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Thursday April 22, 2010 - 05:14:02 GMT
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More Downside Pressure Expected on Euro

Selling pressure continued to drive the Euro down on Wednesday. The outlook for the Euro remains bearish despite on-going meetings between Greek officials and the IMF to find a solution to the growing sovereign debt problem.

 

The EUR USD was down all day in the New York trading session after trading lower overnight. Another indication of lower prices to come was the widening of the Greek 10-year Bond/German Bund Spread to 500 basis points. Investors are continuing to ask for protection from a potential collapse in the Greek debt market.

 

Traders are becoming convinced that there is not enough money available to help out Greece in the long-run. Hedge funds continue to short the Euro in anticipation of more borrowing by Greece and despite another proposal from the EU/IMF to provide additional emergency funds if necessary.

 

Throughout the day, talk was circulating that Portugal is close to a similar dilemma as Greece. Portugal’s bonds are also selling off, indicating investor lack of confidence in this country’s ability to contain its debt.

 

All of this is adding up to more pressure on the Euro.

 

The GBP USD closed higher after holding steady most of the day. Government data released early Wednesday morning showed the number of people claiming jobless benefits fell by 32,900 in March. This was three times more than pre-report estimates and the sharpest drop since June 1997.

 

Overnight the Bank of England minutes were released. The data revealed that the BoE members voted 9-0 to keep interest rates at historically low levels, but that inflation was a concern. On Tuesday a report was released showing U.K. CPI had risen to 3.4%. This percentage was almost twice the target of 2.0%.  After providing stimulus for months in an effort to revive the economy, the BoE will now have to figure out how to begin removing the stimulus to lower inflation without upsetting the developing recovery.

 

The upcoming May 6th election remains a concern for U.K. investors at this time which is helping to limit gains. Traders maintain that the election is too close to call and that there is still a strong possibility of a hung parliament. This could mean that without a majority in the parliament, a plan to slash the U.K. budget deficit may not be able to be implemented.

 

The weaker Euro helped boost the USD CHF. Technically, this market is poised to breakout to the upside. Traders are selling the Swiss Franc in anticipation of further intervention by the Swiss National Bank. 

 

The weakening U.S. equity markets helped to push the USD JPY higher. Early in the trading session, this currency pair was having trouble with a 50% price level at 93.18. Wednesday’s weakness in the stock market drove the Yen through this level as well as a downtrending Gann angle that has held the market down since the 94.77 top on April 5th. Upside momentum could take this market to 93.55.

 

The USD CAD was under pressure early in the session following Tuesday’s bearish announcement by the Bank of Canada that it is going to begin hiking interest rates sooner than expected. The Canadian Dollar rose to a new 22-month high overnight but weakness in the U.S. equity markets and oversold conditions are helping to push this pair near the positive side of the ledger.

 

Traders feel this currency will continue to rise as long as the U.S. keeps interest rates low and because of the improving Canadian economy. The BoC wants to act as early as June 1st in order to stem the harmful effects of inflation. Aside from a few short-covering rallies triggered by the dumping of higher risk assets, look for traders to continue to press the Dollar/CAD lower.

 

Short USD CAD traders should be careful because of Wednesday’s closing price reversal bottom. This type of pattern can lead to a 2 to 3 day counter-trend rally.

 

Weaker stock prices, a sign of lower demand for risky assets, put downside pressure on the Australian Dollar. Overnight the Aussie Dollar tried to breakout to the upside but buying power dried up.

 

Traders are getting mixed signals. Bearish traders believe that a weak mortgage demand report from earlier in the month indicates the Reserve Bank of Australia is unlikely to hike rates in May. Tuesday’s RBA minutes indicates that policymakers are concerned about inflation and may consider a rate hike. The inability to reach a solid conclusion was a contributing factor to Wednesday’s weakness.

 

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