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Friday October 1, 2010 - 23:00:29 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (1 October 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3790 level and was supported around the $1.3620 level.  The common currency extended its dramatic ascent, reaching its highest level since 17 March as traders continued to focus on the likelihood of additional easing and credit expansion policies from the Federal Open Market Committee.  Chicago Fed President Evans said the U.S. faces “far stronger” challenges than Europe.  At the same time, traders are discounting news that Ireland is injecting significant liquidity to shore up its banking system and news that Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Spain’s credit rating by one notch.  Yesterday’s ECB tender of funds was smaller-than-expected, leading to speculation that eurozone banks are healthier than previously expected.  Data released in the U.S. today saw August personal income up 0.5% while August personal spending was up 0.4%.  The August PCE deflator grew 1.5% y/y and core PCE evidenced tame inflation, up 0.1% m/m and 1.4% y/y.  Additionally, the final September University of Michigan consumer sentiment indicator came in stronger-than-expected at +68.2, up from the prior reading of 66.6.  August construction spending was up 0.4% m/m and the September ISM manufacturing index fell to 54.4 from the prior reading of 56.3.  Notably, however, the ISM prices paid component jumped significantly to 70.5 from the previous reading of 61.5.  Collectively, these data were not terribly weak and they continue to evidence a U.S. economy that is experiencing tepid economic activity with an elevated level of unemployment.  In eurozone news, EMU-16 September PMI manufacturing ticked higher to 53.7 while the August eurozone unemployment rate ticked higher to 10.1%.  Also, German retail sales were off 0.2% m/m and up 2.2% y/y and September PMI manufacturing moved lower to 55.1 while French manufacturing PMI climbed to 56.0.  European Central Bank member Draghi said the central bank should not exit its quantitative easing policies before it is free of “dependent banks.”  ECB member Weber said Germany’s economic recovery is “intact” and added he expects a German deficit of 4.5% of gross domestic product this year.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3670 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 ¥83.55 level.  Today’s range was quite tight as the pair tested yesterday’s low and was unable to move above technical resistance that represented the 76.4% retracement of the ¥82.90 - ¥85.90 range.  Prime Minister Kan limited the pair’s downside, noting Japan would conduct yen-selling intervention again if necessary.  Kan also called on Bank of Japan to initiate additional anti-deflation steps if necessary.  There is talk the Kan government will introduce an extra budget to try and stimulate the economy.  Many data were released in Japan overnight.  First, the August jobless rate ticked lower to 5.1%.  Second, August overall household spending was up 1.7% y/y.  Third, Tokyo-area September consumer price inflation increased to -0.6% y/y with the ex-food and energy level marginally higher at -1.3% y/y.  Fourth, nationwide August consumer price inflation was off 0.9% y/y and off 1.5% y/y at the ex-food and energy level.  These data evidence a marginal easing of deflationary pressures around Tokyo but a continued problem throughout all of Japan.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.37% to close at ¥9,404.23.  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 ¥114.85 level and was supported around the ¥113.75 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥132.05 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥85.65 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6850 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6920.  Data released in China overnight saw the September PMI manufacturing survey improve more-than-expected to 53.8, up from the prior reading of 51.7.  China set the reference rate for the yuan weaker today for the first time in three days after the U.S. House of Representatives voted 348-79 for a measure that would permit domestic U.S. companies to petition for duties on imports from China to compensate for the yuan’s exchange rate.


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$ 1.5700 figure.  Data released in the U.K. today saw Q2 housing equity withdrawal print at -£6.2 billion while September PMI manufacturing fell to 53.4.  BoE Monetary Policy Committee member Fisher this week 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.  Traders will pay very close attention to next week’s MPC meeting.  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 £0.8715 level and was supported around the £0.8655 level.



The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 0.9720 level and was capped around the CHF 0.9845 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw August retail sales climb 0.5% y/y, down from the revised prior reading of 4.7%, while the September purchasing managers’ index fell to 59.7 from the prior reading of 61.4.  Data released in Switzerland earlier 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.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 0.9925 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.3460 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5385 level.


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