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Friday September 3, 2010 - 14:55:07 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (3 September 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2875 level and was supported around the $1.2810 level.  The common currency moved to its highest level since 19 August after the release of better-than-expected U.S. August non-farm payrolls data that saw 54,000 jobs lost last month, defying expectations of more than 100,000 in new job losses.  July’s non-farm payrolls tally was revised from -131,000 to -54,000 and August private payrolls gained 67,000, down from the revised July reading of +107,000.  Manufacturing payrolls declined last month and the overall August unemployment rate ticked higher to 9.6%, a number that reflects fewer overall payrolls and more people entering the official labour force.  Government payrolls decreased 121,000 and the so-called underemployment rate increased to 16.7% from 16.5%.  Additionally, August average hourly earnings were up more-than-expected at 0.3% m/m and 1.7% y/y and average weekly hours worked remained steady at 34.2.  Other data saw the August ISM non-manufacturing composite index weaken to 51.5 from the prior reading of 54.3.  Collectively, these data continue to evidence amemic U.S. economic activity with bleak labour market growth, weak U.S. housing, and slow final private demand.  Atlanta Fed President Lockhart reported the Fed’s next policy move is far from decided and indicated his “perception of risks have shifted somewhat to the downside.”  In eurozone news, EMU-16 August PMI services improved to 55.9 from the prior reading of 55.6 while the PMI composite ticked higher to 56.2.  Other data saw EMU-16 July retail sales up 0.1% m/m and 1.1% y/y.  German August PMI services moved lower to 57.2 while French PMI services climbed to 60.4.  European Central Bank member Gonzalez-Paramo said rates are “appropriate” and cited upside inflation risks.  ECB’s Draghi said policy will remain “accommodative.” ECB member Wellink said there is “no capacity” for another round of bailouts.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.3240 level. 


¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥85.20 level and was supported around the ¥84.15 level.  The pair moved to intraday highs during the early North American session following the stronger-than-expected U.S. August labour market data.  Bank of Japan’s Policy Board meets next week and it is expected the central bank will keep monetary policy unchanged until October at the earliest following this week’s decision to expand monetary policy.  The risk of additional yen tightening likely remains the number one factor that could result in additional action by the central bank. Most dealers do not expect BoJ’s expansion of easing measures will have a material impact on the economy or the yen.  Traders are still split as to whether or not Japan will conduct official yen-selling intervention.  Verbal intervention has been intense over the past few weeks but many traders believe Japan will be reluctant to conduct yen-selling intervention without the participation of the U.S.  Options traders are reporting that the premium of put options over calls are confirming that traders are reducing bets the dollar will depreciate.  Intervention fears and concerns that U.S. economic data may improve have reduced demand for yen.  Traders are closely watching the leadership election within the ruling Democratic Party of Japan involving Prime Minister Kan and Ichiro Ozawa.  Q2 capital spending data were released overnight and improved to -1.7% from the prior reading of -11.5%.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.57% to close at ¥9,114.13.  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 ¥109.55 level and was supported around the ¥107.90 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥131.60 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥83.40 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8035 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8077.  Data released in China overnight saw August non-manufacturing PMI remain steady at 60.1 while the August HSBC services PMI number improved to 57.6.  August trade data will be released next week.



The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5460 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5390 level.  U.K. August PMI services data were released today and moved lower to 51.3 from the prior reading of 53.1.  Other data released in the U.K. this week saw August Nationwide house prices off 0.9% m/m and up 3.9% y/y while August PMI construction moved lower to 52.1.  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.  Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will convene next week and is expected to keep monetary policy unchanged.  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 £0.8345 level and was supported around the £0.8295 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0235 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0120 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw August consumer price inflation up 0.0% m/m and 0.3% y/y.  August unemployment data will be released on Tuesday.  Data released in Switzerland this week saw Q2 gross domestic product up 0.9% q/q and 3.4% y/y while July retail sales were up 4.8% y/y.  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 1.3140 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5790 level.


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