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Monday July 12, 2010 - 14:34:34 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (12 July 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2550 level and was capped around the $1.2645 level.  Renewed concerns about eurozone sovereign debt and stress tests on eurozone banks pushed the common currency lower.  Eurozone finance officials are convening in Brussels today to discuss how much information should be published about the ability of 91 European banks to absorb losses on sovereign debt holdings.  These 91 banks represent approximately 65% of Europe’s banking industry.  Results on stress tests are due on 23 July.  Also, the German media reported Germany has proposed a plan to permit the “orderly insolvency” of countries that would force bondholders to forego claims against their holdings.  A so-called “Berlin Club” of nations would oversee insolvencies under Germany’s plan.  The European Central Bank last week purchased the least amount of bonds since its asset-purchase program began on 10 May.  Data to be released in the eurozone tomorrow inclue the EMU-16 July ZEW survey, German June wholesale prices, the German July ZEW survey, and the French June consumer price index.  Data released in France today saw the May current account deficit widen to -€4.5 billion.  In U.S. news, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke called for ways to stimulate small business lending, noting borrowing is “very difficult” for small businesses.  Traders will pay attention to the Senate confirmation hearings of three nominees for Fed governorships including San Francisco Fed President Yellen who has been nominated to become the next Vice Chairman.  Data to be released in the U.S. tomorrow include the May trade balance and June NFIB small business optimism.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2830 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 ¥89.15 level.  The big news in Japan this weekend was the Democratic Party of Japan’s electoral loss in upper house elections.  DPJ’s loss may increase pressure on Bank of Japan to enact more steps to counter deflation, possibly including an increase in the amount of Japanese government bonds the central bank purchases.  One major reason why DPJ lost the election involved Prime Minister Kan’s call for a national debate on whether or not to raise the 5% sales tax to reduce the country’s debt.  Kan will now be forced to involve smaller political groups in his coalition to retain a political majority and pass legislation.  BoJ’s Policy Board convenes this week and is expected to keep its benchmark overnight unsecured call rate unchanged at 0.10%.  Notably, core consumer prices have fallen for fifteen consecutive months.  Japan’s debt rating could be negatively impacted by the DPJ’s loss because it could lead to political gridlock and an inability to pass legislation that seeks to reduce Japan’s bloated debt.  Data released in Japan today saw the June domestic corporate goods price index decline 0.4% m/m and increase 0.5% y/y.  Data to be released tomorrow include May industrial production, May capacity utilization, and June consumer confidence.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.39% to close at ¥9,548.11.  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 ¥111.10 level and was capped around the ¥112.35 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥132.55 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥82.95 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7711 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.7730.  Data released in China overnight saw June NDRC housing prices decrease to 11.4 from the prior reading of 12.4.  These data are important because they mean Chinese property prices ended fifteen consecutive months of gains and bank lending was reduced last month.  This could lead to lower overall inflation.  Chinese GDP for the April-to-June quarter is due to be announced on 15 July and many economists believe it may have exceeded 10% for a third consecutive quarter.  Other data released overnight saw China’s foreign exchange reserves climb 0.29% in the second quarter, the smallest increase in eleven years.  China’s official reserve holdings are now about US$ 2.454 trillion.  People’s Bank of China official Li Daokui reported China’s H2 trade surplus will likely be in line with the surplus registered in the first half.  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$ 1.4945 level and was capped around the US$ 1.5075 figure.  Data released in the U.K. today saw Q1 gross domestic product come in as expected at +0.3% q/q and off 0.2% y/y.  Also, the Q1 current account deficit widened substantially to -£9.6 billion from the previous print of -£1.7 billion.  Data to be released tonight in the U.K. include the BRC June retail sales monitor and the RICS June house price balance.  Data to be released tomorrow include June CPI, June retail prices, May DCLG house prices, and June consumer confidence.  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 £0.8360 level and was capped around the £0.8420 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0675 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0545 level.  Data to be released in Switzerland tomorrow include June producer and import prices while the July ZEW survey will be released on Thursday.  Swiss National Bank President Hildebrand last week said he is “closely monitoring” the franc, adding its fluctuation has “clearly increased.”  Most dealers believe SNB has been forced to intervene less on account of all of the euro-denominated assets on its balance sheet but some note the SNB will likely continue to intervene at opportune levels.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0980 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.3300 figure while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5995 level.

 

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