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Wednesday August 25, 2010 - 21:25:04 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (25 August 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2725 level and was supported around the $1.2610 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 50% retracement of the $1.1880 – 1.3360 range and euro bulls lacked the conviction to test the 100-day moving average around the $1.2745 level.  The markets have become very volatile during the last several trading sessions and traders are trying to digest several key factors including declining U.S. economic fundamentals, ongoing credit issues in the eurozone, regulatory uncertainty, and the sustainability of official bids in the markets from central banks and governments.  Data released in the U.S. today added to the perception of a deceleration in U.S. economic activity.  July durable goods orders climbed 0.3% at the headline level but the ex-transportation component was off 3.8%, much worse than expected.  The capital goods non-defense ex-aircraft orders component of the durables number was sharply weaker than expected and this added to a view of a sizable pullback in U.S. economic activity.  Other data released today saw July new home sales off 12.4% m/m to an annualized 276,000 units, consistent with yesterday’s data that evidenced a major pullback in existing home sales.  Similarly, the June house price index was off 0.3% m/m.  Data to be released tomorrow include weekly initial jobless claims and continuing jobless claims.  The recent underperformance of U.S. economic indicators lend credence to those forecasts that are focusing on a double dip recession.  The downturn in capital spending is a major concern because this sector was the strongest in the U.S. economy over the past year.  In eurozone news, EMU-16 M3 money supply data will be released tomorrow.  Data released in Germany today saw the August Ifo business climate survey improve to 106.7 while the current assessment sub-index climbed to 108.2 and the expectations sub-index ticked lower to 105.2.  Also, French total jobseekers fell 14,400.  Ireland’s credit rating was lowered one step by Standard & Poor’s to AA-.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.3240 level. 


¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offer around the ¥84.65 level and was supported around the ¥83.90 level.  The pair retraced some of yesterday’s losses following a report in the Japanese media that Japanese monetary authorities were considering unilateral yen-selling intervention. Most dealers believe Japan will be unable to obtain bilateral or multilateral cooperation to conduct yen-selling intervention.  There is, however, a growing consensus that Bank of Japan will ease monetary policy further.  Finance minister Noda reported the government is “closely” cooperating with the central bank, leading to new speculation the BoJ may expand a credit easing facility it enacted last year to counter deflation, provide ample liquidity to the markets, and keep a lid on Japanese government bond rates.  Noda added the government will “take appropriate action when necessary,” a statement long considered to be the final salvo before actual yen-selling intervention is expected in the market.  There is speculation Bank of Japan’s Policy Board may accelerate its scheduled 6-7 September meeting if market conditions warrant, itself a signal that monetary authorities are concerned with the yen’s appreciation, weakening equity prices, and declining global economic activity.  News that BoJ Governor Shirakawa will attend the Kansas City Fed’s Jackson Hole symposium from 26-30 August also has the markets predicting intervention or additional easing remain imminent.  Data released in Japan overnight saw the July corporate service price index decline 1.2% y/y while the July merchandise trade balance expanded to ¥610.4 billion.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.66% to close at ¥8,845.39.  U.S. dollar bids are cited around the ¥84.60 level.   The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥107.60 level and was supported around the ¥105.90 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥130.70 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 appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7989 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.7969.   Data released in China overnight saw the July leading index decline to 102.10 from the prior reading of 102.84.  Many economists are speculating Chinese inflation is higher than is actually being reported by the government.  It was reported recently that July CPI printed at 3.3% y/y, a 21-month high.  Many private forecasts suggest the rate of actual inflation in China may be 6% or higher.


The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5460 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5390 level.  August CBI reported sales will be released tomorrow followed by Q2 total gross domestic product on Friday.  Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Weale yesterday warned the U.K. economy faces a “significant” risk of falling into a double-dip recession.  Mortgage lending has tumbled 18.5% in the U.K. over the past year yet inflation remains significantly elevated and may require official higher rates from the central bank.  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 £0.8180 level and was capped around the £0.8255 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0260 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0340 level.  Data to be released in Switzerland tomorrow include Q2 labour market data followed by the August KOF Swiss leading indicator on Friday.  Swiss National Bank Chairman Roth today reported “If deflation risks re-emerged, we’d seek to counter them. That’s not the case.”  Hildebrand reiterated there are significant risks on the central bank’s balance sheet now and added “It’s in our deepest interest that Europe returns to its stability path.”  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 1.2980 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5830 level.


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