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Friday July 16, 2010 - 21:22:25 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (16 July 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2890 level and was capped around the $1.3005 level.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the June headline consumer price index off 0.1% m/m and up 1.1% y/y while the ex-food and energy core component was up 0.2% m/m and 0.9% y/y.  Additionally, May net long-term TIC flows came in at US$ 35.4 billion, down from the revised prior reading of US$ 81.5 billion, while May total net TIC flows moved higher to US$ 17.5 billion from the prior revised tally of US$ 13.0 billion.  Finally, the mid-July University of Michigan consumer sentiment indicator fell sharply to 66.5 from the prior reading of 76.0.  The July NAHB housing market index will be released on Monday.  Yesterday,  U.S. Senate passed key financial regulatory reform laws 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 Mae.  Former Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan this week 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 this week 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 this week 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 this week reported some eurozone jobs “will be permanently downsized.”  Data released today saw the EMU-16 May trade balance decline to -€3.4 billion from the revised prior reading of €300 million.  Data to be released on Monday include the May current account balance and May construction output.  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 ¥88.25 level and was capped around the ¥87.50 level.  Data released in Japan overnight saw June nationwide department store sales decline 6.0% y/y while Tokyo-area department store sales were off 5.5% y/y.  Bank of Japan maintained its economic assessment for the third consecutive month in July, reporting “Japan’s economy shows further signs of a moderate recovery, induced by an improvement in overseas economic conditions.” It added “Japan’s economy is likely to recover at a moderate pace.”  As expected, Bank of Japan this week 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%.  Bank of Japan’s Policy Board this week 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 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.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 2.86% to close at ¥9,408.36.  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 ¥113.35 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥132.00 figure while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥82.00 figure. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7747 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.7781.   The slowdown in economic growth reported in China this week caused Chinese interest rate swaps to decline to one-year lows.  Many data were released in China this week.  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%.


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