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Friday April 23, 2010 - 00:14:57 GMT
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Euro Touches New Low for Year; No Solution to Debt Woes in Sight

The Euro touched a new low for the year, taking out the late March bottom at 1.3267. Although the break to 1.3257 was met with profit-taking and bottom picking, the fundamentals are still suggesting that this pair has a long way to go before support is established.


By all reports, Greece continues to move closer to sovereign debt default. It looks as if the bailout from the EU/IMF proposed earlier in the month will not be enough to meet Greece’s financial obligations. The cost to finance the debt is sky-rocketing so unless there is a plan in the works to rewrite Greece’s financial obligations it looks as if it has no choice but to default. Contagion is another concern for investors. As the Greek financial situation worsens, so do the financial problems in Portugal and Spain.


The spread between Greece Bonds and German Bunds continues to be the best indication that there is risk of default. Yesterday this spread traded over 500 basis points. On Thursday, the Dollar rose against the Euro despite on-going 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.


After a healthy three-day rally, the GBP USD closed lower 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.


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. A late session turnaround in U.S. equity markets helped drive down demand for lower yielding currencies, triggering a surge in the USD JPY.  The rally helped take out earlier resistance at a 50% level at 93.18, sending this pair to the .618 level at 93.55.


The USD CAD confirmed Wednesday’s closing price reversal bottom at .9929. There was very little follow-through to the upside however, as a late session surge in demand for higher risk assets helped to limit gains.


On Wednesday, 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. It looks as if increased demand for higher yielding assets will dictate the short-term direction of this pair. The longer-term outlook is for the Canadian Dollar to appreciate against the U.S. Dollar due to a better economy and higher interest rates.


The AUD USD traded lower early in the session after Wednesday’s rally failed to attract fresh buying, but a late session rally in U.S. equity markets helped fuel a short-covering rally.  The charts are 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.


Continue to look for a choppy two-sided trade until traders get a clear picture of the RBA’s upcoming interest rate decision, China decides on the revaluation of the Yuan or global equity markets take off to the upside.


The NZD USD traded in a tight range and finished slightly better. .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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