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Tuesday September 7, 2010 - 15:45:00 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (7 September 2010)

The euro depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2730 level and was capped around the $1.2875 level.  European sovereign credit jitters continued to dominate news headlines and trading activity today.  Yields on credit default swaps for Greece and Ireland reached very high levels today and there is renewed talk of a possible Greek default.  Dealers cited speculation that stress tests conducted in the eurozone may have failed to account for debt at European Union lenders, suggesting banks may need to capitalize themselves more.  Additionally, the media is reporting Germany’s ten largest banks may need €105 billion of additional capital under updated banking regulations to avert future crises.  Traders are curious to see if these sovereign jitters results in less demand for US$ 67 billion in new U.S. Treasury securities that will be issued this week starting with three-year debt today.  Traders are increasingly adopting a view that the Fed will be forced to adopt more quantitative easing-style programs, especially after recently-retired Fed Vice Chairman Kohn suggested so in recent remarks.  The Fed’s Beige Book will be released tomorrow and is expected to evidence a mostly weaker outlook for the U.S. economy with ongoing weakness in the housing market. Data to be released tomorrow include July consumer credit and MBA mortgage applications along with consumer credit.  In eurozone news, European Central Bank member Nowotny talked down the spike in eurozone market rates over the past couple of days, citing “substantial progress” in the periphery budget situation.  He also indicated there are no deflation risks in the eurozone.  Data released in the eurozone saw EMU-16 September Sentix investor confidence decline to 7.6 from the prior reading of 8.5.  Also, German July factory orders were off 2.2% m/m and up 17.7% y/y, both weaker-than-expected and these data contributed to the euro’s woes.  July trade balance and current account numbers will be released in Germany tomorrow.  European finance officials failed to agree on a new bank transaction tax.  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 ¥83.50 level and was capped around the ¥84.25 level.  Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa reported the central bank “will not rule out any policy options…we will take policy action in a timely and appropriate manner if determined necessary.”  Shirakawa also said he is “thoroughly aware” of the impact the strong yen is having on exporters.  As expected, the central bank kept the benchmark refinancing rate unchanged at 0.10% today following last week’s decision to increase a bank loan facility by ¥10 trillion to ¥30 trillion.  The BoJ reiterated its view the economy will remain in a “recovery trend” and cited positive developments in final private demand for durable goods. The Japanese government is expected to increase its GDP growth estimate for the currency fiscal year to an annualized 1.5% from the prior estimate of 0.4%.  The BoJ predicted in July the economy will expand 2.6% in the year to March 2011. Traders are closely monitoring the DPJ leadership election between Prime Minister Kan and Ichiro Ozawa on 14 September.  DPJ officials today called on Bank of Japan to abolish its self-imposed bond purchase limits so that the central bank can finance more stimulus spending.  Shirakawa will join a government panel that is mandated with determining how to achieve the government’s target of 2% annual growth over ten years.  Finance minister Noda verbally intervened today and indicated the government will conduct yen-selling intervention when needed.  Many traders do not expect Japan will intervene without foreign assistance and the U.S. is not expected to be in favour of intervention at this point in time.  Data released in Japan overnight saw the July leading index decline to 98.2 while the July coincident index rallied to 101.8.  Many data will be released tonight including August money supply numbers, August bank lending, July machine orders, and the July trade balance.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.81% to close at ¥9,226.00.  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 ¥106.55 level and was capped around the ¥108.45 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥127.95 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥82.60 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7912 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.7877.  The Chinese government today said “We firmly oppose politicizing trade and economic issues and our yuan exchange rate reform cannot be pressed ahead under external pressure.”  White House National Economic Council head Summers has been in Beijing discussing economic issues with the government.



The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5295 level and was capped around the US$ 1.5420 level.  U.K. banking giant Barclays called on Bank of England to move to an inflation target range because the central bank’s current need to “turn a blind eye” to accelerated price increases is eroding its credibility.  Notably, consumer price inflation has exceeded two per cent by more than one percentage point for the past five months.  Some BoE-watchers are calling for the central bank to adopt a looser target of around 1% to 3%.  Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee is expected to keep interest rates unchanged this week and is likely to keep its asset purchase target unchanged at £200 billion.  The central bank remains in a predicament that finds it trying to deal simultaneously with elevated rates of inflation and depressed levels of economic growth.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5115 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8285 level and was capped around the £0.8365 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0085 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0145 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the August unemployment rate remain steady at 3.6%.  August producer and import prices will be released on 13 August.  Yesterday, Swiss National Bank reported its foreign currency holdings fell to CHF 218.1 billion in August from CHF 219.5 billion in July, partially reflecting gains in the franc.  In June, the SNB reported it will intervene less in the markets by selling fewer francs after its currency holdings quadrupled.  The SNB has likely not officially intervened since June.  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 1.2875 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5460 level.


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