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Monday August 23, 2010 - 17:38:50 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (23 August 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2680 level and was capped around the $1.2730 level.  The common currency’s intraday low represents the pair’s weakest level since 13 July and is right around the 23.6% retracement of the $1.5140 - $1.1875 range.  Similarly, the $1.2605 represents the 50% retracement of the $1.1875 - $1.3335 range.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the July Chicago Fed national activity index improve to 0.00 from the revised June reading of -0.70.  Data to be released tomorrow include July existing home sales and the August Richmond Fed manufacturing index.  Kansas City Fed President Hoenig provided testimony today, saying “The economy will continue to improve.  I think we will have new opportunities.  I think we will prosper.  However, we have some things to get through.  First of all, we have a great deal of uncertainty” (on account of health care and financial regulation).  He added “We are also in the process of deleveraging.”  Speaking about the real estate market, Hoenig reported “If the American people are looking for the housing market to be their investment opportunity, I think they are making a mistake.  We have an excess supply, and we created that by providing financing, leverage, that was almost nonsense.”  Hoenig also pessimistically warned that commercial real estate “will be a drag on earnings for some quarters yet.”  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York received nearly US$ 4 billion in repayments from American International Group, representing AIG’s partial repayment of its emergency credit facility the Fed provided.  A U.S. appeals court today refused to reconsider a ruling that would force the Fed to identify which financial firms faced collapse prior to the Fed’s and government’s bailout.  In eurozone news, data released today saw EMU-16 August PMI manufacturing decline to 55.0 while the PMI services reading weakened to 55.6, taking the composite lower to 56.1.  Other data saw the EMU-16 August consumer confidence index improve to -12 from the prior reading of -14.  Also, German August manufacturing PMI weakened while August services PMI improved, contrasting with France’s improvement in manufacturing and deceleration in services.  Traders are still talking about remarks made by ECB official Weber on Friday wherein he suggested official eurozone interest rates will likely be on hold until Q2 2011.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.3240 level. 

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥85.10 level and was capped around the ¥85.70 level.  Traders continue to test the resilience of Japanese monetary authorities, intent on determining whether or not Japan has enough conviction to conduct unilateral yen-selling intervention.  Prime Minister Kan and Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa spoke today and it was reported there was “absolutely no” discussion of yen-selling intervention.  Kan ordered his government to identify new stimulus measures last week.  The government continues to pressure the central bank to enact more monetary easing, possibly by purchasing more assets including Japanese government bonds.  Bank of Japan has few options remaining as to how it can counter the ongoing deflationary pressures in the Japanese economy.  The central bank may be forced to expand at ¥20 trillion credit facility to ¥30 trillion to reduce short-term interest rates.  Dealers continue to cite stops below the ¥84.70 level and chartists cite the ¥81.80/ ¥80.80/ 79.00 levels as significant downside targets.  Data released in Japan overnight saw July supermarket sales off 1.2% y/y.  Data to be released on Wednesday include July trade numbers and the July corporate service price index.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.68% to close at ¥9,116.69.  U.S. dollar bids are cited around the ¥84.60 level.   The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥108.05 level and was capped around the ¥108.85 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥132.20 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥82.05 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8000 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.7905.  Data to be released in China this week include the July leading index and August MNI business conditions survey.  The yuan remains under pressure following remarks from ECB official Weber who suggested the central bank may need to keep borrowing costs unchanged through early next year.  Europe is China’s largest trading partner.


The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5620 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5520 figure.  Some traders anticipate verbal intervention from Bank of England officials in a bid to talk down sterling which has sustained gains of more than ten big figures in less than three months.  Some private economists are speculating Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will need to lift rates substantially to tackle inflation that may germinate from the BoE’s asset purchase program and a possible return of stronger economic growth.  Data to be released in the U.K. tomorrow include July BBA loans for house purchases.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5385 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8140 level and was capped around the £0.8175 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0380 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0300 figure.  Data released in Switzerland today saw July M3 money supply growth decelerate to +6.5% y/y from the revised June reading of +7.4% y/y.  Data to be released on Thursday include Q2 employment and data to be released on Friday include the August KOF Swiss leading indicator.  Swiss National Bank Chairman Hildebrand defended the central bank’s franc-selling intervention, speculating without the massive intervention unemployment may have reached 8%.  SNB’s foreign reserves totaled CHF 219.3 billion last month, far above the CHF 95 billion level reported at the end of 2009.  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 1.3185 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6135 level.


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