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Wednesday September 15, 2010 - 20:12:05 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (15 September 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3035 level and was supported around the $1.2955 level.  The common currency stopped short of testing the 61.8% retracement of the $1.3335 – 1.2585 level.  The U.S. dollar has been underwater this week on talk that the Fed might purchase as much as US$ 1 trillion in bonds to support the U.S. economy.  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 yesterday 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 MBA mortgage applications off 8.9% while the August import price index was up 0.6% m/m and 4.1% y/y.  Also, the September Empire State manufacturing index declined to 4.14 from the prior reading of 7.10.  Additionally, August industrial production was up 0.2% and August capacity utilization ticked lower to 74.7%.  In eurozone news, data released today saw EMU-16 August consumer price inflaton up 0.2% m/m and 1.6% y/y with the core rate up 1.0% y/y.  Also, EMU-16 Q2 employment was up 0.0% q/q and off 0.6% y/y.  European Central Bank member Bini-Smaghi said the European Union should not permit “dangerous” exemptions on debt.  Eurozone banks have been depositing fewer amounts of funds with the ECB every night, an indication their willingness to lend may be increasing.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.3240 level. 

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥85.75 level and was supported around the ¥82.85 level.  The Japanese government conducted official yen-selling intervention overnight for the first time since March 2004.  Bank of Japan Policy Board member Noda said the central bank will use intervention funds to provide additional liquidity to the markets, an indication today’s sterilization will remain unsterilized.  If the BoJ does not sterilize the intervention, it will represent additional monetary easing.  Interbank dealers reported the intervention was very large.  While an indicative size was not indicated, the government’s foreign exchange intervention account has unrealized losses of approximately US$ 384 billion from several years ago.  There was no indication that other countries participated in the intervention and it will be difficult for the Japanese government to garner international support for any intervention.   Despite today’s intervention, the government will keep pressure on Bank of Japan to provide additional monetary stimulus.  BoJ Policy Board officials will convene on 4-5 October and many dealers do not expect any additional easing at that meeting on account of its decision on 30 August to add ¥10 trillion to a credit program.  The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 2.34% to close at ¥9,516.56.  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 ¥111.60 level and was supported around the ¥107.70 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥134.05 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥85.50 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7433 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.7469.  Data released in China overnight saw August actual foreign direct investment climb 1.4% y/y, significantly below the prior reading of 29.2% y/y. China is said to be considering a 15% capital ratio for its largest banks.  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.  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 today and tomorrow. 



The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5650 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5450 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw the August claimant count remain steady at 4.5% while jobless claims were up 2,300.  The August July ILO unemployment rate remained steady at 7.8% and July average weekly earnings moved higher.  Bank of England Governor King spoke today and reiterated the road to economic recovery “will not be straight.”  BoE Monetary Policy Committee member Miles reported inflation will remain “volatile” and said the economic recovery has been “relatively muted.” Monetary Policy Committee member Weale yesterday 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 depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8310 level and was capped around the £0.8400 figure.




The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0050 level and was supported around the CHF 0.9945 level.   Data released today saw the Credit Suisse ZEW expectations index decline to -5.1 from the prior reading of 9.1.  Swiss National Bank’s quarterly monetary policy decision will be announced tomorrow.  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 appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.3065 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5700 figure.




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