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Thursday November 11, 2010 - 22:09:46 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (11 November 2010)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3635 level and was capped around the $1.3820 level.  Stops were reached below the $1.3650 level, representing the 38.2% retracement of the $1.2640 – 1.4280 range.  The pair reached its lowest level since 5 October as traders continued to reduce long euro exposure on account of worsening eurozone sovereign credit problems.  Ireland today warned the increase in its borrowing costs has become “very serious” but the European Union denied again that Ireland is seeking financial assistance.  European Central Bank member Stark optimistically reported “Fundamental factors point to a continued positive economic development into next year, with increasing signals of a self-sustaining economic recovery.  We continue to find ourselves in the process of (monetary accommodation) withdrawal. It is very important to emphasize all unconventional measures represent strong interventions in the market mechanisms and will only be maintained as long as absolutely necessary.”  The common currency also came off after France supported Germany’s calls for investors to share in the burden and cost of restructuring sovereign debt.  Irish Prime Minister Cowen is indicating the country has enough capital to get through June 2011 but that is partially predicated on the country’s ability to issue new debt at rates below the market’s current levels.  Many dealers expect Ireland will be forced to tap the emergency eurozone fund established earlier this year to prevent sovereign bankruptcies.  The European Central Bank ‘s monthly bulletin was released today in which it reported forecasters see 2010, 2011, and 2012 inflation at 1.5%, 1.5%, and 1.6%, respectively.  The ECB also sees 2010, 2011, and 2012 GDP growth of 1.6%, 1.5%, and 1.7%, respectively.  ECB member Paramo verbally intervened against the euro’s strength, saying he “absolutely” believes in Geithner’s strong dollar comments.  German and French GDP will be released tomorrow.  In U.S. news, data to be released tomorrow including mid-November University of Michigan consumer sentiment.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner said the U.S. dollar’s decline is attributable to a reversal in safe haven flows.  Geithner also publicly disagreed with former Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan who said the U.S. is pursuing a weaker dollar policy. Geithner, in contrast, said the U.S. will “never seek to weaken our currency as a tool to gain competitive advantage or to grow the economy.”  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3505 level. 

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥82.55 level and was supported around the ¥82.05 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the 61.8% retracement of the ¥83.95 - ¥80.25 range.  Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa was called on to do more to combat deflation by his former economics professor, Koichi Hamada, who said the central bank should expand its asset purchase program to ¥20-25 trillion. There is speculation that global opposition and criticism of the Fed’s latest quantitative easing program may render Bank of Japan less likely to adopt further aggressive monetary easing steps.  BoJ Governor Shirakawa last week said the central bank would, if needed, expand an existing ¥5 trillion asset purchase fund.  Deflation remains rampant in Japan and the central bank may decide to only expand policy further if the yen strengthens sharply from current levels.  Shirakawa also noted he wants to avoid the negative effects from liquidity bubbles, thus additional BoJ easing cannot be viewed as a foregone conclusion.  Finance minister Noda said the government may “soon” allow the Bank of Japan to reduce its contributions to the national treasury if it incurs losses in its ¥5 trillion asset purchase program, an admission of how dangerous it can be for the central bank to expand its balance sheet.  BoJ this week reduced its monthly economic assessment, noting the economic recovery is “pausing” on account of “flat” export and production activity.  Data released in Japan overnight saw September machine orders off 10.3% m/m and up 4.2% y/y while the October domestic corporate goods price index was up 0.2% m/m and 0.9% y/y.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥83.10 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥113.50 level and was capped around the ¥112.20 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥133.25 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥84.30 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6233 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6341.  The yuan is now at its strongest level since 1993.  Many data were released in China overnight.  First, China’s October money supply expanded significantly, underscoring the amount of liquidity in the banking system.  Second, October new yuan loans exploded higher to CNY 587.7 billion.  Third, the October producer price index was up 5.0% y/y while the October consumer price index was up 4.4% y/y.  Fourth, October retail sales ticked lower to 18.6% y/y.  Fifth, October industrial production was up 13.1% y/y.  China is likely to be highly criticized for not allowing the yuan to appreciate more at the Group of Twenty meeting that will be taking place in Seoul.  China is reported to have increased reserve requirements twice yesterday for some financial institutions, an indication it is trying to curtail lending activity and reduce hot-money inflows.  People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou and Vice Premier Wang Qishan will meet with U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner tomorrow in South Korea.  PBoC adviser Li today reported China’s trade surplus may be as high as 3.1% of gross domestic product.  Global central banks hold about US$ 2.8 trillion in U.S. Treasury securities and there will be pressure exerted by China and other countries on the U.S. at the G-20 meeting. 

£

The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.6090 level and was capped around the US$ 1.6180 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 38.2% retracement of the $1.6300 – 1.5950 range.  Data to be released in the U.K. include October Nationwide consumer confidence.  Bank of England released its Quarterly Inflation Report yesterday and was more hawkish than expected, having upwardly revised its consumer price inflation forecast.  BoE warned inflation may accelerate above its 2% target range and this reduced speculation the central bank may increase its £200 billion asset purchase program.  The report noted Monetary Policy Committee members are having a “vigorous debate” over the risks of inflation.  Prior to the release of the report, many dealers believed there was an asymmetrical bias to ease but the MPC’s admission that inflation will be above target for 2011 could mean the MPC is more symmetrically-positioned, meaning no easing or tightening bias.  BoE Governor King added to this view when he reported inflation risks are “balanced.”  BoE also reported gross domestic product growth should remain “a little more likely” above the historical average.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5960 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8455 level and was capped around the £0.8550 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 0.9785 level and was supported around the CHF 0.9670 level.  Stops were reached above the CHF 0.9775 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the CHF 0.9970 – 0.9545 range.  Data released in Switzerland this week the October SECO consumer confidence index fall to +7 from the prior reading of +16.  Other Swiss data released this week 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 1.3255 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5785 level.

 

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