y/y.  Trade balance data will be released tomorrow.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.07% to close at ¥10,900.68.  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 ¥125.60 level and was supported around the ¥124.45 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥143.25 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥87.60 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8254 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8275.  China’s currency regulator today noted that China’s capital account surplus expanded to US$ 144.8 billion in 2009, up from US$ 19 billion in 2008.  The perception of higher interest rates in China is likely to fuel more China-bound investment capital.  Many traders believe China will revalue its yuan’s trading band imminently, possibly by widening its trading band by up to 3%. 

The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5430 level and was supported around the $1.5290 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw March consumer price inflation climb to 0.6% m/m and 3.4% y/y while the core CPI rate was up 3.0% y/y.  Another inflation measure (RPIX) was up 0.7% m/m and 4.4% y/y.  Bank of England Governor King will likely need to address a letter to Chancellor Darling explaining why inflation is above the BoE’s target and the central bank’s outlook for inflation.  Data to be released in the U.K. tomorrow include the claimant count, weekly earnings, and ILO unemployment data.  BoE MPC meeting minutes will also be released tomorrow.  Traders are talking about a surge in the polls by the Liberal Democratic Party and the likely impact this will have on the 6 May General Election.  .Many political pundits believe the contest will result in a hung Parliament and some now say the general election is too close to call with Cameron perhaps still holding a slight lead over Brown.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5140 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8740 level and was capped around the £0.8805 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0600 figure and was capped around the CHF 1.0660 level. March money supply data will be released tomorrow followed by the March trade balance and April Credit Suisse ZEW survey on Thursday.  Swiss National Bank Vice Chairman Jordan last week 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 this week 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 1.6400 figure.


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