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Thursday October 7, 2010 - 18:19:11 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (7 October 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3855 level and was capped around the $1.4030 level.  Traders pushed the common currency to its highest level since 28 January of this year before North American dealers pushed the pair sharply lower.  Options triggers were likely reached around the psychologically-important US$ 1.4000 figure.   It will be a busy couple of days in the markets.  Stops were reached above the $1.3890 and 1.3940 levels, major technical areas related to the $1.5145 – $1.1875 range.  First, U.S. non-farm payrolls data are expected to be released tomorrow and are expected to show no jobs growth or a small decline in jobs creation with an uptick in the September unemployment rate to 9.7%.  Second, global officials are convening in Washington, D.C. this weekend and will discuss a litany of issues including exchange rates, monetary and fiscal policy, and the global economic recovery.  Data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims decline to +445,000 from the revised prior reading of +456,000 while continuing jobless claims moved lower to +4.462 million.  August consumer credit data will be released tonight.  Kansas City Fed President Hoenig today said the U.S. economy is growing “modestly” and added growth is likely to continue.  He also added “month-to-month” data are providing “misreadings” on the economy.  Dallas Fed President Fisher foresees “only modest” U.S. economic growth in Q3.  Fisher added he “instinctively understands the impulse to put the monetary ‘pedal to the metal’ to try to move the needle on employment growth and yet the efficacy of further accommodation at this point has yet to be established.”  Many traders believe the Fed will begin another round of “quantitative easing” in early November, just after the U.S. mid-term election.  One form that additional easing could take is an expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet through the purchase of additional U.S. Treasuries.  In eurozone news, the European Central Bank voted to keep its main refinancing rate unchanged at 1.00% today and its next policy decision is expected on 4 November.  ECB President Trichet reported he is “anxious” to hear Fed Chairman Bernanke this weekend and said it is “important” that U.S. officials promote a strong U.S. dollar.  Trichet added he opposes “disorderly” movements in exchange rates.  Concerning monetary policy, Trichet noted the ECB is progressively exiting its policy accommodation.  German data released todaty saw August industrial production up 1.7% m/m and 10.7% y/y.  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 ¥82.10 level and was capped around the ¥83.05 level.  Traders tested the resolve of Japanese monetary authorities, pushing the pair well below the levels where officials conducted yen-selling intervention on 15 September.  Chartists are eyeing the ¥81.10 level as the pair’s historical low from April 1995. Some traders are speculating the pair could fall to the ¥74 level in 2011.   Global officials are highly likely to discuss currency levels and misalignments when they convene in Washington, D.C. tomorrow and this weekend.  Japanese government bonds continue to move higher on this week’s additional monetary easing from Bank of Japan and expectations of additional credit expansion policies.  BoJ Governor Shirakawa this week referred to this week’s policy moves as “comprehensive monetary easing.”  Data released in Japan overnight saw September official reserve assets climb to ¥1.109 trillion while September machine tool orders were up 112.9% y/y.  Also, the August coincident index climbed to 103.5 while the leading index fell to 99.1.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.07% to close at ¥9,684.81.  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 ¥114.25 level and was capped around the ¥115.65 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥130.75 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥84.95 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6785 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6905.  Chinese officials likely allowed the yuan to appreciate ahead of meetings tomorrow and this weekend.   People’s Bank of Governor Zhou this week dismissed talk that European Union officials are pressuring China to weaken the yuan.   PBoC Vice Governor Yi Gang said China favours a “gradual” approach regarding the yuan’s appreciation, adding a faster one would cause “social upheaval.”


The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5845 level and was capped around the US$ 1.6015 level.  Many data were released in the U.K. today. First, September Halifax house prices were off 3.6% m/m, an indication of ongoing weakness in that sector.  Second, August industrial production was stronger-than-expected at +0.3% m/m and +4.2% y/y.  Third, August manufacturing production was stronger-than-expected at +0.3% m/m and +0.6% y/y.  Fourth, the September NIESR GDP estimate came in less-than-expected at +0.5% today.  Producer price inflation data will be released tomorrow.  Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee today announced that it was keeping its main Bank rate unchanged at 0.50% and its next decision will be announced on 4 November.  The MPC also announced it is maintaining its asset purchase plan unchanged at £200 billion.  There was significant speculation the BoE would expand its asset purchase plan today and the minutes of today’s meeting will be closely scrutinized in a couple of weeks.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5645 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8730 level and was capped around the £0.8805 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 0.9700 figure and was supported around the CHF 0.9555 level.   Data to be released in Switzerland tomorrow include the September unemployment rate and it is expected to remain unchanged around the 3.6% level.  Swiss National Bank Chairman Hildebrand critically reported the issue of “too-big-to-fail” banks “hasn’t been addressed by Basel III” and he indicated Swiss banks need to be held to a higher standard.  The pair has traded below parity since 21 September in the wake of widespread U.S. dollar weakness.  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 1.3490 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5430 level.


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