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Monday August 2, 2010 - 22:48:16 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (2 August 2010)€ The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3195 level and was supported around the

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3195 level and was supported around the $1.3050 level.  The common currency reached its highest level since May of this year as dealers reacted to decent U.S. corporate earnings data and better-than-expected U.S. economic data.  It was reported that U.S. July ISM manufacturing came in at +55.5, down from the June reading of +56.2 but better-than-expected.  The ISM prices paid sub-index climbed to 57.5 from the prior reading of 57.0 and June construction spending came in at +0.1% m/m, up from the revised May total of -1.0% m/m.  Collectively, these data were relatively strong but they contrast with recent economic data that evidenced a decelerating U.S. economy at the end of Q2 and beginning of Q3.  The big data will be released on Friday when July non-farm payrolls data are released.  Many forecasts are estimating payrolls slumped 60,000 last month and the unemployment rate is forecast to tick higher to +9.6%.  Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke spoke today and said “rising demand from households and businesses should help sustain growth,” adding the Fed is “maintaining strong monetary policy support for the recovery.”  The Federal Open Market Committee is not expected to announce material changes to policy next week.  Former Fed Chairman Greenspan warned a “double dip” recession is possible if home prices continue to weaken and said the current economic pause “feels like a quasi-recession.”  The common currency was also driven higher today on earnings data from Humana, HSBC Holdings, and BNP Paribas, accentuating demand for higher-yielding assets.  In eurozone news, eurozone July PMI manufacturing ticked higher to 56.7 from the prior reading of 56.5 as German activity remained steady at 61.2 and French activity was stronger at 53.9.  The increase in factory and manufacturing activity contributed to more demand for euro-denominated assets today.  The European Central Bank is not expected to alter monetary policy this week when its policy statement is released on Thursday.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.3265 level. 



¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥86.90 level and was supported around the ¥86.30 level.  The pair moved higher on speculation Bank of Japan will ease monetary policy in an attempt to orchestrate a weaker yen.  The psychologically ¥85 handle is still being cited as a level where Japanese monetary authorities may officially intervene for the first time in years to weaken the yen.  Three-month euroyen futures traded higher today with an implied yield of 0.285%, the lowest level for a benchmark contract since 9 September 2005.  Former BoJ Deputy Governor Muto said the central bank will “naturally consider what it can do” to address a strengthening yen and stagnant economy.  Prime Minister Kan asked BoJ to work with the government to support the economy but ruled out the imposition of a rigid inflation target on the central bank.  Muto also said an inflation target will not be successful.  BoJ Governor testified today that the economy is “recovering, while economic activity is at a low level.”  Data released in Japan overnight saw June labour cash earnings up 1.5% y/y from a revised +0.1% y/y.  Data to be released today include July monetary base data.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.35% to close at ¥9,570.31.  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 ¥113.60 level and was supported around the ¥112.70 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥137.45 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥82.80 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7745 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.7761.  Data released in China overnight saw the HSBC July manufacturing PMI survey decline to 49.4 from the prior reading of 50.4.  People’s Bank of China reiterated it “will implement well our relatively loose monetary policy and strike a balance between economic growth, adjusting the structure of the economy, and managing inflation expectations.”


The British pound appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5880 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5695 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw July PMI manufacturing come in stronger-than-expected at +57.3, down from the revised June print of +57.6.  Bank of England is not expected to alter monetary policy this week when its policy statement is released on Thursday.  An upward inflation bias remains in the U.K. economy and at least one MPC member is expected to vote for higher interest rates this week.  Improving risk appetite propelled sterling higher today.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5270 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8255 level and was capped around the £0.8325 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0475 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0390 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw June retail sales decline to +0.9% y/y from the revised prior print of +3.9% y/y.  The July PMI manufacturing survey improved to 66.9 from the prior reading of 65.7.  July consumer price inflation data will be released tomorrow.  Other data released today saw the SNB July quarterly KOF employment indicator improve to 11.2 from a revised 3.8 in April.  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 1.3695 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6570 level.


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