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Monday November 1, 2010 - 14:19:41 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (1 November 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3895 level and was capped around the $1.4010 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was just above the 50% retracement of the $1.3695 – 1.4080 range.  This will be a major week in the currency markets.  First, traders are paying very close attention to the U.S. election tomorrow.  There is speculation the Republican Party will win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, possibly rendering it difficult for U.S. President Obama to get new legislation passed.  Historically, the U.S. dollar has done relatively well during periods where different parties controlled the executive and legislative branches.  Second, the Federal Open Market Committee will release a monetary policy decision on Wednesday.  The FOMC is expected to announce a new round of quantitative easing, possibly including the purchase of US$ 500 billion in U.S. Treasuries securities.  Many dealers believe the Fed will expand its balance sheet, possibly by more than US$ 1 trillion.  This would represent the Fed’s latest attempt to provide massive liquidity to the financial markets but critics doubt such a move by the Fed would lead to a dramatic decrease in the U.S. unemployment rate.  Third, November non-farm payrolls data will be released on Friday and are expected to evidence new jobs growth of around 50,000 to 60,000 with the unemployment rate steady around 9.6%.  Data released in the U.S. today saw September personal income off 0.1% while personal spending was up 0.2%.  The September PCE deflator was up 1.4% y/y and core PCE was up 0.0% m/m and 1.2% y/y.  Also, October ISM manufacturing climbed to 56.9 from 54.4 and the ISM prices paid index climbed to 71.0 while the September construction spending was up 0.5% m/m.  In eurozone news, eurozone PMI services and manufacturing data will be released tomorrow.  Some dealers believe the euro and European money market is pricing in too much of a chance the European Central Bank will begin raising interest rates as early as 2011.  The European Central Bank is expected to keep monetary policy unchanged on Thursday.  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 ¥80.25 level and was capped around the ¥81.40 level.  The pair quickly moved higher during the Australasian session and reversed course after reaching the ¥81.40 level.  There was chatter that Japanese monetary authorities may have conducted yen-selling intervention overnight but there was not much focus on this and some dealers instead a hedge fund may have been behind the move or an electronic dealing system may have made a mistake.   There is speculation Bank of Japan could expand monetary policy again as early as this week after the Federal Reserve likely expands its policy.  BoJ’s Policy Board left its benchmark overnight call rate target and credit programs unchanged at its meeting on 28 October.  The central bank is expected to maintain an accommodative monetary policy for at least a couple of years.  Data released in Japan overnight saw September labour cash earnings up 0.9% y/y.  The October monetary base will be released tonight.  Bank of Japan is now forecasting Japan’s economy will expand 2.1% in the year through March 2011 and 1.8% in the year through March 2012, down from +2.6% and +1.9%, respectively.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.52% to close at ¥9,154.72.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥84.60 level.   The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥111.80 level and was capped around the ¥113.15 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥129.90 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥81.30 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6906 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.6705.  The yuan registered its largest decline since December 2008 following a revaluation rumour over the weekend and an indication People’s Bank of China is promoting relative stability as opposed to yuan appreciation.  Data released in China overnight saw October PMI manufacturing climb to 54.7 from the prior level of 53.8 while October HSBC manufacturing PMI climbed to 54.8 from the prior rating of 52.9.  Last week, People’s Bank of China adviser Li Daokui reported China can withstand a 3% to 5% appreciation of the yuan.  China’s trade ministry overnight reported prolonged U.S. dollar weakness may lead to a “currency war.”

£

The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.6090 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5990 level.  Cable has moved higher from the $1.5650 level during the previous ten days and could test the $1.6105 level it tested on 15 October.  Dealers lifted sterling on speculation Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will not follow the Federal Reserve this week when the Fed is expected to expand monetary policy by announcing additional asset purchases.  BoE’s asset purchase program currently totals £200 billion and is not expected to grow at this time.  Many dealers, however, believe BoE will eventually expand policy further.  Stronger-than-expected third quarter gross domestic product data released in the U.K. recently will also decrease the likelihood of additional monetary easing by the MPC this week.  Data released in the U.K. today saw October Hometrack housing off 0.9% m/m and 0.1% y/y.  Also, October PMI manufacturing improved to 54.9 from the revised prior reading of 53.5. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5645 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8670 level and was capped around the £0.8720 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 0.9890 level and was supported around the CHF 0.9810 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the CHF 0.8460 – 0.9930 range.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the October purchasing managers index decline to 59.2 from the prior level of 59.7 and September retail sales data will be released tomorrow.  Data to be released on Thursday include October foreign currency reserves and October consumer price inflation.  Swiss National Bank Chairman Hildebrand last week warned “The longer monetary policy remains expansive, the greater the risk that it will have undesirable consequences.  Already there are some warning signs. Especially on the real estate market there’s a risk of imbalances if rates are maintained at a very low level for a long period of time.”  Hildebrand also reported monetary policy cannot resolve all problems while SNB member Danthine warned Swiss economic growth will be hurt by the franc’s strength.  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 1.3795 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5880 level.

 

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