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Tuesday November 16, 2010 - 15:06:15 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (16 November 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3655 level and was supported around the $1.3560 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 38.2% retracement level of the $1.2645 – 1.4280 range.  The common currency reclaimed some recent lost ground following talk that Ireland is in talks with the European Central Bank, European Union, and International Monetary Fund regarding some sort of financial bailout. The Irish government maintains it has sufficient capital to get through June 2011 and the apparent focus of the bailout would be to bolster capital in the country’s ailing banking sector.  One report suggests a two-part funding package is being negotiated that would give Ireland a backstop as it reduces its budget deficit and also afford it sufficient capital to help improve overstretched banks’ balance sheets.  Eurozone finance minister are convening in Brussels later today and more details are expected later during the North American session.  It is currently estimated that Ireland’s troubled banks require about €60-70 billion in assistance.  Portuguese finance minister dos Santos warned “there is a risk of contagion” but added Portugal has been able to “finance itself” in the markets.  Peripheral eurozone sovereign members including Spain and Portugal are in greater focus following Ireland’s extensive difficulties.  Data released in the eurozone today saw October consumer price inflation up 0.4% m/m and up 1.9% y/y at the headline level and up 1.1% at the core level.  Also, the EMU-16 November ZEW economic sentiment indicator improved sharply to 13.8.  Germany’s November ZEW economic sentiment and current situation indicators both improved while French Q3 non-farm payrolls were up 0.3% q/q with wages up 0.3% q/q.  In U.S. news, data released today saw October producer prices up 0.4% m/m and 4.3% y/y at the headline level and off 0.6% m/m and up 1.5% y/y at the ex-food and energy level.  Also, September total net TIC flows were up sharply at +US$ 81.7 billion while net long-term TIC flows fell to +US$ 81.0 billion.  Additionally, October industrial production was up 0.0% while capacity utilization ticked higher to 74.8%. The November NAHB housing market index will be released later during the North American session.  New York Fed President Dudley said critics of the Fed’s recent expansion in monetary stimulus do not comprehend that the Fed can have a larger balance sheet “and not have a long-term inflation problem,” adding the Fed is “very confident” to exit (policy) when the time comes.”  Fed Vice Chairman Yellen said the Fed is not looking to push the value of the U.S. dollar down while Dudley said the dollar “is not really the objective of policy.”  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 ¥83.35 level and was supported around the ¥82.85 level. The pair reached its strongest level since 5 October as the U.S. dollar continued to retrace some of its recent weakness and the yen had a mixed session across the board.  Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Yamaguchi warned the “drivers” of Japanese economic growth are slowing along with the deceleration in the global economic expansion.  Data released in Japan overnight saw Q3 housing loans up 3.6% y/y, unchanged from the prior reading, while the September tertiary industry index was off 0.9% m/m from the revised print of +0.1% m/m.  Other data saw October machine tool orders climb 71.0% y/y.  Yesterday, it was reported that Q3 gross domestic product was up 0.9% q/q, up from the 0.4% prior level, and was up 3.9% on an annualized basis from the revised prior reading of 1.8%.  This represented the fourth consecutive quarter of expansion and was better than expected.  On a negative note, however, export growth decelerated to +2.4% q/q, down from a revised 5.6% in the previous quarter.  Bank of Japan recently downgraded its economic assessment for November, reporting the economic expansion is “pausing.”  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.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.31% to close at ¥9,797.10.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥83.10 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥113.35 level and was supported around the ¥112.75 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥132.85 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥84.60 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6386 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6439.  Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao reported his cabinet is drafting anti-inflation policies to combat the fastest inflation the country has seen in two years.  Many economists believe People’s Bank of China will be forced to raise interest rates within weeks following a sharp acceleration in inflation last month to its fastest pace in 25 months.  The benchmark one-year lending rate could hit 5.81% by the end of the year according to some economists, a move that would represent a 25bps tightening.  People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou reported China is under “pressure” from capital inflows and reiterated his goal of “moderate” credit growth.  PBoC lifted some banks’ reserve requirements twice in one day last week.  Data released in China overnight saw October actual foreign direct investment up 7.9% y/y, up from the prior reading of 6.1%. 


The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5980 level and was capped around the US$ 1.6085 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 38.2% retracement level of the $1.6300 – 1.5950 range.  Data released in the U.K. today saw September DCLG U.K. house prices up 6.1% y/y. Also, October consumer price inflation was up 0.3% m/m and 3.2% y/y while October core CPI was up 2.7% y/y.  Also, the October RPI reading was up 0.2% m/m and 4.5% y/y.  Bank of England Governor King reported inflation is likely to remain above the central bank’s 2.0% inflation target “for a year or so” and added the BoE is ready to adjust policy “in either direction.”  BoE reported it expects to make secured commercial paper purchases shortly.  Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Weale yesterday reported “…for the time being, the right course of action is to leave policy unchanged…I certainly worry about the effect of inflationary expectations of introducing additional monetary stimulus in such circumstances.”  Bank of England released its Quarterly Inflation Report last week and was more hawkish than expected, having upwardly revised its consumer price inflation forecast.  BoE warned inflation may accelerate above its 2% target range and this reduced speculation the central bank may increase its £200 billion asset purchase program.  The report noted Monetary Policy Committee members are having a “vigorous debate” over the risks of inflation.  Prior to the release of the report, many dealers believed there was an asymmetrical bias to ease but the MPC’s admission that inflation will be above target for 2011 could mean the MPC is more symmetrically-positioned, meaning no easing or tightening bias.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5960 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.8515 level and was supported around the £0.8455 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 0.9870 level and was supported around the CHF 0.9830 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 50% retracement of the CHF 1.0275 – 0.9460 range, respectively.  Data released in Switzerland yesterday saw October producer and import prices off 0.4% m/m and up 0.3% y/y.  October trade balance data will be released on Thursday.   Swiss National Bank last week reported a loss of CHF 8.5 billion for the first nine months of 2010, primarily on account of exchange rates and the franc’s appreciation.  SNB conducted massive franc-selling intervention this year and in June stopped that practice, reporting deflation risks have “largely disappeared.”  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.  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 appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.3435 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5720 level.


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