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Thursday September 30, 2010 - 22:36:43 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (30 September 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3680 level and was supported around the $1.3560 level.  The common currency reached its highest level since early April as traders continued to ignore sovereign credit jitters in the eurozone and lessen exposure to U.S. dollar assets.  It was reported the Irish government is preparing to assume majority control of Allied Irish Banks Plc and inject liquidity into Anglo Irish Bank Corp.  It was also reported that Moody’s Investors Service gave Spain a steady outlook after reducing its credit rating by one level.  Another reason why the euro appreciated today was a six-day tender of €29.4 billion in European Central Bank funds, considerably less than had been expected and an indication that banks may be healthier in the eurozone than anticipated.  Some dealers scaled back their expectations that the Federal Reserve will expand its balance sheet by purchasing more U.S. debt.  U.S. equity markets realized their largest September gains since 1939 and traders are interested to see if that sentiment persists and leads to more U.S. dollar inflows from international investors.  Data released in the U.S. today saw Q2 gross domestic product climb an annualized 1.7% q/q, up from the prior estimate of 1.6%, and the increase was attributable to stronger personal consumption.  The Q2 gross domestic price index was unchanged at 1.9% and core personal consumption expenditures were up 1.0% q/q.  Other data released today saw weekly initial jobless claims decline to +453,000 while continuing jobless claims fell to 4.457 million.  Additionally, the Chicago Purchasing Manager survey improved to 60.4 while Milwaukee NAPM fell to 50.0.  In eurozone news, the flash EMU-16 September consumer price inflation estimate was released today and came in at 1.8%, as expected and up from the previous reading of 1.6%.  September PMI manufacturing will be released tomorrow along with the August unemployment rate.  German data saw September unemployment decrease 40,000 to 7.5% while August producer prices were up 0.1% m/m and 3.5% y/y.  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 ¥83.15 level and was capped around the ¥83.80 level.  Today’s intraday low was about 30 pips above the level where Japanese monetary authorities conducted yen-selling intervention a couple of weeks ago.  The Ministry of Finance confirmed it sold ¥2.12 trillion in the month through 28 September, representing its first official yen-selling intervention in more than six years.  This amount was more than expected and has led some dealers to speculate the government may have conducted more than one round of yen-selling intervention to stop the yen’s rapid appreciation.  Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa this week reaffirmed authorities are “watching how the yen’s strength is affecting the economy, and if it becomes a downside risk we will take action in a timely and appropriate manner.”  BoJ’s Policy Board convenes next week and is expected to expand its credit easing programs further as early as 5 October.  One tactic thought to be under consideration is an expansion of its ¥30 trillion credit program designed for lenders to stimulate bank lending.  Many traders, however, believe an expansion in the program will not result in a material boost to the economy.  Data released in Japan overnight saw September manufacturing PMI decline to 49.5 from the prior reading of 50.1.  Also, August retail trade came in lower-than-expected at 1.4% m/m and 4.3% y/y and August large retailers’ sales were off 1.9%.  Additionally, August industrial production was off 0.3% m/m and up 15.4% y/y.  Moreover, August housing starts were up 20.5% y/y to an annualized level of 829,000 and August construction orders were flat.  Data to be released overnight in Japan include the August unemployment rate and consumer price inflation data.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.98% to close at ¥9,369.35.  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 ¥112.95 level and was capped around the ¥114.20 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥130.85 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥84.85 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6920 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.6873.  Data to be released in China tonight include the September PMI manufacturing survey and it is expected to come around the 52.5 level.  People’s Bank of China this week reiterated it will increase the yuan’s flexibility.  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 depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5670 level and was capped around the US$ 1.5920 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw September GfK consumer confidence weaken to -20 from the prior reading of -18.  Also, September Nationwide house prices were up 0.1% m/m and 3.1% y/y.  Data to be released tomorrow include Q2 Bank of England housing equity withdrawal numbers along with September PMI manufacturing.  BoE Monetary Policy Committee member Fisher said a return to old lending volumes will take “some years” to recover.  Traders are still talking about comments from MPC member Posen made this week wherein he reiterated a plan to purchase a wider array of assets to support the U.K. economy.  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 £0.8685 level and was supported around the £0.8560 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 0.9840 level and was supported around the CHF 0.9705 level.  Data released in Switzerland this week saw the September KOF leading indicator decrease to 2.21 from the revised prior reading of 2.22.  Also, the August consumption indicator climbed 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 1.3405 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5520 level.


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