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Monday October 4, 2010 - 12:59:14 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (4 October 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3665 level and was capped around the $1.3805 level.  The common currency has gained more than eleven big figures in less than four weeks as traders have discounted European sovereign credit jitters and focused on U.S. monetary policy expectations.  Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Dudley on Friday noted the Fed will likely need to take additional action to stimulate the economy and avert deflation, adding the Fed “can provide additional stimulus at costs that do not appear to be prohibitive.”  The Federal Open Market Committee next meets to discuss monetary policy on 2-3 November.  A significant amount of disagreement is evident at the Fed regarding the need for additional stimulus.  Some policymakers believe the Fed should expand its asset purchases while others have cautioned against expanding the Fed’s balance sheet further.  Additional quantitative easing measures could see the Fed increase its purchase of U.S. Treasuries and drive market rates down further.  Data to be released in the U.S. today include August factory orders and August pending home sales.  The home sales data will be closely scrutinized to see if that beleaguered sector can gain any traction.  The September ISM services index will be released tomorrow and is expected to come in around 52.0.  In eurozone news, October Sentix investor confidence improved to 8.8 from the prior reading of 7.6. Also, August EMU-16 producer price inflation came in at +0.1% m/m and 3.6% y/y.  Data to be released in the eurozone tomorrow include EMU-16 August retail sales and September PMI services.  European Central Bank officials are expected to keep monetary policy unchanged when the central bank’s interest rate announcement is made on Thursday.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3670 level. 

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥83.15 level and was capped around the ¥83.85 level.  Bank of Japan Policy Board’s two-day interest rate meetings began today and there is speculation the central bank may ease policy further, possibly by expanding a ¥30 trillion lending facility.  Some Japanese government bond yields reached multi-year lows on speculation of additional easing.  Even if the central bank does not enact more easing now, its Policy Board meets again this month and officials could announce additional easing then.  There is also speculation the government may conduct additional yen-selling intervention as the greenback approaches levels where authorities intervened on 15 September for the first time in more than six years.  Data released in Japan overnight saw August loans and discount off 4.3% y/y while the September monetary base was up 5.8% y/y.  Prime Minister Kan verbally intervened late last week, noting his government would intervene again if necessary.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.25% to close at ¥9,381.06.  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 ¥113.75 level and was capped around the ¥115.25 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥132.35 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥85.75 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6912 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.6850.  Traders will pay close attention to meetings to be held in Washington, D.C. later this week.  U.S. government officials continue to report China is not doing enough to promote a stronger yuan and have threatened China with legislative penalties that could include trade tariffs.  Prime Minister Wen said China will address “structural problems” and stabilize its economy by expanding domestic demand.  The U.S. trade deficit with China reached US$ 145 billion in the first seven months of 2010, up from US$ 123 billion from the same period in 2009.  Wen also noted he has been “trying hard to manage appropriately and well” China’s battle against inflation. 


The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5845 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5750 level.  Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will issue its interest rate decision on Thursday and many traders do not expect the MPC will expand policy at this time.  MPC member Posen last week reiterated the BoE should expand its purchase of assets.  U.K. consumer price inflation rates remain significantly above target and are limiting the central bank’s ability to raise interest rates.  Former BoE Deputy Governor Gieve reported “the likelihood is 70-30 that we will see a continuing recovery and that will warrant a normalisation over the next two years.” Data released in the U.K. today saw September PMI construction improve to 53.8 from the prior reading of 52.1.  Data to be released in the U.K. tomorrow include September PMI services and the September BRC shop price index.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5320 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8645 level and was capped around the £0.8735 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 0.9705 level and was capped around the CHF 0.9790 level.  The pair has traded below parity since 21 September as dealers have shunned the U.S. dollar.  Swiss National Bank Chairman said there is a consensus on “too-big-to-fail” measures for large financial institutions. A Swiss government panel is recommending that UBS and Credit Suisse hold total capital equal to at least 19% of their assets, far above the 10.5% proposed requirements under Basel III. SNB member Jordan reported the differences between the Swiss economy and international economies will narrow.  Data to be released in Switzerland tomorrow include September consumer price inflation followed by September unemployment data on Friday.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 0.9925 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.3290 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5335 level.


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