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Friday September 24, 2010 - 21:55:17 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (24 September 2010)

The euro appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3495 level and was supported around the $1.3285 level.  The common currency realized its highest weekly close since early April of this year as traders continued to speculate the Federal Reserve will be forced to ease monetary policy to counter a U.S. economic recovery that is relatively weak.  There is also speculation the Fed will increase the size of its balance sheet, possibly to expand its purchase of U.S. Treasury securities.  Economic data released in the U.S. today were mixed.  August new home sales were up 0.0% m/m to an annualized rate of 288,000, far below forecasts.  Combined with yesterday’s existing home sales data, they evidence a U.S. housing sector that is unable to gain traction.  Other data saw August durable goods orders off 1.3%, below expectations, while the ex-transportation component was up 2.0% and other sub-index components were stronger-than-expected.  Fed Chairman Bernanke said new regulations will reduce the risk of future crises.  Philadelphia Fed President Plosser said the Fed should limit the size of its balance sheet.  Bernanke also said the economy “continues to need support” and added the Fed has been “quite creative” in developing exit policies.  Additionally, he added the Fed’s forecasts are not “more optimistic” than private forecasts.  In eurozone news, German data released today saw the September Ifo business climate index improve to 106.8 while the current assessment index surged to 109.8 and the expectations index fell to 103.9.  Moreover, German August import prices were up 0.2% m/m and 8.6% y/y.  French data saw Q2 GDP up 0.7% q/q and 1.7% y/y while Q2 wages were up 0.4% q/q.  August total jobseekers increased 15,900.  Many dealers believe the euro will continue to increase as long as sovereign credit concerns in the euro remain contained and U.S. economic data remain weak.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3170 level. 



¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥84.10 level and was capped around the ¥85.40 level. Some Japanese media reported the Japanese government conducted another round of yen-selling intervention today.  If so, the size of the intervention was likely to have been smaller than last week’s massive yen-selling intervention estimated to be around ¥1.86 trillion in size.  Japanese government bonds surged higher on anticipation Bank of Japan will ease monetary policy further.  The yield on the benchmark 10-year JGB fell to 0.995%.  BoJ Policy Board member Miyao dovishly said this week that “more attention” needs to be paid to “downside risks.”  The yen was given during the Australasian session on rumours that BoJ Governor Shirkawa was resigning.  Data to be released in Japan on Monday include the August corporate service price index.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.99% to close at ¥9,471.67.  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 ¥113.75 level and was supported around the ¥112.25 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥133.75 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥86.50 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6900 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.6890.  Data to be released in China on Monday include August industrial products.  Traders anticipate some conflict between the U.S. and China at upcoming meetings in Washington D.C. featuring global leaders.  Premier Wen this week reported a 20% appreciation in the yuan would trigger massive unemployment and lead to a potential trade war with the U.S.  Premier Wen this week also 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$ 1.5730 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5640 level.  Data to be released on Monday include September Hometrack housing numbers.  Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Sentance said the central bank should being raising interest rates gradually soon, noting they will not hurt confidence.  Data released in the U.K. this week 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 this week 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 appreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.8545 level and was supported around the £0.8480 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 0.9785 level and was capped around the CHF 0.9880 level.   Swiss National Bank reiterated monetary policy is “appropriate” and added it foresees a “marked slowdown” during the second half of the year and in 2011.   The pair continues to trade below parity.  Swiss National Bank member Jordan this week 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 appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.3190 figure while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5365 level.


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