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Tuesday September 14, 2010 - 23:01:09 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (14 September 2010)

The euro appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3005 level and was supported around the $1.2890 level.  The dollar has been quite weak this week as traders reassess the likelihood of additional policy easing by the Federal Reserve and other factors.  There was chatter in the market today that the Fed might purchase as much as US$ 1 trillion in bonds to support the U.S. economy and this talk pushed the yield on the 10-year Treasury Note to 2.67%.  The Federal Open Market Committee convenes next week and traders are divided as to what the Fed may decide to do.  Richmond Fed President Lacker called for the Fed to enact more monetary easing only if the threat of consumer price deflation increases.  The greenback has weakened on the premise that U.S. interest rates will remain depressed for a longer period of time.  Data released in the U.S. today saw August advance retail sales gain +0.4% while the ex-autos component was up 0.6%.  Also, July business inventories were up 1.0%.  The common currency today reached its strongest level since 11 August and chartists are eyeing the $1.3050 and $1.3120 levels as major upside technical objectives.  In eurozone news, data released today saw EMU-16 July industrial production up 0.0% m/m and 7.1% y/y while Q2 labour costs lessened to +1.6% y/y.  Also, the September ZEW survey of economic sentiment came in very weak at +4.4, down from the prior reading of 15.8.  German August wholesale prices were up 1.6% m/m and 6.4% y/y and the German September ZEW survey of economic sentiment weakened to -4.3 from the prior reading of 14.0 with the current situation improving to 59.9.  French data saw the August consumer price index up 0.2% m/m and 1.4% y/y with the harmonized index up 0.2% m/m and 1.6% y/y.  European Central Bank member Weber said regulatory reforms will have a “rather small” impact on economic growth.  Reports suggest the ECB is continuing to purchase euro-denominated sovereign bonds, including Irish bonds.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.3240 level. 

 

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥82.90 level and was capped around the ¥83.75 level.  Traders continue to test the resolve of Japanese monetary authorities to not conduct yen-selling intervention and took the pair to a fresh 15-year low.  Yen bulls were encouraged by Prime Minister Kan’s victory at the Democratic Party of Japan leadership election today.  Kan has not orchestrated any yen-selling intervention and his continuation of power might mean he is reluctant to intervene at all.  In contract, his election opponent, Ichiro Ozawa, spoke about conducting yen-selling intervention during the campaign.  Some dealers, however, believe the likelihood of yen-selling intervention is actually increasing because Japanese policymakers have few measures left to address decelerating economic growth and deflationary pressures.  Finance minister Noda last week reported that Japan is sitting on about ¥32 trillion in unrealized losses attributed to previous yen-selling intervention in its foreign exchange account.  Notably, Japan last officially conducted yen-selling intervention in March 2004.  Many traders believe it will be difficult for Japan to obtain international cooperation to conduct yen-selling intervention.  Data released in Japan overnight saw August Tokyo-area condominium sales up 18.5% y/y while July industrial production came in weaker-than-expected at -0.2% m/m and +14.2% y/y.  Also, July capacity utilization was reported off 0.3% m/m.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.01% to close at ¥9,299.31.  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 ¥108.10 level and was supported around the ¥106.75 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥129.35 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥83.55 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7469 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.7618.  Increases in food prices are fueling Chinese inflation as opposed to surging credit activity and many economists believe China will not raise its official interest rates before 2011.  People’s Bank of China reported August new lending reached US$ 80.53 billion.  The yuan moved to its strongest level overnight since 1993 on speculation the Chinese government would permit faster appreciation of the yuan before U.S. Congressional leaders discuss China’s exchange rate policy tomorrow and Thursday. 

 

£

The British pound appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5565 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5345 level.  Many data were released in the U.K. today. First, August Nationwide consumer confidence improved to +61. Second, the August RICS house price balance fell to -32%.  Third, DCLG July house prices were up 8.4% y/y.  Fourth, August consumer price inflation was up 0.5% m/m and 3.1% y/y with core CPI up 2.8% y/y.  These data reveal that inflation data in the U.K. remain far above the Bank of England’s inflation target.  Monetary Policy Committee member Weale said he is “comfortable” with current BoE policy.  Despite elevated inflation rates, the MPC is expected to keep policy on hold for the foreseeable future.  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 £0.8385 level and was supported around the £0.8325 level.

 

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 0.9930 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0085 level.   The Credit Suisse ZEW survey for September will be released tomorrow and Swiss National Bank’s quarterly monetary policy decision will be announced on Thursday.  Most traders expect SNB will keep its three-month Libor target rate unchanged at 0.25%.  Swiss National Bank Chairman Hildebrand spoke this week and was supportive of the new Basel III capital revisions.  Hildebrand also reported UBS and Credit Suisse maintain “many capital options.” U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0290 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.2870 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5375 level.

 

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