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Tuesday July 13, 2010 - 18:49:11 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (13 July 2010)

The euro appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2735 level and was supported around the $1.2520 level.  The common currency reached its highest level since 12 May as dealers positioned themselves ahead of the U.S. corporate earnings season that many dealers believe will evidence strong results for the second quarter.  Alcoa, the U.S. aluminum production giant, reported better-than-expected earnings results.  Dealers also moved into the euro after Greece sold €1.625 billion in 26-week Treasury bills at a yield of 4.65% - below the 5% rate the European Union lent funds at in its bailout package to Greece.  The euro easily absorbed news that Portugal’s credit rating was reduced two notches to A1 by Moody’s on account of that country’s expanding debt position and weaker economic growth.  Eurozone finance ministers convened yesterday and Dutch finance minister de Jager reported eurozone banks “will get a certain period to refinance themselves in the market, but the countries will immediately announce that there is a certain backstop.”  European regulators are conducting stress tests on 91 different banks to evaluate their ability to withstand losses on sovereign bond holdings.  Data released in the eurozone today saw the EMU-16 July ZEW economic sentiment survey come in weaker-than-expected at 10.7, down from the prior reading of 18.8, while Germany’s ZEW economic sentiment survey fell to 21.2 and the current situation sub-index improved to 14.6.  Other German data saw the June wholesale price index decline 0.2% m/m and climb 5.1% y/y.  Other data released today saw French June consumer price inflation up 0.0% m/m and 1.5% y/y while the harmonized components were up 0.0% m/m and 1.7% y/y.  In U.S. news, traders are waiting to see if the U.S. Senate achieves a final passage of the financial overhaul legislation on 15 July.  The Federal Reserves sold US$ 2.12 billion of term deposits in its third test auction today, a new tool the Fed may use to absord excess liquidity from the banking system.  Data released in the U.S. today saw June NFIB small business optimism recede while the May trade balance deficit worsened to –US$ 42.3 billion.  Many data including retail sales will be released tomorrow along with minutes from the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting.  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 ¥88.00 figure and was capped around the ¥88.85 level.  Bank of Japan’s Policy Board is expected to keep its overnight call rate target unchanged at 0.10% when its interest rate announcement is made tonight.  BoJ Governor Shirakawa last week noted Japan’s economy is “likely to stay on a recovery trend” with improving domestic demand.  The central bank will likely retain some policy tools ready to deploy in case the situation in Europe deteriorates further or deflation worsens in Japan.  BoJ is likely to be pressured by the government following this weekend’s election loss, the yen’s ongoing strength, and unstable equity markets.  Last month, BoJ unveiled details about its new ¥3 trillion lending program to stimulate lending to companies.  Data released in Japan overnight saw May industrial production up 0.1% m/m and 20.4% y/y with May capacity utilization up 0.8% m/m.  Also, June consumer confidence improved to 43.6 from the prior print of 42.7.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.11% to close at ¥9,537.23. 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 ¥112.35 level and was supported around the ¥110.65 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥134.05 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥84.00 figure. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7725 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.7711.  Data to be released in China tomorrow night include Q2 GDP growth, June producer prices, June consumer prices, June retail sales, and June industrial production.  The economy is expected to have expanded an annualized 10.5% in the second quarter. 


The British pound appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5190 level and was supported around the US$ 1.4965 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw June consumer price inflation up 0.1% n/n and 3.2% y/y while the core index came in much stronger-than-expected at 3.1%, up from the prior result of 2.9%.  DCLG May house prices were up 11.0% y/y and June Nationwide consumer confidence will be released tonight followed by jobless data tomorrow.  Sterling climbed higher after the release of the CPI data on the premise that additional Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee members will vote for higher interest rates.  BoE’s Main Bank Rate target currently stands at 0.50%.  MPC member Sentance reported the MPC’s rate decision should support the private sector and said rate-setting is becoming more difficult.  MPC member Bailey said U.K. banks that are experiencing difficulties should restructure their debts.  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 £0.8390 level and was supported around the £0.8315 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0515 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0645 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw June producer and import prices decline 0.4% m/m and climb 0.9% y/y.  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 appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.3400 figure 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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