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Thursday September 23, 2010 - 22:30:49 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (23 September 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3305 level and was capped around the $1.3415 level.  U.S. economic data released today gave the U.S. dollar an intraday bid, pushing the common currency lower.  It was reported that August existing home sales were up 7.6% m/m to 4.13 million annualized units, a sharp reversal from the revised prior reading of -27.0% m/m.  Even though these data were better-than-expected, they do not evidence a U.S. housing market that has been able to gain any traction.  Other data released today saw August leading indicators up 0.3%, higher than the July reading of +0.1%.  Additionally, weekly initial jobless claims were up 465,000 from the revised prior reading of 453,000 and continuing jobless claims were up 4.489 million.  Similarly, the jobless claims data do not evidence any discernible improvement in the U.S. labour market.  The Federal Open Market Committee’s policy statement this week conceded that economic problems abound, including an elevated unemployment rate that is rendering it difficult for other segments of the economy to gain traction.  Data to be released in the U.S. tomorrow include August durable goods orders and August new home sales data.  Former Fed Chairman Volcker said he is “not worried about deflation.”  Fed Chairman Bernanke will testify before the Senate next week.  Chicago Fed President Evans said the Fed needs to “obviously” better identify market risks.  In eurozone news, data released today saw EMU-16 September PMI manufacturing and PMI services both decline to 53.6.  German manufacturing and services PMI activity fell back more-than-expected. French manufacturing activity surprised to the upside and services activity were weaker.  French employment data and German Ifo business sentiment data will be released tomorrow.  European Central Bank member Wellin called for faster regulatory implementation of new rules.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3170 level. 



¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥84.25 level and was capped around the ¥84.65 level.  Financial markets were closed in Japan for the market holiday today and will reopen on Friday.  The pair continues to weaken as traders continue to struggle to find reasons to be long dollars.  There is also skepticism that additional unilateral yen-selling intervention by the Japanese will push the pair sustainably higher.  Bank of Japan Policy Board member Miyao tried to talk the yen lower yesterday, citing “We’re entering a situation where we need to pay more attention to downside risks.”  Japan intervened last week by selling yen for the first time in more than six years.  BoJ’s Policy Board convenes on 4-5 October and 28 October.  Miyao added “There is a growing risk that the U.S. economy may fall into a period of low growth that could be a bit protracted.  From a longer perspective, for instance, one or two or three years, there’s a risk that the level of growth could be lower than expected.”  BoJ Governor Shirakawa this defended the intervention and many traders believe additional intervention may be forthcoming.  Data released in Japan overnight this week saw the July all-industry activity index climb 1.0% m/m.  Also, August supermarket sales were off 1.1% y/y and August convenience store sales were up 1.0% y/y. Data to be released on Monday include the August corporate service price index and August trade data.  The Nikkei 225 stock index yesterday lost 0.37% to close at ¥9,566.32.  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 ¥112.15 level and was capped around the ¥113.40 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥131.80 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥85.35 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6890 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6910.  Premier Wen reported a 20% appreciation in the yuan would trigger massive unemployment and lead to a potential trade war with the U.S.  The September MNI business conditions survey will be released tonight.  Premier Wen this week countered criticism from the Obama administration today saying “the main cause of the U.S. trade deficit is not the exchange rate of the Chinese currency, but the structure of investment and savings.  There’s a trade imbalance between the U.S. and China, which is not something we want to see.  China doesn’t pursue a trade surplus intentionally.”  President Obama this week said Chinese leaders have not done “everything they said would be done” to allow the yuan to increase in value.  The Chinese government countered by saying Obama’s criticism is “unwise and shortsighted.”


The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5740 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5610 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw August BBA loans for house purchases decline more-than-expected.  Former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Barker indicated the case for additional quantitative easing appears “less certain,” adding there is “still more concern about inflation staying high.”  She noted inflation has been above target for 26 of the previous 32 months.  Minutes from Bank of England’s September Monetary Policy Committee meeting were released yesterday and they revealed policymakers voted 8-to-1 to keep rates unchanged.  MPC member Sentance dissented in the minority and reported the central bank needs to “gradually move interest rates up in a slow way which will not destabilize business confidence.  One of the issues I would highlight is we haven’t seen the same dampening effect on inflation that we’ve seen in previous recessions.”  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5320 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8470 level and was capped around the £0.8565 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 0.9805 level and was capped around the CHF 0.9900 figure.    The pair continues to trade below parity.  Swiss National Bank member Jordan yesterday reported larger banks should have large capital buffers and said the SNB needs to be “cautious” with the future use of monetary policy.  Data released in Switzerland this week saw the August trade balance decline to CHF 570 million from the revised prior reading of CHF 2.84 billion.  Also, the M3 money supply indicator came in at 6.6% y/y. Data to be released in Switzerland next week include the August UBS consumption indicator and September KOF leading indicator.  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 1.3100 figure while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5510 level.


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