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Thursday October 14, 2010 - 21:34:15 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (14 October 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4120 level and was supported around the $1.3955 level.  The common currency is eyeing the US$ 1.4180 level as an upside price objective with chartists eyeing the $1.4365 as another target.  Traders can cite few, if any, previous periods where moves in the currency markets have been this acute.  The U.S. dollar is being punished across the board and is poised to fall below parity vis-à-vis the Australian dollar and the Canadian dollar.  All focus will be on tomorrow’s U.S. economic data including September consumer price inflation, September retail sales, and mid-October University of Michigan consumer sentiment.  The major focus, however, will be a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke in Boston tomorrow.  Bernanke is expected to outline the Fed’s current thinking with regard to additional monetary easing.  Dealers anticipate the Federal Open Market Committee will ease policy further in November, possibly by announcing an expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet through the purchase of additional U.S. Treasury securities by as much as US$ 500 billion.  Perhaps more interestingly, Bernanke could provide details about the Fed’s reported plans to adopt some sort of inflation-targeting regime.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the August trade deficit expand to –US$ 46.3 billion.  Also, the September producer index was up 0.4% m/m and 4.0% y/y with the ex-food and energy component up 0.1% m/m and 1.6% y/y.  Additionally, weekly initial jobless claims were up 462,000 and continuing jobless claims came in at 4.399 million.  In eurozone news, the European Central Bank released its monthly bulletin and reported “there is little evidence that global trade integration has been hindered by the financial crisis.”  The ECB also reported there is no evidence of inflation or deflation in the eurozone economy.   ECB member Bini Smaghi verbally intervened today, saying the weak dollar is the market’s issue, and not a strong euro.  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 ¥80.85 level and was capped around the ¥81.85 level. Major stops were hit below the ¥81.10 level, representing the pair’s previous low dating to 1995.  There was no indication of intervention from Japanese monetary authorities overnight and many traders believe the threat of additional yen-selling intervention has increased dramatically, especially considering the pace of the ongoing move lower.  Singapore’s decision to allow its dollar to appreciate “modestly and gradually” in an attempt to control inflation also contributed to U.S. dollar weakness in Asia.  Similarly, the Australian dollar reached a record high and many dealers believe it could test parity tonight.  Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa reported easing measures have lowered long-term Japanese yields.  Data released in Japan overnight saw the September domestic corporate goods price index up 0.0% m/m and off 0.1% y/y.  Also, September Tokyo-area condominium sales were up 3.9% y/y and September machine tool orders were up 113.6% y/y.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.91% to close at ¥9,583.51.  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 ¥114.75 level and was supported around the ¥114.00 figure.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥130.50 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 depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6512 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6643.  Data to be released in China tonight include the August leading index, September property prices, and September actual foreign direct investment.  Data released in China this week saw the September trade balance narrow to US$ 16.88 billion from the prior reading of US$ 20.03 billion.  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 this week 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$ 1.6065 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5885 level.  Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Sentance spoke this week 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. this week 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 £0.8820 level and was supported around the £0.8770 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 0.9460 level and was capped around the CHF 0.9585 level.   Data released in Switzerland this week 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 1.3435 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5275 level.


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