The euro depreciated sharply vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar
today as the single currency tested bids
around the US$ 1.2730 level and was capped around the $1.2875 level.European sovereign credit jitters continued
to dominate news headlines and trading activity today.Yields on credit default swaps for Greece and
Ireland reached very high levels today and there is renewed talk of a possible
Greek default.Dealers cited speculation
that stress tests conducted in the eurozone may have failed to account for debt
at European Union lenders, suggesting banks may need to capitalize themselves
more.Additionally, the media is
reporting Germany‚Äôs ten largest banks may need ‚ā¨105 billion of additional
capital under updated banking regulations to avert future crises.Traders are curious to see if these sovereign
jitters results in less demand for US$ 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‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúsubstantial
progress‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs 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.
The yen appreciated
vis-√†-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 ‚Äúwill not rule out any policy options‚Ä¶we will take policy action
in a timely and appropriate manner if determined necessary.‚ÄĚShirakawa also said he is ‚Äúthoroughly aware‚ÄĚ
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‚Äôs
decision to increase a bank loan facility by ¬•10 trillion to ¬•30 trillion.The BoJ reiterated its view the economy will
remain in a ‚Äúrecovery trend‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs 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-√†-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-√†-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around
the ¬•127.95 level while the Swiss franc moved
lower vis-√†-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¬•82.60 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated
vis-√†-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 ‚ÄúWe firmly
oppose politicizing trade and economic issues and our yuan exchange rate reform
cannot be pressed ahead under external pressure.‚ÄĚWhite House National Economic Council head
Summers has been in Beijing discussing economic issues with the government.
British pound depreciated vis-√†-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‚Äôs current
need to ‚Äúturn a blind eye‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs 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-√†-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids
around the ¬£0.8285 level and was capped around the ¬£0.8365 level.
franc appreciated vis-√†-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-√†-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids
around the CHF 1.2875 level while the
British pound moved lower vis-√†-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around
the CHF 1.5460 level.
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