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Thursday April 22, 2010 - 14:04:26 GMT
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Fitch Ratings Comment Weakens Japanese Yen

Overnight Fitch Ratings issued a statement which could weigh on the Japanese Yen over the near-term. In commenting on the level of Japanese debt, Fitch said the Japanese government “is one of the most indebted in the world.” It further added “In absence of sustained economic recovery and fiscal consolidation, government debt will continue to rise, placing downwards pressure on sovereign credit and ratings over the medium term.”


The initial reaction by traders drove the USD JPY to 93.34, but weakening demand for higher yielding assets helped the Japanese Yen recover as investors sought safety in lower yielding assets. Traders are going to have to decide whether to let the Fitch story dictate market direction or the stock market’s direction.


Technically, the USD JPY is finding resistance at a retracement zone at 93.18 to 93.55. Additional resistance is at a downtrending Gann angle at 93.14. A failure to penetrate the 93.14 - 93.18 resistance cluster could pressure the Dollar/Yen.


Downside pressure continues to push the EUR USD lower but the overnight loss has been limited by an uptrending Gann angle at 1.3332. A break through this level could trigger an acceleration to the downside with the recent bottom at 1.3282 the most likely target.


Worries continue to mount about Greece’s budget deficit. The spread between Greece Bonds and German Bunds continues to indicate that there is risk of default. Yesterday this spread traded over 500 basis points. The


The Dollar rose against the Euro on Wednesday despite the start of talks to activate the loan agreement between Greece and the International Monetary Fund. Short-traders believe there is not enough money in this agreement to help Greece over the long-run. The sell-off in the Portugal bond market is a strong indication that traders believe this country faces the same dilemma as Greece.


After a healthy two-day rally, the GBP USD is under pressure this morning following the release of a worse than expected U.K. retail sales report. March retail sales showed an increase of 0.4%. The increase was less than economist estimates of 0.6%. Traders reacted by selling the British Pound as the report indicated the possibility of slower growth in the economy.


Earlier in the week, the British Pound rose after the government reported higher than expected consumer inflation. This news triggered a rally in the Sterling, but gains were limited on election concerns. Recent polls are showing the May 6th election may result in no party have a significant majority. This could lead to a hung parliament meaning legislation to cut the U.K. deficit may be limited.


Yesterday the USD CAD hit a new 22-month low but there was very little follow-through to the downside. This is usually an indication of an oversold market. Technically, the closing price reversal bottom indicates an impending short-covering rally which could send this pair up to 1.0072 to 1.0106. Lower demand for gold and crude oil should underpin this market today.


The AUD USD is trading lower after Wednesday’s rally failed to attract fresh buying. The charts are now indicating the possibility of a second lower top at .9337. Downside pressure is building which could drive this market into a support cluster at .9200 to .9191.


Fundamentally traders are confused about the next move by the Reserve Bank of Australia. Earlier in the month, a report showing that mortgage approvals had fallen pressured the Aussie as it indicated that the RBA would hold rates steady at its next meeting in May. Earlier this week however, the RBA minutes indicated the possibility of a rate hike because of concerns about inflation. With these two reports neutralizing each other, traders may be selling the Australian Dollar on the thought that China was reading to revalue the Yuan.


The NZD USD is trading slightly better but still inside of a tight range. .7124 continues to repel rallies. A breakout over this price will be a strong indication that the Kiwi is going to move higher. A break through .7052 could trigger a sharp break.


Traders aren’t sure which direction the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will take at its next meeting. The economy doesn’t seem to be strong enough to begin hiking rates, but the RBNZ may be feeling pressure to increase interest rates because of the recent hikes by Australia and the anticipated hike by the Bank of Canada in June.


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