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Thursday July 8, 2010 - 20:20:27 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (8 July 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2700 figure and was supported around the $1.2620 level.  The common currency reached its highest level since 12 May as dealers continued to cautiously add more euro risk to their portfolios. As expected, the European Central Bank kept its benchmark refinancing rate unchanged at 1.0%, an all-time low.  ECB President Trichet optimistically noted “indicators suggest that a strengthening in economic activity took place during the spring.” He described the current 1.0% rate as “appropriate” and added inflation expectations “remain firmly anchored.”  Traders also moved into the common currency on a report that eurozone banks’ stress tests may assume smaller losses on Greek bonds that previously anticipated.  Currently, the credit markets are pricing in losses of 60% on Greek bonds in the event of a government default while reglatory guidance is now reportedly focusing on a loss around 17% on Greek debt and 3% on Spanish bonds.  The ECB is expected to discuss stress tests with banks on 21 July.  Data released in Germany today saw the May trade balance narrow to €9.7 billion while the May current account fell to €2.2 billion.  Also, German May industrial production expanded 2.6% m/m and 12.4% y/y.  Other data released today saw Bank of France June business sentiment tick lower to +100.  In U.S. news, data released today saw weekly initial jobless claims declined to +454,000 from a revised +475,000 while continuing jobless claims narrowed to 4.413 million from 4.637 million.  Also, ISCS June chain store sales were up 3.0% y/y and May consumer credit was off –US$ 9.1 billion.  The Federal Reserve plans to sell US$ 2 billion in term auction deposits on 12 July, its third test to drain cash from the banking system via its Term Deposit Facility.  The International Monetary Fund called on the U.S. to reduce its bloated debt position.  Yesterday, Kansas City Fed President Hoenig called for higher rates while Dallas Fed President Fisher suggested lower rates would not necessarily help the economy.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2830 level. 


¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥88.65 level and was supported around the ¥87.65 level.  As expected, Bank of Japan upgraded its assessment of the Japanese economy, noting eight of nine regions have improved from three months ago.  The central bank noted “business fixed investment had either stopped decreasing or had started picking up and the degree of severity in the employment and income situation had eased.”  BoJ Governor Shirakawa reiterated there are “some uncertain movements due to concern over sovereign debt risk.” Data released in Japan overnight saw the May current account total fall to ¥1.205 trillion while the May trade balance narrowed to ¥391 billion.  Also, June bank lending was off -2.0% y/y and the big news in Japan overnight was a report that May machine orders were off 9.1% m/m and lower at +4.3% y/y.  Additionally, June bankruptcies were off 19.3% y/y, June machine tool orders were up 138.8% y/y, and the economy watchers’ survey fell with the current and outlook indices weaker at 47.5 and 48.3, respectively.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 2.76% to close at ¥9,535.74.  U.S. dollar bids are cited around the ¥86.29 level.   The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥112.50 level and was supported around the ¥110.70 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥134.55 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥84.35 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7763 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.7771.  Data to be released in China overnight include the Q2 entrepreneur confidence index and the Q2 business climate index.  People’s Bank of China reported China’s current account surplus will fall for a second consecutive year in 2010 as domestic demand grows.  PBoC kept the yield on three-month bills unchanged today, adding to speculation it will not seek to drain liquidity from the financial system.  PBoC is expected to keep its “moderately loose” monetary policy unchanged for the next six months. 


The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5100 figure and was capped around the US$ 1.5240 level.  As expected, Bank of England kept its main Bank Rate unchanged at 0.50% and kept its asset purchase program unchanged at £200 billion.  Sterling came off on speculation the U.K. economic expansion may be moderating.  Prime Minister Cameron has plans to reduce government spending to help reduce the country’s budget deficit.  Sterling also moved lower after it was reported that Halifax June house prices were off 0.6% m/m.  Additionally, May industrial production was up 0.7% m/m and 2.6% y/y while May manufacturing production printed at +0.3% m/m and 4.3% y/y.  Other data saw the NIESR June GDP estimate moderate to +0.7% from a revised +0.9% level.  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 £0.8380 level and was supported around the £0.8310 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0480 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0565 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the June unemployment rate tick lower to 3.8%. June producer and import prices data and the July ZEW survey will be released next week.  Data released in Switzerland this week saw June consumer price inflation off 0.4% m/m and up 0.5% y/y, a moderation of price pressures.  Swiss National Bank’s foreign currency holdings declined last month to CHF 225.8 billion from CHF 232.1 billion in May as SNB officials stopped selling francs for euro or U.S. dollars.  Swiss National Bank President Hildebrand this week said he is “closely monitoring” the franc, adding its fluctuation has “clearly increased.”  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0980 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.3355 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5880 level.


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