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Wednesday September 29, 2010 - 21:38:47 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (29 September 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3645 level and was supported around the $1.3565 level.  The common currency reached its highest level since 15 April as North American dealers lifted the pair.  Traders reacted to mixed comments from Federal Reserve officials who made it clear there is anything but a consensus at the central bank.  Philadelphia Fed President Plosser reported he “would prefer not to engage in further asset purchases at this time,” suggesting asset purchases “can do little if anything to speed up the return to full employment.”  Boston Fed President Rosengren said the Fed must act “vigorously, creatively, thoughtfully, and persistently, as long as we have options at our disposal. And we do have options, despite having pushed short-term rates to the zero lower bound.” Minneapolis Fed President Kocherlakota reported “my own guess is that further uses of QE would have a more muted effect” between Treasury yields.  Data released in the U.S. today saw MBA mortgage applications decline 0.8%.  In eurozone news, data released today saw the EMU-16 business climate indicator improve to 0.77 in September while consumer confidence remained steady at -11, economic confidence improved to 103.2, industrial confidence improved to -2, and services confidence improved to 8.  European Central Bank President Trichet said the economic environment “remains very demanding” and the financial system remains “under strain.”  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3170 level. 

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥83.50 level and was capped around the ¥84.05 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 61.8% retracement of the ¥82.85 – 85.95 range and the pair reached its lowest level since 15 September.  Traders increased long yen positions after Bank of Japan Q3 Tankan data were released that evidenced an improvement in the large manufacturers’ index to +8 from the prior reading of +1, above expectations.  In contrast, however, the large manufacturing outlook fell to -1 from +3.  The non-manufacturing index improved to +2 and the non-manufacturing outlook improved to -2.  Additionally, the Q3 large all industry capex reading failed to meet expectations at 2.4%, down from the prior reading of 2.7%.  The yen’s recent gains are partially attributable for the mixed current and future sentiment reading of those surveys and this is clearly having an impact on future capital spending plans.  Data to be released in Japan overnight include September manufacturing PMI data, August retail trade, August large retailers’ sales, and August industrial production.  Japanese government bonds continued higher today on expectations that corporate pessimism will continue to grow and Bank of Japan will be forced to expand additional monetary easing.  Economy minister Kaieda reiterated the government will take “decisive steps” to weaken the yen if needed.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.67% to close at ¥9,559.38.  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 ¥113.45 level and was capped around the ¥114.15 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 ¥85.25 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6873 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6913.  Data released in China overnight saw the September HSBC manufacturing PMI reading improve to 52.9. The September PMI manufacturing reading will be released on 1 October and is expected to print around the 52.5 level.  People’s Bank of China again indicated it will increase the flexibility of the yuan.  PBoC is expected to continue a “moderately easy” monetary policy.  Tensions continue between the Chinese government and Obama administration. There is talk a bill is being readied in the U.S. Congress that would penalize China for not allowing its yuan to appreciate more.


The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5870 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5760 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw August net consumer credit decline £100 million while August mortgage approvals fell to +47,400.  August net lending secured on dwellings increased to £1.7 billion and the August M4 money supply was off 0.1% m/m and up 1.9% y/y.  September GfK consumer confidence data will be released overnight.  Yesterday, 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 this week 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.  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 £0.8630 level and was supported around the £0.8570 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 0.9815 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the September KOF leading indicator decrease to 2.21 from the revised prior reading of 2.22.  Data released in Switzerland this week saw the August consumption indicator climb to 1.954 from the revised prior reading of 1.882.  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 appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.3345 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5515 level.


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