Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (23 April 2010)
The euro appreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3375
level and was supported around the $1.3200 figure. The common currency retraced some of its
intraweek losses after Greece officially requested financial assistance from the
European Union and the International Monetary Fund.The European Commission, European Central
Bank, and the Eurogroup reported they are ‚Äútaking note‚ÄĚ of Greece‚Äôs request to ‚Äúactivate
the financial support mechanism,‚ÄĚ adding they ‚Äúwill decide upon the activation
of this mechanism.‚ÄĚThere is market talk
that Greece will receive its first funding tranche before 19 May.The
speed with which the European Union agrees to rescue Greece will partially be determined
by the speed with which German Chancellor Merkel can push the unpopular bailout
through the German legislature.Yesterday,
Greece‚Äôs debt ratings were downgraded by Moody‚Äôs Investor Services. The
activation of the financial assistance package for Greece will provide the
country with a little bit of financial stability but there is talk that Greece
will require well in excess of ‚ā¨100 billion in aid from the international
community.Additionally, the euro may
still continue to probe new multi-month lows because there is a higher threat
that contagion will see Greece‚Äôs fiscal problems move to other highly-indebted
eurozone countries including Portugal and Spain.G-7 and G-20 officials will discuss sovereign
credit risk, exchange rates, Greece, global financial reform, and other key
topical issues when they convene this weekend in Washington, D.C.Eurozone February industrial new orders were
up 1.5% m/m and 12.2% y/y in data released today.Also, the German April Ifo business climate
index rallied to 101.6 from 98.2 while the April Ifo current assessment index
improved to 99.3 and the April Ifo expectations index rallied to 101.9.Also, French March consumer spending was up
1.2% m/m and 2.5% y/y.In U.S. news, data released today saw
March durable goods orders decline 1.3%, a reversal from the revised prior
reading of +1.1%, while the ex-transportation component was up 2.8%, up from
the revised prior reading of 1.7%.Also,
March new home sales were up 26.9% y/y to an annualized 411,000 units, a
multi-decade record-setting pace.Press
reports suggest Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke is not convinced about the
timing of asset sales to reduce the Fed‚Äôs balance sheet.Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3175
The yen depreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as the
greenback tested offers around the ¬•94.20 level and was supported around
the ¬•93.30 level. The pair continues to
rise as there are increasing signs the U.S. economic recovery is taking
root.The Japanese media is reporting
Bank of Japan may raise its consumer price index forecast for fiscal year 2011
to near zero per cent growth, up from January‚Äôs estimate of -0.2%.Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa spoke
yesterday and reported inflation targets are one cause of asset price bubbles.It is likely that Shirakawa and other BoJ
officials will resist the government‚Äôs likely call to adopt an inflation
target, perhaps as high as 2% per year.Ahead
of this weekend‚Äôs G-7 and G-20 meetings in Washington, D.C., Shirakawa said
exchange rates should not be utilized to resolve trade disputes. Data released in Japan overnight saw the
February all-industry activity index decline 2.3% m/m, a reversal from the
upwardly revised +3.4% climb in January.The Nikkei 225 stock index lost
0.32% to close at ¬•10,914.46.U.S.
dollar offers are cited around the ¬•96.85 level.The
euro moved higher vis-√†-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around
the ¬•125.20 level and was supported around the ¬•123.40 level.The
British pound moved higher vis-√†-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around
the ¬•144.50 level while the Swiss franc moved
higher vis-√†-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¬•87.30 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated
vis-√†-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8274 in the
over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8264. Attention will be focused on the G-7 and G-20
meetings in Washington, D.C. this weekend to determine how much multilateral
pressure there is on China to revalue its yuan currency.Many China-watchers believe China may allow
the yuan to appreciate at any time between now and the end of the quarter.Data released in China overnight saw the
March leading index decline to 104.98 from the revised prior reading of 105.11.
British pound depreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids
around the US$ 1.5295 level and was capped around the $1.5400 figure. Data released in the U.K. today saw Q1 gross
domestic product up 0.2% q/q and off 0.3% y/y, lower-than-expected on the quarterly
basis and stronger-than-expected on the year-over-year basis.Prime Minister Brown will likely note these
data suggest the economy is accelerating while his opponents in the 6 May
General Election will note that economic growth remains very weak.Many political pundits believe the contest
will result in a hung Parliament and some now say the general election is too
close to call with Cameron perhaps still holding a slight lead over Brown.Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5140
level.The euro moved higher vis-√†-vis the British pound as the single
currency tested offers around the ¬£0.8700 figure and was supported around the ¬£0.8605
franc depreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers
around the CHF 1.0850 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0745 level. Swiss National Bank Chairman Hildebrand said
he is ‚Äúskeptical‚ÄĚ of the International Monetary Fund‚Äôs G-20 bank tax proposal.Swiss National Bank and Swiss regulators
announced new regulations this week that mandate UBS and Credit Suisse to hold
larger amounts of reserves to defend against crisis scenarios.Data released in Switzerland today saw the
March trade balance expand to CHF 2.01 billion from the prior reading of CHF
1.29 billion while the April ZEW expectations survey fell back to 53.4 from
53.8.Dealers continue to cite talk that
Swiss National Bank may be intervening by bidding the euro/ franc cross
higher.U.S. dollar offers are cited
around the CHF 1.0920 level.The euro moved higher vis-√†-vis the
Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.4355 level
while the British pound moved lower
vis-√†-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.6490 level.
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