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Wednesday September 1, 2010 - 21:02:24 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (1 September 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2855 level and was supported around the $1.2660 level.  The common currency reached its strongest level since 19 August as dealers lifted the pair but stopped short of testing short-term resistance around the $1.2875 level. Data released in the U.S. today saw MBA mortgage applications move lower to +2.7% while August Challenger job cuts were off 54.5% y/y.  Also, August ADP employment was off 10,000, defying expectations of a +15,000 climb and down fron the revised prior reading of 37,000.  These data suggest the private payrolls component of Friday’s August non-farm payrolls number may be quite weak.  Around 100,000 jobs are expected to have been lost last month when the data are released on Friday.  Other data released today saw the August ISM manufacturing index move higher to 56.3 while the ISM prices paid component jumped to 61.5.  Also, July construction spending was off more than expected at -1.0% m/m.  Ongoing U.S. economic data continue to evidence an economy that is barely expanding and continued major stresses in the U.S. labour market.  In eurozone news, data released today saw EMU-16 August PMI manufacturing tick higher to 55.1.  Also, German July retail sales were off 0.3% m/m and up 0.8% y/y while August PMI manufacturing remained steady at 58.2.  Additionally, August PMI manufacturing moved higher to 55.1.  The European Central Bank is expected to keep monetary policy unchanged tomorrow and steady through at least the first quarter of 2011.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.3240 level. 


¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥83.65 level and was capped around the ¥84.55 level.  There is not much indication the Japanese government will conduct yen-selling intervention but dealers note there will decreased liquidity in the market through Tuesday on account of a long U.S. holiday and action should not be ruled out.  Traders remain unimpressed with Bank of Japan Policy Board’s monetary easing later this week, speculating it will not lead to any significant improvement in the economy was responsive to widespread political pressure.  The International Monetary Fund warned Japan’s government debt is approaching an “unsustainable level.”  Former BoJ Policy Board member Nakahara reiterated Japan should increase its level of Japanese government bond purchases.  Nakahara noted “Lowering the policy rate to zero is a must to stem the yen’s gains.  The BoJ should also boost outright purchases of bonds by another ¥500 billion.  Increased bond purchases would enable the government to generate funds for more public works spending.  As a whole, Japan can’t live without spending by companies and the government.”  The central bank also noted this week that downside economic risks may be increasing.  Vice finance minister Ikeda reported unsterilized intervention “would be effective” and said the central bank should adopt a rigid inflation target in the long-term.  Data to be released in Japan overnight include the August monetary base following by Q2 capital spending tomorrow night.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.17% to close at ¥8,927.02.  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 ¥107.90 level and was supported around the ¥106.55 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥130.10 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥83.50 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8108 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8078.  Data released in China overnight saw August PMI manufacturing tick higher to 51.7 while the HSBC manufacturing PMI measured jumped to 51.9.  The recent weakness in the yuan suggests PBoC may be seeking to maintain a more stable yuan in relation to a basket of currencies and not just the U.S. dollar. 


The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5490 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5335 level. Data released in the U.K. today saw August PMI manufacturing decline to 54.3 from the revised prior reading of 56.9.  Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee is expected to keep monetary policy unchanged next week.   Bank of England Chief Economist Bean spoke at Jackson Hole this past weekend and said “The deleveraging process is incomplete, the recovery remains fragile, and a considerable margin of spare capacity is yet to be worked off, while further policy action may yet be necessary to keep the recovery on track.”  Bean also reported the central bank may impose policies to limit the ability of borrowers to take on riskier mortgage loans.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5115 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.8325 level and was supported around the £0.8245 level.



The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0065 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0180 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw August PMI move sharply lower to 61.4 from the prior reading of 66.9.  Q2 GDP and July retail sales data will be released tomorrow.  Swiss National Bank member Jordan this week said the central bank is closely monitoring the Swiss franc “very closely” and said Switzerland’s monetary policy situation remains “very complex.”  Jordan also cited a “small” short-term risk of deflation.   Some traders believe SNB may be forced to resume its franc-selling intervention to stop the euro’s sharp decline on the cross.  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 1.2985 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5665 level.


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