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Monday May 10, 2010 - 15:37:56 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (10 May 2010)

The euro appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3095 level and was supported around the $1.2805 level.  European policymakers convened emergency meetings over the weekend and agreed on a €500 billion “European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism.” This policy announcement was coupled by a statement from the ECB that it will begin quantitative easing policies that will include the purchase of government debt in the secondary markets.  ECB officials reported they would “take all measures needed to meet (countries’) fiscal targets this year and the years ahead in line with excessive deficit procedures.”  ECB also reported it will sterilize its asset purchases by withdrawing liquidity elsewhere.  Even though the markets have responded positively to today’s news, questions will emerge regarding the independence of the ECB.  ECB President Trichet reported the central bank will remain “fiercely and totally independent.”  Greece has approximately €8.5 billion in bonds maturing on 19 May and Spain and Portugal need to refinance an aggregate €100 billion by the end of the year.  The ECB also announced it will restart some U.S. dollar lending operations to prevent shortages in local markets.  Germany is said to have pushed for a loan limit of €500 billion for the new Stabilisation Mechanism.  Data released in the eurozone todays saw May Sentix investor confidence decline to -6.4 from the prior reading of +2.5.  The German March trade balance increased to €17.2 billion and the March current account increased to €18.0 billion.  Also, Bank of France April business sentiment fell back to +102 while March manufacturing production expanded 0.8% m/m and 6.7% y/y.  Moreover, March industrial production grew 1.0% m/m and 6.2% y/y.  In U.S. news, the Fed restarted some emergency currency-swap programs to provide a “full alottment” of U.S. dollars to European central banks.  The Fed’s move reversed a recent decision to withdraw some of its emergency liquidity provision policies and the Fed is clearly concerned with managing systemic risk.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2585 level.


¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥93.55 level and was supported around the ¥91.65 level.  Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Yamaguchi said the central bank has “no need to alter the outlook in our semi-annual economic report” following recent market volatility.  Finance minister Kan reported equity and currency markets will “start to stabilize.”  Minutes from last month’s BoJ Policy Board meeting were released and policymakers observed “balance sheet adjustments in the banking sector and the fiscal deficit problem in some European countries might further slow the pace of economic recovery” in the region.  BoJ injected ¥2 trillion into the financial system for a second day, the first back-to-back same-day operations since October 2008.  Also, BoJ reestablished a U.S. dollar currency swap agreement with the Fed and other central banks to help stabilize global financial markets. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.60% to close at ¥10,530.70.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥96.85 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥122.30 level and was supported around the ¥118.05 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥140.55 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥85.40 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8266 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8258.  People’s Bank of China warned “The European sovereign debt crisis directly affects economic growth in the eurozone and adds a lot of uncertainty to the global economic recovery.”  PBoC added the “potential threat to price stability is increasing.”  The central bank also yielded some clues regarding the possibility of ending its U.S. dollar peg, reporting it will manage the yuan “with reference to a basket of currencies” – language that was absent from the central bank’s previous quarterly summary. Market chatter continues and indicates that People’s Bank of China may lifts its interest rate by 27bps no later than June following its announcement recently that it is raising its reserve requirement ratio for the third time this year.  Many dealers believe China will revalue the yuan before the end of the second quarter.


The British pound appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5055 level and was supported around the $1.4760 level.  As expected, Bank of England kept its main Bank Rate unchanged at 0.50% today and kept its asset purchase program unchanged at £200 billion.  The rare Monday MPC meeting was on account of the General Election on Thursday in the U.K.  While the Tories won the General Election, neither the Tories nor Labour has been able to agree a deal with the Liberal Democratic Party or smaller parties to form a majority coalition government.  Data to be released in the U.K. tonight include the BRC April retail sales monitor and RICS house price balance.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.4335 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8545 level and was capped around the £0.8750 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0925 level and was capped around the CHF 1.1085 level.  Swiss National Bank President Hildebrand said eurozone stability programs are a “concern for all” and added it will not allow franc gains to trigger deflation.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1270 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.4330 level while the British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6595 level.


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