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Thursday April 22, 2010 - 10:05:22 GMT -

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Daily GVI Forex Forex View- Sovereign Debt Concerns Persist

The Daily Forex View

Sovereign Debt Concerns Persist

10:00 GMT- Apr 22 ( Markets have had a lot to digest today in terms of news. However a dominant factor continues to be ongoing rumors about some sort of debt restructuring by Greece that technically would not be a default. Factual information is hard to come by, but Credit default swaps for Greece have hit new record highs following an adverse study of the Greek debt situation released a short while ago. A growing worry is what additional concerns might be waiting in the weeds.

The Eurozone flash PMI data were better than expected today but have been outweighed by worries about Greece. They suggest that the EUR would be stronger absent the financial issues in the peripheral EZ participants. The U.K. has seen weaker than expected retail sales data and worse than expected public finance data. 

If this was not enough, Fitch expressed concerns today about the Japanese government debt levels. Also South Korea indicated a short while ago that its ship that recently had experienced an explosion had been hit by a torpedo from a North Korean submarine. The was based on a joint U.S.-South Korean investigation. 

CHARTS: Forex pairs vs 2-yr note spreads


Forex   EUR vs.     GBP vs. 9:54
EUR 1.3347 -47 JPY 124.26 -56 JPY 143.32 -21
GBP 1.5394 -8 GBP 86.70 -26 CHF 165.21 39
CHF 1.0732 31 CHF 1.4324 -9 CHF vs.    
JPY 93.10 -9       JPY 86.75 -34

The EURUSD is weaker on the day while the EURGBP is down. The GBPUSD is up. The details of the EU accord to backstop the Greek finances are now being negotiated. IMF issues are being raised as well. Markets are keeping a close watch on the credit default swaps.

In the GBP, retail sales data were weaker than expected as were the latest public finance data. Traders are zeroed in on the May 6 U.K. general election. Expectations for a close vote have everyone watching new election headlines. 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 difficult decisions that must be made could be deferred. This uncertainty has the GBP in play with negative implications.

Our bias for the EURUSD and GBPUSD remains cautiously bearish. The outlook for the EURGBP is a toss-up.

The EURCHF is continues to trade a narrow range. The SNB has changed its intervention tactics. The SNB has has been in the markets supporting the EUR vs. CHF a lot of the time. There is talk the SNB pulled out of the market for a few moments on Wednesday and this saw the EURCHF gap lower before they returned. Weakness of the EUR vs. the CHF is a bad omen for the EUR.  

The USDJPY pair is steady, and the EURJPY cross is down. More Toushin bonds are set for issuance this week and should undermine the unit. Comments by Fitch about Japan's public finances are a worry are an ongoing weight. The Hatoyama government favors an easier exchange rate and it continues to pressure the Bank of Japan to stimulate growth. Junior ruling party lawmakers (DPJ) have called 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).

COMMODITIES and Commodity Currencies

Click on Chart to Enlarge


Commodity         9:54
CAD 0.9995 6 AUD 0.9261 -20 Gold 1141 -5.94
CNY 6.8271 -14 NZD 0.7106 7 WTI 83.68 -0.01

The risk trade is off at the moment. The commodity currencies (CAD, AUD and NZD) are mixed. The Bank of Canada  Tuesday sent a signal that rates could be hiked as early as June 1. The Bank of Canada Monetary Policy Report today will be closely followed for more details. Canadian FinMin Flaherty has suggested little concern about CAD strength. A strong currency eases the pressure from the central bank to tighten policy aggressively. Oil and gold are down. We favor the AUD and CAD fundamentally.

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 3.75%, 0 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. 



Equities           9:54
NIK 10949 -141 DAX 6187 -44 DJIA 11125 2
HSI 21455 -56 FTSE 5693 -31 S&P 1206 0
SSEC 2999 -34 SMI 6760 0 NAS 2505 0
ASX 4907 -47       TSE 12135 21


UPCOMING DATA HIGHLIGHTS: Today in North America, Canadian leading indicators, U.S. PPI and weekly jobless claims data are released on the open. U.S. Existing Homes Sales will be followed by the Bank of Canada monetary policy report.

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 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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