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Friday June 25, 2010 - 21:13:30 GMT
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FX Market Commentary and Analysis (25 June 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2395 level and was supported around the $1.2255 level.  Concerns about stress tests on European banks eased during the North American session and this saw the common currency reverse course and move higher.  The pair came close to gaining for the third consecutive week.  Two-year U.S. swap spreads narrowed today, reflecting the lessening concerns about the Greek and European woes.  Group of Twenty officials are convening this weekend in Toronto and it remains to be seen if policymakers can come to terms on a communiqué that addresses the differences between U.S. and European positions on economic growth and deficit spending.  U.S. officials are said to favour higher deficit spending to stimulate economic growth while European officials are fostering a reduction in deficit spending at the expense of economic growth.  Data released in the eurozone today saw German import prices up 0.6% m/m and 8.5% y/y while French Q1 GDP growth was unrevised at 0.1% q/q and 1.1% y/y.  In U.S. news, data released today saw Q1 gross domestic product growth moderate to an annualized 2.7% q/q from the prior print of 3.0%, principally on account of lower personal consumption.  The Q1 GDP price index ticked higher to 1.1% and core PCE was up 0.7% q/q from 0.6% q/q.  Also, final June University of Michigan consumer sentiment ticked higher to 76.0 from the prior reading of 75.5.  Data to be released on Monday include the May Chicago Fed national activity index, May personal income and spending, and the May PCE deflator.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2570 level. 

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥89.35 level and was capped around the ¥89.75 level.  Bank of Japan selected 66 financial institutions for its new lending program designed to stimulate bank lending in certain sectors of the Japanese economy.  The U.S. dollar was lower across the board and this pressured the pair lower.  Data released in Japan overnight reconfirmed that deflation remains a significant problem in the economy.  It was reported that Tokyo-area June headline inflation was off 0.9% u/u while the ex-food and energy component came in at -1.4%.  May nationwide headline consumer price inflation moderated to -0.9% from -1.2% in April and the ex-food and energy component printed at -1.6%.  The government will likely continue to pressure the central bank to expand monetary policy.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.92% to close at ¥9,737.48.  U.S. dollar bids are cited around the ¥98.45 level.   The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥109.75 level and was capped around the ¥110.80 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥133.10 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥81.10 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7921 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8001.  Data released in China overnight saw the June MNI business conditions survey fall to 63.51 while the expectations survey moderated to 59.80.  Also, May industrial profits growth moderated to 81.6% y/y.  People’s Bank of China advisor Li Daokui said a major appreciation of the yuan is “impossible” and said the euro will move higher in the long-term.  PBoC official Xie Due echoed Li’s comments on the yuan.  China will likely not be pressured on the yuan at this weekend’s Group of Twenty meeting in Toronto.


The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.4970 level and was supported around the US$ 1.4855 level. Bank of England released a report that noted U.K. banks remain “vulnerable” to additional write-downs.  Bank of England’s June Monetary Policy Committee meeting were released this week. 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 depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8220 level and was capped around the £0.8270 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0975 level and was capped around the CHF 1.1045 level.   Swiss National Bank released its quarterly bulletin today and noted the risk of deflation has largely disappeared.  SNB added, however, that if risks materialized “via an appreciation of the Swiss franc, the SNB would take all the measures necessary to ensure price stability.” The Swiss government this week 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.   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 1.3505 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.6380 level.


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