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Thursday July 22, 2010 - 22:47:30 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (22 July 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2930 level and was supported around the $1.2735 level.  The common currency reversed yesterday’s intraday losses as risk appetite improved, driving some global equity markets higher.   Data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims climb to 464,000 from a revised 427,000 while continuing jobless claims climbed to 4.487 million from 4.710 million.  Also, June existing home sales were off 5.1% m/m to an annualized 5.37 million units  while June leading indicators came off 0.2% from the previous tally of 0.5%.   Also, the May house price index printed at +0.5% m/m, down from +0.9%.  Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke called for an extension of the Bush tax cuts and cited the elevated U.S. unemployment rate as the biggest problem in the U.S. economy.  Bernanke also cited additional monetary easing options including reducing the rate paid on banks’ reserves held at the Fed and purchasing more securities.  New York Fed President Dudley today said the “road to recovery is turning out to be a bit bumpy.”  In contrast, former Fed Chairman Greenspan said the Bush tax cuts should not be continued and noted an end to cuts “would probably” slow economic growth.  In eurozone news, eurozone data released today saw the July PMI composite improve to 56.7 from the prior reading of 56.0 while EMU-16 PMI services and manufacturing improved.  Also, EMU-16 May industrial new orders were up 3.8% m/m and 22.7% y/y.  Moreover, EMU-16 July consumer confidence improved to -14 from the revised reading of -17.  German July PMI manufacturing and services improved and data to be released tomorrow include July Ifo business sentiment.  French data released today saw July PMI manufacturing decline while PMI services moved higher.  French July consumer confidence remained unchanged at -39.  Results of stress tests on up to 91 European banks will be reduced tomorrow.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2955 level. 

 

 

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥86.35 level and was capped around the ¥87.20 level.  The pair continued to inch lower as traders tested the resolve of the Japanese government to intervene in a bid to stop the yen’s appreciation.  The government has not officially intervened for several years but there are increasing whispers that Japanese monetary authorities will try to protect the ¥85 level.  Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Yamaguchi suggested the central bank is considering other policy options, noting “Ways to strengthen the foundations for economic growth are not necessarily limited to the measure the bank has introduced.  We will continue to make sufficient considerations while exploring various possibilities.” Minutes from the June BoJ Policy Board were released yesterday in which policymakers said the central bank should consider additional policy options other than the ¥3 trillion loan scheme recently announced. Vice finance minister Ikeda said the government “wants to avoid excessive gains in the yen” while trade minister Naoshima said the yen’s gains pose a threat to economic growth.  The government’s ability to provide additional fiscal stimulus is limited by its commitment to cap annual fiscal spending at ¥71 trillion.  Former BoJ Governor Fukui cited elevated global financial uncertainty.  Data released in Japan overnight saw May all-industry activity index decline to +0.2% from the revised April print of +1.9%.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.62% to close at ¥9,220.88.  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 ¥112.70 level and was supported around the ¥110.00 figure.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥133.25 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥83.75 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7797 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.7767.  Premier Wen said policy stability should be carried forth in the second half of the year.  There are rumours the Chinese government could ease lending controls and Wen said China may “improve” stimulus measures to boost domestic consumption.  Ratings agency S&P said Chinese banks are facing escalating credit risks and non-performing loan growth.  PBoC also said it will seek to avoid major fluctuations in the yuan’s exchange rate.

£

The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5295 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5150 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw June headline retail sales climb 0.7% m/m and 1.3% y/y while the ex-autos component was up 1.0% m/m and 3.1% y/y.  Data to be released tomorrow include Q2 gross domestic product and June BBA loans for house purchases.  Minutes from the July Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee meeting were released yesterday in which policymakers voted 7-to-1 to keep the Bank rate unchanged at 0.5%.  The minutes read “On balance, most members thought that it was appropriate to leave the stance of monetary policy unchanged. The committee considered arguments in favour of a modest easing in the stance of monetary policy. The softening in the medium-term outlook for GDP growth over recent months would put further downwards pressure on inflation, once the impact of temporary factors had waned.” MPC member Sentance voted again to raise interest rates.  There is talk of a possible three-way split on the MPC this year if one or more policymakers voted to expand policy accommodation.  Some believe the MPC may resort to increasing its asset purchase program. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5140 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.8465 level and was supported around the £0.8385 level.

 

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0395 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0515 level.  Data to be released in Switzerland on 27 July include the June UBS consumption indicator.  UBS reported the Swiss National Bank may intervene again if the euro/ franc rate falls “sharply.”  SNB reported its euro holdings doubled in the second quarter on intervention.  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 1.3460 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5850 level.

 

 

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