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Tuesday September 28, 2010 - 18:25:56 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (28 September 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3595 level and was supported around the $1.3380 level.  Stops were reached above the US$ 1.3505 level, representing the 50% retracement of the $1.5140-1.1875 range.  The common currency challenged it 100-week moving average and chartists are eyeing the $1.3890 level as the pair’s next upside objective.  The euro’s price activity is indicative of the extreme level of pessimism surrounding the U.S. dollar now.  Dealers are discounting the ongoing sovereign credit concerns in the eurozone being faced by members including Greece, Ireland, and Portugal and are instead fixated on the U.S. economic slowdown and likelihood of additional easing from the Federal Reserve.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the July CaseShiller home price index off 0.13% m/m and up 3.18% y/y.  Other data released in the U.S. today saw September consumer confidence decline sharply to 48.5 from the downwardly-revised prior reading of 53.2.  These data also helped drive the common currency higher during the North American session to its highest level since mid-April.  Finally, the September Richmond Fed manufacturing index declined to -2 from the prior reading of +11.  MBA mortgage applications data will be released tomorrow followed by Q2 GDP data on Thursday.  Some traders are suggesting there is about a 25% chance of additional Fed easing at the November Federal Open Market Committee meeting.  In eurozone news, data released in Germany today saw the flash September consumer price index decline 0.1% m/m and climb 1.3% y/y while the harmonized reading was off 0.2% m/m and up 1.3% y/y.  These data evidence price pressures that remain generally contained at the retail level.  The German Ifo September business climate index will be released tomorrow.  French data saw August consumer spending off 1.6% m/m and up 1.2% y/y.  EMU-16 data to be released tomorrow include the September business climate indicator, consumer confidence, economic confidence, industrial confidence, and services confidence.  The German media reported the European Central Bank considered “rescue aid” for Ireland.  German Chancellor Merkel said Germany will not support a euro rescue fund beyond 2013 and called for additional eurozone reforms.  ECB member Stark said he foresees softening in the global economy.  ECB member Liikanen reported price pressures are contained in the eurozone.  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 ¥83.80 level and was capped around the ¥84.35 level.  The move below the ¥84.05 level coincided with a break of the 61.8% retracement of the post-intervention range, specifically ¥82.87 – 85.93.  Government official Mizuno reported “Japan should change its structure to raise living standards using the strong yen…Japan should expect the dollar to remain weak in the mid-term.”  Mizuno also said the U.S. will likely have a policy of “benign neglect” by tolerating a weaker dollar to bolster exports.  Japanese government bonds marched higher today on expectations Bank of Japan may ease monetary policy further this month when its Policy Board meets.  The Japanese media reported the Policy Board is “split” as to whether it should ease policy again as early as next week.   BoJ released its semi-annual report today on Japan’s financial system in which it said Japanese lenders need to better manage overseas risks including European sovereign debt woes and the U.S.’s economic slowdown.  Data released in Japan overnight saw September small business confidence decrease to 47.3 from the prior figure of 48.4.  Data to be released overnight in Japan include the quarterly BoJ Tankan survey.  The headline large manufacturers’ diffusion index is expected to print around +7.  The recent appreciation of the yen will likely keep a lid on corporate sentiment.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.12% to close at ¥9,495.76.  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 ¥113.70 level and was supported around the ¥112.65 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥131.90 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥86.05 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6913 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.6909.  Data to be released in China overnight include September HSBC manufacturing PMI.  China has orchestrated a marginally-weaker yuan this week and dealers are interested to see what China does with the yuan ahead of next week’s meeting of international financial leaders in Washington, D.C.  China and the Obama administration have exchanged very public criticisms lately regarding China’s exchange rate policy.  People’s Bank of China official Zheng reported the “foundation of China’s recovery isn’t solid.” Notably, yuan forwards declined by the largest amount in two months on mounting speculation the government will limit the yuan’s appreciation.


The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5720 level and was capped around the US$ 1.5895 level.  Sterling fell after Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Posen dovishly reported “further easing should be undertaken.”  Posen said more assets should be purchased to stimulate growth and it was Posen who mentioned a couple of weeks ago that private assets should be purchased.  In contrast, MPC member Sentance yesterday reiterated the MPC should raise its benchmark Bank rate.  These comments evidence a significant amount of disagreement on the MPC and will render upcoming MPC meetings interesting.  Data released in the U.K. today saw Q2 gross domestic product up 1.2% q/q and 1.7% y/y, unchanged from previous estimates.  Q2 current account data came in at -£7.4 billion and Q2 total business investment was up 0.7% q/q and 1.9% y/y.  Also, September CBI reported sales came in at +49, up from the previous reading of +35.  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 £0.8585 level and was supported around the £0.8465 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 0.9735 level and was capped around the CHF 0.9875 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the August consumption indicator climb to 1.954 from the revised prior reading of 1.882.  The September KOF Swiss leading indicator will be released tomorrow and is expected to print around the 2.11 area.  August retail sales data will be released on Friday along with September PMI data.   The pair has been trading below parity since 21 September and chartists are eyeing the CHF 0.9715/ 0.9505 levels as downside targets.  Swiss National Bank’s quarterly monetary policy report was released last week and was more dovish-than-expected.  SNB reported monetary policy is “appropriate” and noted it expects a “marked slowdown” in the second half of 2010 and in 2011.  SNB member Jordan has continued to call for banks to maintain larger amounts of capital.  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 1.3165 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5395 level.


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