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Tuesday October 5, 2010 - 23:00:32 GMT
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FX Market Commentary and Analysis (5 October 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3860 level and was supported around the $1.3635 level.  Australasian dealers knocked the common currency lower but European and North American dealers lifted the pair to its highest level since early February.  Euro bulls are now citing the 1.3890/ 1.3940/ 1.4195 levels as upside price objectives.  Traders await the release of Friday’s September U.S. non-farm payrolls report with many forecasts calling for job gains around zero, up from the August reading of -54,000.  The unemployment rate is expected to tick higher to 9.7% from the prior reading of 9.6%.  Economists will also pay close attention to average hourly earnings and average hours worked to determine if there is any traction in the labour market.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the September ISM non-manufacturing survey climb to 53.2 from the prior reading of 51.5.  The U.S. dollar continues to weaken on the premise the Federal Open Market Committee will vote in November to purchase more U.S. Treasury debt.  Some dealers are likening the probable adoption of additional monetary easing as “QE2,” or a second round of quantitative easing.  Chicago Fed President Evans called for additional monetary accommodation.  Dealers are talking about the current trend of increased global currency intervention.  In addition to Japanese measures and China’s ongoing management of the yuan, South Korea will begin to audit banks’ handling of foreign currency derivatives transactions on 19 October to reduce volatility caused by capital flows.  Brazil announced it will double the tax it charges foreigners on investments in fixed-income securities to 4% today.  In Thailand, the central bank reported it is studying policies to manage the baht’s appreciation.  In India, Reserve Bank of India reported it will intervene in capital flows prove “disruptive” to the rupee.  Taiwanese monetary officials are thought to have intervened overnight.  In eurozone news, the EMU-16 September PMI services survey improved to 54.1 while August retail sales fell 0.4% m/m and rose 0.6% y/y.  German September PMI services improved and French PMI services retraced lower to +58.2.  Dealers cited a rumour today that ECB officials are split regarding an exit from the central bank’s monetary policy accommodation.  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 ¥82.95 level and was capped around the ¥83.95 level.  Bank of Japan surprised the market overnight when it reduced its benchmark overnight unsecured call rate to a range of 0% to 0.1% and introduced a new monetary stimulus plan.  Most traders did not anticipate a reduction in the benchmark rate closer to zero per cent.  The central bank also established a ¥5 trillion fund to purchase Japanese government bonds and other assets, opting for this new measure rather than expanding its existing ¥30 trillion asset purchase program.  The expansion of the BoJ’s balance sheet is also designed to stop deflationary pressures and is consistent with expectations that the Federal Reserve may expand its balance sheet at its early November meeting.  BoJ Governor Shirakawa characterized the move as “comprehensive monetary easing” and officials pledged to keep official rates low until they foresee a sustained end to deflation.  Some BoJ-watchers suggest future policy moves could involve a change in the return paid on banks’ excess reserves held at the central bank or an expansion of its monthly JGB-buying program.  European and North American dealers bought the yen back after it initially sold off during the Australasian session.  BoJ September official reserves data will be released on Thursday.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.47% to close at ¥9,518.76.  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 ¥115.35 level and was supported around the ¥113.85 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥133.00 figure while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥86.40 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6905 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6912.  Data released in China overnight saw September HSBC services PMI decline to +55.2 from +57.6.  People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou reported there is no “big pressure” from the European Union for additional yuan appreciation.  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. 


The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5930 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5750 level.  Data released in the U.K. today September PMI construction improve to 53.8 from 52.1 in August while September PMI services improved to 52.8.  Data to be released in the U.K. tonight include the September BRC shop price index.  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.  Some traders are calling for a £50 billion expansion in the MPC’s asset purchases.  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 this week reported “the likelihood is 70-30 that we will see a continuing recovery and that will warrant a normalisation over the next two years.” Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5645 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 £0.8625 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 0.9645 level and was capped around the CHF 0.9750 level.   Data released in Switzerland today saw September consumer price inflation up 0.0% m/m and 0.3% y/y, in-line with expectations.  September unemployment data will be released on Friday.  Swiss National Bank member Jordan called for more “macro-prudential” regulation and speculated new banking rules will increase GDP growth by 1% to 2% over the long-term.  The pair has traded below parity since 21 September as dealers have shunned the U.S. dollar.  A Swiss government panel this week recommended 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. 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 1.3390 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5305 level.


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