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Thursday June 24, 2010 - 22:05:03 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (24 June 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2385 level and was supported around the $1.2260 level.  The common currency extended yesterday’s gains that began after the Federal Open Market Committee released a policy statement that was more dovish than expected.  Two-year U.S. Treasury note yields are at or near lifetime lows, reflecting the expectation that U.S. official rates will be on hold for some time.  The Fed yesterday reported it “anticipates that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.”  There is a spirited ongoing debate as to whether the U.S. economy is likely to experience deflation or will maintain a low-inflation course for some time.  Data released in the U.S. today saw May durable goods orders decline 1.1% y/y, a sharp reversal from the upwardly-revised April print of +3.0%, while the ex-transportation component was up 0.9%, up from April’s result of -0.8%.  Also, weekly initial jobless claims fell to 457,000 and continuing jobless claims fell to 4.548 million.  Data to be released tomorrow include Q1 gross domestic product, the GDP price index, core PCE, and final June University of Michigan consumer sentiment.  The Fed will sell US$ 2 billion in term-deposits on 28 June to drain cash from the banking system.  Traders will pay close attention to the Group of Twenty meetings that are beginning in Toronto.  There is a perception that U.S. officials favour higher deficit spending while Europe favours reduced deficit spending.  In eurozone news, there were renewed concerns today that Greece’s situation could worsen.  Credit default swaps in Greek debt surged 145 bps to a record 1,077 today.  Eurozone data released today saw April industrial new orders up 0.9% m/m and 22.1% y/y.  German May import price data will be released tomorrow along with the Ifo June business climate survey.  French data released today saw May consumer spending up 0.7% m/m and 1.9% y/y while May total jobseekers were higher by 22,600.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2570 level. 

 

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥89.20 level and was capped around the ¥89.95 level.  The pair lost ground even though Japanese economic data revealed the pace of economic growth may be moderating.  It was reported that the total merchandise trade balance more than halved in May to ¥324.2 billion.  Export growth cooled for the third consecutive month but shipments abroad were up 32.1% y/y.  The 1.2% m/m decline is partially attributable to the ongoing strength of the yen and its impact on muting foreign demand for Japanese goods.  Other data released in Japan overnight saw the May corporate service price index decline 0.8% y/y, an improvement from April’s decline of 1.1% y/y.  Data to be released in Japan overnight include June Tokyo-area consumer price inflation and May nationwide consumer price inflation.  The core ex-food and energy components are likely to remain in negative, deflationary territory. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.04% to close at ¥9,928.34.   The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥109.55 level and was capped around the ¥111.00 figure.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥133.45 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥80.75 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8001 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8140.  Data to be released in China overnight include the June MNI business expectations survey and May industrial profits.  The yuan has retained some of the gains it earned this week following People’s Bank of China’s decision to eventually end its two-year peg to the U.S. dollar and internationalize the yuan.  China’s move to liberalize the yuan should help to counter inflationary pressures and cause China to rely less on foreign trade and focus more on domestic final private demand.  Group of Twenty officials will meet with President Hu in Toronto this week. 

£

The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.4915 level and was capped around the US$ 1.5010 level.  Cable gave back some of yesterday’s gains that it scored when minutes from Bank of England’s June Monetary Policy Committee meeting were released. They evidenced a 7-to-1 vote to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5%.  MPC member Sentance favoured a 25bps tightening to 0.75%, noting that inflation has proven to be “resilient” since the end of the recession.  In contrast to Sentance’s position, “other members thought that changes to the balance of risks were insufficient to warrant a change in the stance.”  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.4620 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.8270 level and was supported around the £0.8180 level.


CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0985 level and was capped around the CHF 1.1065 level.  The Swiss government today reduced its deficit projections for 2011-2013 and now sees a 2011 shortfall of CHF 600 million, considerably less than the deficit of CHF 4.1 billion that was predicted in August 2009.  Swiss National Bank will publish its quarterly bulletin tomorrow.  Data released in Switzerland this week saw the May trade balance decline sharply to CHF 820 million from the upwardly-revised April total of CHF 2.06 billion.  This decline reflects the impact of the strong franc and the limited success Swiss National Bank has had in blunting the impact of the stronger franc through euro-buying intervention.  SNB member Jordan this week said deflation risks have largely gone away and said there is currently no need for intervention.  Swiss National Bank this week reported that its foreign currency investments rose to CHF 239 billion in May from CHF 153.6 billion in April, indicative of the significant amount of franc-selling intervention the central bank has been conducting to protect the Swiss export sector.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1470 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.3555 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.6435 level.

 

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