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Tuesday June 29, 2010 - 17:30:15 GMT
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FX Market Commentary and Analysis (29 June 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2150 level and was capped around the $1.2290 level.  Dealers pared exposure to higher-yielding currencies in reaction to renewed European sovereign credit woes and an outlook for weaker economic growth in the U.S. and China.  More economists and market-watchers are starting to suggest the U.S. economy could be headed into a “double dip” recession while others suggest the U.S. economy may simply be moderating to annualized growth of 1.5% or less.  Dealers are also reducing exposure to some U.S. assets as tropical storm Alex develops in the Gulf of Mexico.  The European Central Bank stoked concerns today when it announced the amount it has expended in purchasing covered bonds exceeds the initial €60 billion cap it implemented twelve months ago.  Also, the ECB failed to drain all of the liquidity in one of its regular operations to neutralize the impact of its EMU-16 government bond purchases.  The ECB sought to absorb €55 billion but only absorbed €31.9 billion.  ECB member Nowotny reported the low level of eurozone inflation has given the ECB “room for maneuver,” a possible indication the central bank may expand its bond-buying program.  Traders reported Eurosystem central banks increased their purchases of Greek, Irish, and Portuguese securities today.  There is also pessimism ahead of 1 July as banks have to repay €442 billion, the ECB’s first twelve-month loan.  Spanish finance minister Salgado said she hopes the “ECB is conscious of the needs of our financial system.”  A draft European Union document notes stress tests on European banks need to incorporate sovereign debt risks.  Data released in the eurozone today saw the EMU-16 June business climate indicator remain steady at 0.37 while June industrial confidence and June consumer confidence were also unchanged.  June economic confidence and services confidence ticked marginally higher.  Also, French June consumer confidence ticked lower to -39.  In U.S. news, data released today saw CaseShiller home prices up 0.44% m/m, up from a downwardly revised -0.15% March print.  House prices were up 3.81% y/y.  The big story in the U.S. today, however, was a report that June consumer confidence declined significantly to 52.9 from a downwardly revised 62.7 in May.  Major data will be released on Friday when June non-farm payrolls data are released.  Forecasts suggest total non-farm payrolls will be off 115,000 with private payrolls up 111,000.  The Fed today sold US$ 2.12 billion in term deposits in its second test auction to drain liquidity from the banking system.  Traders are closely monitoring developments in Congress where legislators are voting on an overhaul in financial services regulations.  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 ¥88.50 level and was capped around the ¥89.40 level.  Traders drove the yen higher across the board as risk aversion increased significantly on account of worsening global uncertainty involving the U.S, Europe, and China.  Japan’s Cabinet announced it will appoint Yoshihisa Morimoto, former Vice President of Tokyo Electric Power Co, to become a Bank of Japan Policy Board member.  The Ministry of Finance reported fiscal year 2009 bond sales will likely aggregate ¥52 trillion.  BoJ will release its quarterly Tankan survey this week and it is expected to evidence an improvement in corporate sentiment at large manufacturers to around -3, the highest level since September 2008.  Similarly, capex data are also expected to improve.  The Japanese economy would significantly benefit from stronger business spending because the yen remains strong and is keeping a lid on foreign trade and private final demand remains weak and is contributing to deflationary pressures.  Data released in Japan overnight saw May overall household spending decline 0.7% y/y while the May jobless rate ticked higher to 5.2%.  Also, May industrial production fell 0.1% m/m and was lower at +20.2% y/y.  Finally, June small business confidence improved to 47.4.  Data to be released tonight include June PMI manufacturing, May labour cash earnings, May housing starts, and May construction orders.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.27% to close at ¥9,570.67.  U.S. dollar bids are cited around the ¥86.29 level.   The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥107.80 level and was capped around the ¥109.85 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥132.95 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥81.25 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7977 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.7959.  There is market chatter that June PMI data to be released tomorrow will be on the weak side and this had led to lower demand for higher-yielding currencies.  Yuan forwards came off the most in three weeks as dealers reacted to news that the U.S. Conference Board revised its April survey number. The revised total represents the least improvement since November instead of registering the largest gain in fourteen months.  Twelve-month non-deliverable yuan forwards were off 0.2% to CNY 6.6905.  Traders are awaiting more details as to when China may effect the revaluation of the yuan following last week’s announcement that it will drop its peg to the U.S. dollar.  PBoC adviser Li Daokui reported reduced inflation expectations have lessened the urgency of additional rate hikes.  Chinese CPI printed at 3.1% in May, above the central bank’s target.



The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5010 level and was capped around the US$ 1.5120 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw May net consumer credit print at £300 million while May net lending secured on dwellings expanded to £1.2 billion. May mortgage approvals remained steady at 49,800 while the May M4 money supply was steady at 0.0% m/m and 2.8% y/y.  Data to be released overnight include June GfK consumer confidence, June Nationwide house prices, and Q1 total business investment.  Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Fisher reported “we need to be sensitive to the risk of tightening policy prematurely…should it appear likely that inflationary pressure is sustained at a higher level into the medium term, then it is clear what our mandate would require us to do.”  BoE MPC member Sentance this month voted for the BoE’s first rate hike in nearly two years earlier this month.  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 £0.8090 level and was capped around the £0.8135 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0825 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0900 figure.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the May UBS consumption indicator improve to 1.737 from the downwardly-revised 1.728 in April.  Data to be released tomorrow include the June KOF Swiss leading indicator.  Swiss National Bank member Danthine this week reported deflationary pressures have “practically disappeared.”  Danthine added “If the need (to raise interest rates) was felt, the SNB would be able to react very quickly. But currently, we can work without having to hurry.”  Swiss National Bank is expected to intervene considerably less in the coming months after amassing a very large portfolio of euro reserves to prevent the franc from appreciating too much.  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 1.3235 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.6310 level.


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