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Monday November 8, 2010 - 13:22:12 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (8 November 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3890 level and was capped around the $1.4085 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 61.8% retracement of the $1.5140 – 1.1875 range.  Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke this weekend defended the Fed’s decision to expand its quantitative easing program by US$ 600 billion.  Bernanke said the new program will not push inflation to “super ordinary” levels.  After the Fed’s decision to expand its balance sheet was announced last week, Bernanke reported the central bank “will take all measures necessary to keep inflation low and stable,” noting “additional disinflation…would be a worse outcome.” Critics of the Fed’s decision to expand policy further have become vocal including many Republican legislators and major international economic officials.  Traders will pay very close attention to the Group of Eight summit in South Korea later this week.  Exchange rate misalignments will be discussed further amid criticism the U.S. is no longer pursuing a strong U.S. dollar policy.  European Central Bank President Trichet said the Fed’s decision to expand policy involved the “idea of a solid anchoring of inflation expectations…they are not pursuing a weak currency policy and that’s something very important.”  Data released in the U.S. on Friday saw better-than-expected U.S. October non-farm payrolls gains of +151,000, up from the upwardly-revised -41,000 September total.  Private payrolls expanded 159,000, up from the upwardly-revised 107,000 in September, and the unemployment rate remained steady at 9.6%.  Notably, the labour participation rate fell to a 25-year low of 64.5%, evidencing the decline in workers who continue to look for full-time employment.  Also, October average hourly earnings were up 0.2% m/m and 1.7% y/y while October average weekly hours worked ticked higher to 34.3.  Data to be released later in the North American session include September wholesale inventories.  In eurozone news, European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs commissioner Rehn arrived in Ireland today following the government’s announcement it will reduce spending and raise taxes by as much as €6 billion in 2011.  The Irish government may require official assistance in 2011 if it is unable to secure enough liquidity from the bond market.  Last Thursday, the European Central Bank kept monetary policy unchanged, as expected. Trichet reported price developments “will remain moderate” with inflation expectations “firmly anchored.”  Many dealers expect the ECB will discuss how and when to unwind its monetary stimulus policies further at the December Governing Council meeting.  Data released in the eurozone today saw the EMU-16 November Sentix investor confidence improve to 14.0.  The German September trade balance expanded to €16.8 billion while September industrial production was off 0.8% m/m and up 7.9% y/y.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3835 level. 

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥81.00 figure and was capped around the ¥81.45 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the ¥85.40 - ¥80.25 range.  Bank of Japan lowered its monthly economic assessment today, noting the economic recovery is “pausing” on account of “flat” export and production activity.  The central bank expects the economy to return to a “moderate” recovery path.  Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Yamaguchi today said the central bank is prepared to increase the size of its asset purchase program if downside economic risks become more evident.  Yamaguchi also cited indications that Japan’s economic recovery is pausing.  Last week, Bank of Japan’s Policy Board concluded its two-day meeting and announced it will purchase Japanese real estate investment trusts with credit ratings of AA or stronger.  BoJ also reported it will purchase exchange-traded funds that track the Nikkei 225 stock average and the Topix index.  As expected, the Policy Board also voted unanimously to keep the overnight call rate target range unchanged between 0% and 0.1%.  Similarly, the BoJ voted to maintain its ¥5 trillion asset purchase fund and ¥30 trillion program to stimulate bank lending.  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.  BoJ today reported Japan’s economic “recovery seems to be pausing.”  Data released in Japan overnight saw October official reserve assets climb to US$ 1.118 trillion while the September coincident index fell to 102.0 and the September leading index fell to the 98.9 level.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.11% to close at ¥9,732.92.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥112.65 level and was capped around the ¥114.30 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥130.50 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥83.70 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6804 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.6574.  Chinese finance minister Zhu said the Fed’s decision to inject US$ 600 billion might “shock” emerging markets.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner reported it is “overwhelmingly” in China’s interest to allow the yuan to appreciate.  People’s Bank of China Assistant Governor Guo said the central bank will “steadily push forward reforms” in its interest rate mechanism.  Last week, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou said the Fed’s decision to expand policy further is “unlikely” to benefit the global economy. People’s Bank of China adviser Xia Bin reported the Fed’s quantitative easing is “uncontrolled” money printing.  Vice foreign minister Cui reported “Many countries are worried about the impact (of the Fed’s policies to purchase bonds).”  Banking giant Standard Chartered last week predicted another increase in China’s key lending rate to 5.81% by the end of 2010.

£

The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.6105 level and was capped around the US$ 1.6215 level.  Stops were reached below the $1.6145 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the $1.5650 – 1.6300 range.  Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report will be released on Wednesday and will fuel debate as to if and when the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will expand policy further.  Some economists expect the BoE will raise its inflation forecasts and economic growth forecasts.  Some BoE-watchers also expect the central bank will expand monetary stimulus further in February.  Last week, the MPC kept its main Bank rate unchanged at 0.50% and kept its asset purchase target program unchanged at £200 billion.  Data to be released in the U.K. tonight include the BRC October retail sales monitor and RICS October house price balance.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5960 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8615 level and was capped around the £0.8690 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 0.9680 level and was supported around the CHF 0.9600 figure. Stops were reached above the CHF 0.9655 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the CHF 1.0275 – 0.9460 range.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the October jobless rate tick lower to 3.6% from the September level of 3.7%, the lowest level since May 2009.  Notably, Swiss core inflation was negative in October for the first time in at least sixteen years.  This renders it likely SNB may be forced to keep interest rates relatively low for quite some time.  Swiss National Bank member Danthine last week reported “We can’t exclude that inflation could temporarily turn negative at the beginning of 2011.  If the downside risks to the economy materialized and then translated into a deflation risk, the SNB would take all measures needed to ensure price stability.”  Danthine also warned the Swiss economy will evidence “weaker” growth in 2011 after growing around 2.5% in 2010.  In September, SNB kept its main interest rate unchanged at 0.25% and reduced its inflation projections through early 2013.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 0.9925 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.3435 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5615 level.

 

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