Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (17 May 2010)
The euro depreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2235
level and was capped around the $1.2370 level. The common currency remains severely on the
defensive on account of heightened eurozone sovereign debt concerns.The common currency has not traded at these
depressed levels since April 2006.European
Central Bank member Nowotny said the euro is trading ‚Äúin an absolutely normal
range‚ÄĚ and characterized the eurozone‚Äôs fiscal deficits and ability to finance
them as ‚Äúvery serious.‚ÄĚBorrowings at
the ECB discount window have surged recently and are now above ‚ā¨4 billion.The London interbank offered rate (Libor) for
three-month loans in U.S. dollars reached its highest level in more than nine
months at 0.46% today.The U.S. dollar
Libor-OIS spread, a barometers of banks‚Äô reluctance to lend, grew to 0.25%, the
highest level since 17 August.Three-month Libor rates have expanded for eleven consecutive weeks and
this is important because approximately US$ 360 trillion of financial products
worldwide are benchmarked to the rate.Credit
default swap rates on several European countries continue to rise with Greece,
Portugal, and Spain leading the way.In U.S. news, data released today saw
the May Empire State manufacturing index decline to 19.11 from the prior
reading of 31.86.March net long-term
TIC flows expanded significantly to US$ 140.5 billion from the prior reading of
US$ 47.1 billion while total net TIC flows grew to US$ 10.5 billion from the
upwarly-revised prior reading of US$ 9.7 billion.The May NAHB housing market index will be
released later in the day and data to be released tomorrow include April PPI,
April housing starts, and April building permits.240 banks have failed in the U.S. since 2007
and a bill in the Senate would leave the Federal Reserve at the center of U.S.
oversight.European Commission Financial
Services Commissioner Barnier reported he will seek a U.S. agreement that CDS
trades must be registered.Euro
bids are cited around the US$ 1.2140 level.
The yen depreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as the
greenback tested offers around the ¬•92.70 level and was supported around
the ¬•91.75 level. Former Bank of Japan
Policy Board member Taya today said ‚ÄúThree to four years from now I expect a sovereign
debt crisis to hit Japan and long-term interest rates to surge.‚ÄĚ Notably, Japan‚Äôs
public debt is nearly twice the size of its gross domestic product ‚Äď the
highest level among major industrial countries.Data released in Japan overnight saw March machine orders up 5.4% m/m
and 1.2% y/y while the April domestic corporate goods price index was up 0.4%
m/m and off 0.2% y/y.Also, April
Tokyo-area condominium sales were up 22.6% y/y.The March tertiary index will be released tonight followed by April
consumer confidence, April machine tool orders, and April department store
sales.The Nikkei 225 stock index lost
2.17% to close at ¬•10,235.76.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 ¬•114.55 level and was supported around the ¬•112.45 level.The
British pound moved lower vis-√†-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around
the ¬•131.05 level while the Swiss franc moved
higher vis-√†-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¬•81.75 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated
vis-√†-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8277 in the
over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8266. Data released in China on Friday saw April
foreign direct investment up an actual 24.69% y/y, up from the prior reading of
12.08%.Yuan forwards weakened on new speculation
that China may delay the appreciation of its yuan currency on elevated fears
about Europe‚Äôs debt crisis.Singapore,
Japan, and France called for China to end its peg to the U.S. dollar. U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner on Thursday
said he is ‚Äúconfident‚ÄĚ China is going to allow its currency to reflect market
British pound depreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids
around the US$ 1.4250 level and was capped around the $1.4545 level. U.K. Chief
Treasury Secretary Laws reported Treasury officials and Bank of England
officials noted it ‚Äúwould be responsible and safe‚ÄĚ to start reducing the fiscal
deficit this year.Data released in the
U.K. overnight saw May Rightmove house prices up 0.7% m/m and 4.3% y/y while
the May CBI industrial trends total orders index improved to -18 from the prior
reading of -36.April consumer price
inflation data will be released tomorrow.Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.4110 level.The
euro appreciated vis-√†-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers
around the ¬£0.8585 level and was supported around the ¬£0.84950 level.
franc depreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested
offers around the CHF 1.1445 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1320
level. There is renewed speculation
among some traders that Swiss National Bank will slow its purchases of euro for
francs via official interventions.Foreign currency investments comprise about 60% of the SNB‚Äôs balance
sheet.The Credit Suisse ZEW survey will
be released on Thursday followed by April money supply data on Friday.The
euro gained ground vis-√†-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested
offers around the CHF 1.4015 level while the
British pound lost ground vis-√†-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around
the CHF 1.6300 figure.
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