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Wednesday October 13, 2010 - 20:25:00 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (13 October 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4000 figure and was supported around the $1.3910 level.  The common currency failed to move back above the psychologically-important US$ 1.4000 figure and some dealers are suggesting the common currency could be running out of steam.  Dealers are talking about the upcoming Friday speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke in Boston on Friday.  Bernanke is expected to detail the Fed’s intentions regarding additional monetary easing that could be announced in early November at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Many dealers believe the Fed will announce a second round of quantitative easing, possibly entailing the purchase of US$ 500 billion in U.S. Treasury securities to expand the Fed’s balance sheet by the middle of 2011.  Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting were released yesterday in which Fed officials noted they may be moving towards some sort of inflation-targeting regime.  Data released in the U.S. today saw MBA mortgage applications up 14.6%.  Also, the September import price index was off 0.3% m/m and up 3.5% y/y.  In eurozone news, data released today saw August EMU-16 industrial production up 1.0% m/m and 7.9% y/y.  Also, the German consumer price index was off 0.1% m/m and up 1.3% y/y at the headline level while the harmonized index was off 0.2% m/m and up 1.3% y/y.  Additionally, the German September wholesale price index was up 1.0% m/m and 7.6% y/y and the French August current account deficit widened to -€4.0 billion.  European Central Bank member Weber made news yesterday when he suggested the central bank should end its asset purchase program permanently.  ECB member Nowotny, in contrast, today said the ECB should not end its bond purchases too early, adding bonds should be kept as a “safety belt.”  Regarding intervention, Weber added exchange rates should not be unilateral.  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 offers around the ¥82.00 figure and was supported around the ¥81.65 level. Today’s narrow range reflected traders’ unwillingness to test the Bank of Japan’s resolve to conduct yen-selling intervention at these low levels and ongoing bearishness over the U.S. dollar.  BoJ Governor Shirakawa reported he may consider an expansion of the central bank’s new ¥5 trillion fund to purchase Japanese government bonds.  Shirakawa also verbally intervened, saying the central bank will continue to monitor the currency market “with great interest.”  The quarterly Tankan survey released by BoJ on 29 September included a forecast from large manufacturers that suggested the dollar would trade at an average rate of ¥89.44 in the six months to March 2011.  Data released in Japan overnight saw September bank lending decrease 1.6% y/y while August machine orders were up 10.1% m/m and 24.1% y/y. Shirakawa reported inflation targeting has some risks and said low rates expectations encourage risk.   Finance minister Noda upped the verbal rhetoric this week, noting the government is ready to take “bold” action “which includes intervention, if needed.”  Economy minister Kaieda reported a swift appreciation of the yen can have a negative impact on the country’s economic recovery.  Many dealers expect Bank of Japan will expand monetary policy further, possibly as early as later this month when the BoJ Policy Board convenes.  Japan’s Kan government last week endorsed a ¥5 trillion stimulus plan to promote the economic recovery.  Kyodo news agency this week reported the central bank may reduce its economic and consumer price inflation outlooks this month.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.16% to close at ¥9,403.51.  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 ¥114.70 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 ¥130.15 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥85.80 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6643 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6734.  Data released in China overnight saw the September trade balance narrow to US$ 16.88 billion from the prior reading of US$ 20.03 billion.  Also, the Q3 business climate index improved to 137.9.  The big news in China overnight was that the country’s foreign reserves rocketed to an all-time high of US$ 2.648 trillion at the end of September. This statistic will likely cause U.S. officials to pressure China more to accelerate the pace of yuan reform.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner today reported “What’s happening is, as China holds its currency down, their currencies are moving up and they’re having to work very hard to make sure they’re not at an unfair disadvantage with China.”  Geithner added China’s yuan policy is causing a round of global capital controls and market interventions.  It was also reported that new yuan loans expanded last month. 

 

 

£

The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5885 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5775 level.  Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Sentance spoke and advocated “gradual” rate increases, suggesting a lax policy risked a “more deeply ingrained” consumer price inflation.  Former MPC member Besley characterized the U.K. economy as “fragile.”  Data released in the U.K. today saw September Nationwide consumer confidence decline to +53 from the previous tally of +62.  Also, the September claimant count rate remained steady at 4.5% and September jobless claims were up 5,300.  August average weekly earnings expanded and the August ILO unemployment rate printed at 7.7%.  Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Miles this week said inflation remains “worryingly” above target, adding risks are “broadly balanced” at the moment.  BoE Governor King said it is a “mistake” to assume that the worst is over and added he foresees a “long” economic adjustment with risk of shocks.  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 £0.8840 level and was supported around the £0.8695 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 0.9585 level and was supported around the CHF 0.9545 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw September producer and import prices off 0.1% m/m and up 0.3% y/y.  Swiss National Bank member Jordan last weekend defended the Swiss plan to call for capital adequacy ratios for Swiss banks far in excess of what is being called for in Basel III.  Finance minister Merz said there are “no concrete signs” of any need to conduct intervention on the franc now, adding weaker currencies have a “massive impact” on Swiss exports.  SNB Chairman Hildebrand reported “One of the biggest challenges for the global economy is the reduction of imbalances.  It is very important that this adjustment process happens in a cooperative way.  It shouldn’t happen through currency wars.  We should avoid using protectionist instruments to achieve this goal.”  Hildebrand added the risk of deflation in Switzerland was averted in June.  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 1.3400 figure while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5200 figure.

 

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