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Friday July 9, 2010 - 16:14:22 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (9 July 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2610 level and was capped around the $1.2720 level.  The common currency reached its highest level since 12 May before late-week profit-taking knocked the pair lower.  Data released in Germany today saw the June headline consumer price index come in as expected at 0.1% m/m and 0.9% y/y while the harmonized component came on at 0.0% m/m and 0.8% y/y.  Other data saw French May manufacturing production up 0.5% m/m and 7.5% y/y while May industrial production was up 1.7% m/m and 8.2% y/y.  Yesterday, the European Central Bank kept its benchmark refinancing rate unchanged at 1.0%, an all-time low.  ECB President Trichet optimistically noted “indicators suggest that a strengthening in economic activity took place during the spring.” He described the current 1.0% rate as “appropriate” and added inflation expectations “remain firmly anchored.”  Traders also moved this week into the common currency on a report that eurozone banks’ stress tests may assume smaller losses on Greek bonds that previously anticipated.  Currently, the credit markets are pricing in losses of 60% on Greek bonds in the event of a government default while reglatory guidance is now reportedly focusing on a loss around 17% on Greek debt and 3% on Spanish bonds.  The ECB is expected to discuss stress tests with banks on 21 July.  In U.S. news, data released today saw May wholesale inventories grow 0.5%, up from the revised prior result of 0.2%.  The big question with the U.S. economy is whether or not the U.S. will avert a double-dip recession.  Additionally, some traders believe price pressures may sink further in the U.S. and that the U.S. economy may flirt with a deflation.   The Federal Reserve plans to sell US$ 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 this week called on the U.S. to reduce its bloated debt position.  This week, 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 ¥88.70 level and was supported around the ¥88.30 level.  Bank of Japan is expected to raise its fiscal year 2010 economic growth forecast to at least 2.5% from the current estimate of 1.8%.  The central bank will release its semiannual outlook on economic activity and prices at its two-day Policy Board meeting next week.  As expected, Bank of Japan this week 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.”  Data to be released in Japan next week include the June domestic corporate good price index, June consumer confidence, and May industrial production.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.52% to close at ¥9,585.32.  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 ¥111.50 level and was capped around the ¥112.65 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥133.40 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥83.50 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7730 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.7763.  Data to be released in China next week include the June trade balance. 

 

£

The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5080 level and was capped around the US$ 1.5200 figure.  Many data were released in the U.K. today.  First, the May total trade balance widened to -£3.817 billion from the prior result of -£3.502 billion.  Other data released today saw June PPI input costs off 0.2% m/m and up 10.7% y/y while June output was off 0.3% m/m and up 5.1% y/y at the headline level and off 0.3% m/m and up 4.8% y/y at the core level.  As expected, Bank of England yesterday 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 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 £0.8330 level and was capped around the £0.8385 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0590 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0485 level.  Data released in Switzerland this week 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.  Other 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 1.3395 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6055 level.

 

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