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Friday August 6, 2010 - 20:21:46 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (6 August 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3335 level and was supported around the $1.3155 level.  The common currency reached its strongest level since 3 May of this year as dealers reacted to weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data that evidenced a worsening U.S. labour market at the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third quarter.  July non-farm payrolls were twice as bad as expected, printing at -131,000, and June’s result was downwardly-revised from -125,000 to -221,000.  The unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5% and July average hourly earnings were up 0.2% m/m and 1.8% y/y.  Other data saw July average weekly hours worked tick higher to 34.2 from 34.1.  One bright spot saw 71,000 new private jobs created and 36,000 new manufacturing jobs created but the overall result was considerably worse and will receive due attention from Federal Open Market Committee policymakers when they convene next week.  Most traders believe the Fed will keep rates unchanged but there is a possibility that officials could allude to revisiting some credit easing programs to bolster an economy that is decelerating.  Many dealers do not believe the Fed will return to outright asset purchases at this time.  One possibility next week is that the Fed may decide to reinvest some of the proceeds it receives from maturing mortgages it owns back into the market as a way to ease policy further.  Others believe the Fed will resort to buying U.S. Treasuries to keep a lid on market rates.  Other data released today saw June consumer credit come in at –US$ 1.3 billion from the previous result of –US$ 5.3 billion.  U.S. investment banking giant Goldman Sachs today downgraded its economic forecasts for 2011 in response to recent economic activity.  In eurozone news, German June industrial production was off 0.6% m/m and up 10.9% y/y while the French June trade deficit narrowed to -€3.8 billion.  The European Central Bank yesterday voted to keep monetary policy unchanged and is expected to keep rates on hold for some time.  ECB member Bini Smaghi said he does not see deflation in the “near future.”  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.3505 level. 

 

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥85.00 figure and was capped around the ¥86.15 level.  Traders continued to drive the pair lower, testing the psychologically-important ¥85.00 figure that has been rumoured for weeks to be an area that Japanese monetary authorities want to protect through yen-selling intervention.  There was no chatter after the pair tested the level that official bids were seen but dealers were clearly unwilling or unable to push the pair below the figure.  Bank of Japan’s Policy Board convenes next week and is not expected to alter monetary policy.  Many BoJ-watchers believe the central bank will eventually be forced by the government to purchase more assets to counter Japan’s deflation problem.  Japan’s economy is plagued by a strong yen, weak final private demand, and deflation and the Japanese government’s ability to enact fiscal stimulus is limited by its massive national deficit.  It was reported overnight that July official reserve assets increased to US$ 1.063 trillion while the June leading index and coincident index improved to 98.9 and 101.3, respectively.  Japanese authorities are expected to increase their verbal intervention and associated rhetoric early next week.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.12% to close at ¥9,642.12.  U.S. dollar bids are cited around the ¥85.30 level.   The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥113.70 level and was supported around the ¥112.55 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥135.45 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥82.40 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7686 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.7714.  People’s Bank of China reported there is no reason for major fluctuations to the yuan’s exchange rate.  PBoC absorbed US$ 295 million in liquidity from the money markets this week.  Data to be released next week include July producer prices, July consumer prices, July retail sales, and July industrial production.

£

The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5995 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5840 level.  Dealers stopped just short of testing the psychologically-important US$ 1.6000 figure following the weak U.S. labour data.  Many data were released in the U.K. today.  July producer price inflation input was off 1.0% m/m and up 10.8% y/y and July PPI output prices were up 0.1% m/m and 5.0% y/y at the headline level and up 0.2% m/m and 4.7% y/y at the core level.  Additionally, June industrial production was off 0.5% m/m and up 1.3% y/y and June manufacturing production was up 0.3% m/m and 4.1% y/y.  Also, the July NIESR GDP estimate came in at +0.9%, down from the revised prior print of +1.1%.  Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates unchanged yesterday, as expected, and the Bank’s quarterly inflation report will be released next week.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5640 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.8335 level and was supported around the £0.8290 level.

 

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0330 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0505 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the July unemployment rate tick lower to 3.6% from the prior level of 3.7%.  Data to be released next week include the July SECO consumer confidence index and July producer and import prices.  Swiss finance minister Merz will retire in October.  S&P withdrew its short-term ratings of “AAA/A-1+” on Swiss National Bank on account of the lack of rated debt outstanding.  Swiss National Bank reported this week that its foreign reserves declined for a second consecutive U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0980 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.3745 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.6510 level.

 

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