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Wednesday August 4, 2010 - 22:15:28 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (4 August 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3130 level and was capped around the $1.3240 level.  The common currency yesterday tested an important technical resistance level, representing the 76.4% retracement of the move from $1.3690 to $1.1875.  Today, the pair tested an important technical support level, representing the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.5105 to $1.1875.  The European Central Bank is not expected to alter monetary policy tomorrow when it announces its interest rate decision.  The pair has been bid higher for several weeks on a perception that some stability may be returning to the eurozone.  Some dealers, however, believe some eurozone countries will have to tighten their fiscal bets further and speculate this could lead to another wave down for the common currency.  Data released in the U.S. today saw MBA mortgage applications reverse course and climb 1.3% while Challenger July job cuts printed at -57.2% y/y.  Other data saw ADP July employment improve to +42,000 from the revised previous tally of +19,000, an indication of better private sector job growth.  Finally, the ISM July non-manufacturing index improved to 54.3 from the prior reading of 53.8.  Data to be released tomorrow include weekly initial jobless claims and continuing jobless claims. The most important data will be released on Friday when the July non-farm payrolls data are released.  Some forecasts are calling for a decline of 65,000 jobs last month with the unemployment rate coming in around 9.6%.  The Federal Open Market Committee convenes next week and is expected to keep monetary policy unchanged.  The Fed today drained US$ 180 million in temporary liquidity from the banking system via reverse repos.  Some dealers expect the Fed will eventually be forced to enact additional credit easing policies, possibly by buying more securities in the market.  In eurozone news, the eurozone July services index fell to 55.8 from the prior reading of 56.0 while the July composite index remained steady at 56.7.  Other data saw eurozone June retail sales up 0.0% m/m and 0.4% y/y.  Also, German July PMI services came off to 56.5 while French July PMI services ticked lower to 61.1.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.3505 level. 


¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥86.35 level and was supported around the ¥85.30 level.  Finance minister Noda verbally intervened against the yen’s recent appreciation, noting moves have been “a bit one-sided.” Noda reported “Our basic stance is that disorderly and excessive currency movements are undesirable and can have a negative impact on the stability of the economy and finance.”  He added he will “continue to monitor developments in markets more carefully.” Notably, yields on Japan’s benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond fell below 1% overnight for the first time since August 2003, indicative of the expectation that monetary policy will remain accommodative for quite some time with inflation unlikely.  The July leading index and coincident index will be released on Friday.  Traders continue to spotlight the ¥85 handle on the premise monetary authorities may conduct yen-selling intervention to prevent a move below that level.  Bank of Japan Policy Board member Miyao yesterday warned the yen’s appreciation may damage the Japanese economy and impact the central bank’s economic outlook.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 2.11% to close at ¥9,489.34.  U.S. dollar bids are cited around the ¥85.30 level.   The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥112.70 level and was capped around the ¥113.65 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥135.80 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥81.65 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7736 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.7734.  Data released in China overnight saw July HSBC services PMI print at 56.3, up from the prior reading of 55.6.  People’s Bank of China member Zhou Qiren reported China should consider reducing the value of the yuan slightly to improve exports.  On 19 June, PBoC announced it will allow the yuan to appreciate.


The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5855 level and was capped around the US$ 1.5960 level.  Former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee members Gieve and Goodhart warned interest rates in the U.K. will move higher more sharply and earlier than expected.  Gieve noted he “wouldn’t at all be surprised to see interest rates at 2.5% a year from now,” adding the Bank will want to normalize policy “more quickly” when the recovery is established.  BoE’s MPC will announce its interest rate decision tomorrow and is expected to keep borrowing costs unchanged.  Many BoE-watchers believe at least one MPC member will vote for higher rates tomorrow.  Data released in the U.K. today saw Halifax July house prices up 0.6% m/m while July PMI services fell to 53.1 from 54.4.  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 £0.8275 level and was capped around the £0.8305 level.



The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0555 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0380 level. Data released in Switzerland this week saw July consumer price inflation off 0.7% m/m and up 0.4% y/y while June retail sales declined to +0.9% y/y from the revised prior print of +3.9% y/y.  Also, the July PMI manufacturing survey improved to 66.9 from the prior reading of 65.7 and the SNB July quarterly KOF employment indicator improved to 11.2 from a revised 3.8 in April.  There were some rumours in the market today that Swiss National Bank was on the bid in a franc-selling intervention operation.  SNB has quadrupled its foreign exchange holdings since March 2009 to counter the franc’s appreciation and support the Swiss export sector.  The central bank has already reported some losses as a result of its increased foreign reserves.   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 1.3865 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6745 level.


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