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Wednesday May 12, 2010 - 20:24:18 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (12 May 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2605 level and was capped around the $1.2740 level.  Traders continue to express skepticism with the latest bailout plans for eurozone countries, doubting that Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Portugal will be able to dramatically reduced their bloated deficits and rein in fiscal spending.  Sovereign debt concerns continue to weigh heavily over the common currency.  European Central Bank President Trichet today “ruled out completely” the idea that a member country of the eurozone could be expelled from membership. Trichet also defended the ECB’s decision this week to purchase eurozone government bonds in the secondary market, reporting it is “not a situation of quantitative easing. We are takking back all the liquidity that we’re providing.”  Concurrent with the eurozone jitters, it was announced that Estonia will join the euro on 1 January 2011.  Data released in the eurozone today saw EMU-16 March industrial production climb 1.3% m/m and 6.9% y/y while EMU-16 GDP growth registered 0.2% q/q and 0.5% y/y.  The ECB will release its May monthly report tomorrow.  German data released today saw Q1 GDP growth of 0.2% q/q and 1.7% y/y.  Also, French consumer prices were up 0.3% m/m and 1.7% y/y while Q1 gross domestic product was up 0.1% q/q and 1.2% y/y.  In U.S. news, St. Louis Fed President Bullard said the economic recovery is “fairly robust” and said risks from Europe are “not that high.” The Senate today voted to keep regulatory oversight of smaller banks with the Fed.  Data released in the U.S. today saw MBA mortgage applications up 3.9% while the March trade balance printed at –US$ 40.4 billion, wider than the revised –US$ 39.4 billion.  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 ¥93.25 level and was supported around the ¥92.45 level.  Some risk appetite returned to the market after several days of intense volatility and traders reduced exposure to the yen.  Data released in Japan overnight saw official reserve assets climb to US$ 1.046 trillion while the March leading and coincident indices rallied to 102.8 and 101.1, respectively.  Many data will be released in Japan overnight.  Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Yamaguchi this week said the central bank has “no need to alter the outlook in our semi-annual economic report” following recent market volatility.  Finance minister Kan this week reported equity and currency markets will “start to stabilize.”  Minutes from last month’s BoJ Policy Board meeting were released yesterday 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.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.16% to close at ¥10,394.03.  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 ¥118.40 level and was supported around the ¥116.55 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥139.80 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥84.10 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8272 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8293.  People’s Bank of China adviser Xin Bin this week said the central bank’s quarterly report released on Mondat is a signal the central bank will permit the yuan to appreciate vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar.  The central bank 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.  


The British pound depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.4815 level and was capped around the $1.5045 level.  New Prime Minister Cameron formed a government with the Liberal Democrats and the new coalition government promised to reduce the U.K.’s deficit.  Bank of England Governor King applauded the new government’s decision to reduce as much as £6 billion in spending this year.  BoE released its quarterly inflation report today in which predicted inflation will remain above its 2% target through the remainder of the year and about 1.4% in two years’ time.   Nonetheless, there are no indications BoE is considering tightening policy at this time and the central bank added downside U.K. growth rates have “increased somewhat.”  BoE is expected to begin reversing its quantitative easing policies in 2011.  Data released in the U.K. today saw the April claimant count tick lower to 4.7% from 4.8% while jobless claims were off 27,100.  Average weekly earnings accelerated sharply to 4.0% and the ILO unemployment rate remained steady at 8.0%.  April Nationwide consumer confidence will be released tonight.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.4335 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.8545 level and was supported around the £0.8445 level.



The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.1060 level and was capped around the CHF 1.1140 level.  The Swiss government today called on UBS and Credit Suisse to reduce risk-taking activities.  Data released in Switzerland today saw April producer and import prices up 0.6% m/m and 0.8% y/y.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1270 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.4015 level while the British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.6415 level.


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