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Wednesday November 3, 2010 - 17:45:40 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (3 November 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3990 level and was capped around the $1.4060 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the $1.3695 – 1.4080 range.  Most traders believe the Federal Open Market Committee will announce further quantitative easing later during today’s North American session by promoting a plan to purchase at least US$ 500 billion in long-term securities.  The Fed will attempt to reduce unemployment, expand gross domestic product, and increase inflation through its new policy measures.  The Fed has already purchased approximately US$ 1.7 trillion in securities during its massive easing cycle and its next asset purchase program may be phased in during a period of six months or so.  Many Fed officials, however, have publicly been at odds regarding the necessity of expanding the Fed’s balance sheet further thus the FOMC meeting is likely to be quite contentious.  Some Fed officials have suggested asset purchases of about US$ 100 billion monthly may be warranted.  There is also a chance the Fed could purchase mortgage-backed securities again, a move that may be viewed as a positive development by financial markets.  The markets are also reacting to the significant Republican victory in the United States yesterday.  The Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives and many Governors’ seats while the Democratic Party retained control of the Senate.  Historically, a mixed control of power in the U.S. has resulted in U.S. dollar strength.  Traders are also speculating a Republican majority could result in more pressure and scrutiny on Fed Chairman Bernanke.   Data released in the U.S. today saw MBA mortgage applications off 5.0% while October October Challenger job cuts were off 31.8% y/y. Also, the October ADP employment change was up 43,000, an upward reversal from the prior revised reading of -2,000.  These data suggest private non-farm payrolls data to be released on Friday could be positive.  Other data released today saw September factory orders up 2.1%, up from the prior reading of +0.0%, while October ISM services ticked higher to 54.3.  Many forecasts for October non-farm payrolls data to be released on Friday are centering on gains of 60,000 with the unemployment rate around 9.6%.  In eurozone news, most traders expect the European Central Bank will keep monetary policy unchanged tomorrow.  The big news in Europe today involved a sharp deterioration in Irish sovereign debt prices.  Ten-year Irish bonds slid for a seventh day with yields moving higher and credit default swaps on Allied Irish Bank’s subordinated debt signaled a 63% chance of a default within five years.  The perception that Ireland is facing sovereign credit problems continues to filter down to Irish banks and could pressure the euro further.  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 ¥81.05 level and was supported around the ¥80.60 level.  Japanese financial markets will reopen tonight after today’s Culture Day holiday.  Stops were reached above the ¥81.30 level, representing the 61.8% retracement of the ¥82.00 – 80.25 range.  Bank of Japan’s Policy Board will convene this week and will decide on its next policy move after the Federal Reserve’s policy decision is announced.  Dealers are speculating the Thursday and Friday meeting at the BoJ could result in additional monetary policy easing measures, possibly including an expansion in its asset purchase programs.  Minutes from Bank of Japan’s Policy Board meeting of 4-5 October were released this week and they noted “Some members said that while the amount of purchases (of exchange-traded funds and real-estate investment trusts) might be small, the bank’s purchase would produce positive effects as a catalyst in promoting more active transactions in their markets and more risk-taking activity in the overall economy.”  On 28 October, BoJ announced it will purchase ¥3.5 trillion in government debt, ¥1 trillion in corporate debt, ¥450 billion in exchange-traded funds, and ¥50 billion in real estate investment trusts.  The Nikkei 225 stock index yesterday climbed 0.06% to close at ¥9,159.98 and will reopen tonight.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥84.60 level.   The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥113.65 level and was supported around the ¥112.80 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥130.55 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥82.60 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6772 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6787.  Data released in China overnight saw October services PMI decline to 60.5 from the prior reading of 61.7 while October HSBC services PMI ticked higher to 56.4.  The World Bank called on China to tighten interest rates further.  People’s Bank of China is expected to tighten credit on account of significant capital inflows.  People’s Bank of China this week reported consumer prices are likely to expand around 3% this year and economic growth is likely to slow to 9% in the third quarter.  PBoC Governor Zhou was quoted as saying the yuan would “gradually” be made convertible. 




The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.6155 level and was supported around the US$ 1.6005 level. Today’s intraday high represents cable’s strongest print since 29 January of this year.  Data released in the U.K. today saw October PMI services tick higher to 53.2 from the prior reading of 52.8.  Most traders expect Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will keep monetary policy unchanged tomorrow with the BoE’s asset purchase program target unchanged at £200 billion.  Some economists are predicting the MPC will expand its asset purchase program in the future while others expect the MPC will begin to raise rates in Q4 2011.  Former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Julius this week estimated the chance of a U.K. recession is now “at 10% or less.” Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5960 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8695 level and was capped around the £0.8755 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 0.9815 level and was supported around the CHF 0.9770 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was just below the 38.2% retracement of the CHF 1.0275 – 0.9460 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw September retail sales up 3.8% y/y, much higher than the prior revised print of +0.1% y/y.  October consumer price inflation data will be released tomorrow.  Swiss National Bank member Jordan reported central banks must maintain a second line of defense and should only “kickstart” a market.  Jordan also cited the Swiss property market as a concern.  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 1.3770 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5825 level.


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