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Thursday July 15, 2010 - 23:07:21 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (15 July 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2955 level and was supported around the $1.2705 level.  The common currency reached its strongest level since 10 May as traders were more inclined to add exposure to riskier assets.  The pair surged in late North American trading on news that U.S. investment banking giant Goldman Sachs settled its ongoing charges with U.S. regulators for an estimated US$ 550 million.  At the same time, the U.S. Senate passed key financial regulatory reform laws today that will seek to strengthen oversight over systemically-important firms, increase some of the Federal Reserve’s powers, and seek to avert another major credit crisis like the one that unfolded three years ago.  Critics of the new legislation suggest it does not address the massive imbalances caused by U.S. wholesale mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Data released in the U.S. today saw June headline producer prices off 0.5% m/m and up 2.8% y/y while the ex-food and energy component was up 0.1% m/m and 1.1% y/y.  Other data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims fall to 429,000 while continuing jobless claims increased to 4.681 million from the prior reading of 4.434 million.  Additionally, the July Empire State manufacturing index fell sharply to 5.08 and the July Philadelphia Fed survey shrank to 5.1.  Other data saw June industrial production growth decelerate to +0.1% while June capacity utilization moved lower to 74.1%.  Many data will be released tomorrow including June CPI, May TICS capital flows, and July University of Michigan consumer sentiment.  Former Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan today said the U.S. government should let the Bush tax cuts lapse this year to boost tax revenue and reduce the federal budget deficit.  San Francisco Fed President Yellen testified today in her Senate confirmation hearing to become the new Fed Vice Chairman and noted job creation remains a “high priority” to bring down “painfully high” umemployment.  Minutes from the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting were released yesterday and indicated a growing concern over the economy.  Fed Chairman Bernanke will deliver his semi-annual economic report to Congress next week.  In eurozone news, the European Central Bank’s July monthly bulletin reported some eurozone jobs “will be permanently downsized.”  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 ¥87.20 level and was capped around the ¥88.50 level.  As expected, Bank of Japan lifted its economic growth forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2011 to 2.6% from its April estimate of 1.8%.  BoJ also reduced its forecast for the next fiscal year to 1.9% from 2.0%.  Also as expected, Bank of Japan’s Policy Board kept its benchmark unsecured overnight call rate target unchanged at 0.1%.  Dealers expect the government will increase its pressure on the central bank to ease monetary policy further, perhaps by expanding the number of Japanese government bonds it purchases.  BoJ Governor Shirakawa reported the BoJ “already expected the pace of the economic recovery to slow down in coming months” following its “rapid” rebounds from late last year.  The yen has appreciated more than 5% over the past three months.  The central bank is also now predicting consumer prices excluding fresh food will decline 0.4% this fiscal year, down from April’s -0.5% forecast.  Notably, the central bank maintained its forecast that calls for a 0.1% increase in core inflation in the fiscal year starting April 2011.  Data released in Japan overnight saw June Tokyo-area condominium sales climb 66.6% y/y while June machine tool orders were up 143.8% y/y.  Data to be released overnight include the May tertiary industry index, June nationwide department store sales, and June Tokyo-area department store sales.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.12% to close at ¥9,685.53.  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 ¥111.80 level and was capped around the ¥113.35 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥133.95 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥83.40 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7781 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.7748.   Many data were released in China overnight.  First, second quarter real gross domestic product growth decelerated to +10.3% y/y from the prior reading of 11.9%.  Gross domestic product is now up 11.1% y/y but most economists expect growth to decelerate further this year.  Second, the June purchasing price index was up 10.8% y/y, down from +12.2% y/y.  Third, the June producer price index and June consumer price index were up 6.4% y/y and 2.9% y/y, respectively.  Fourth, June retail sales growth slowed to 18.3% y/y. Fifth, industrial production growth slowed to +13.7% y/y from the prior reading of +16.5%. People’s Bank of China member Hu reiterated the yuan will be maintained at a “balanced and reasonable level.”


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