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Wednesday December 1, 2010 - 19:45:13 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (1 December 2010)

The euro appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3180 level and was supported around the $1.2970 level.  North American dealers lifted the pair above the $1.3160 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the $1.3790 - $1.2970 range.  The common currency rocketed higher on indications the U.S. economy may be strengthening, leading to a sharp move higher in U.S. equities and a sharp decrease in U.S. Treasury prices.  Data released in the U.S. today saw November Challenger job cuts off 3.3% y/y, up from the -31.8% y/y prior reading.  Also, November ADP employment was up 93,000 from the revised prior reading of 82,000.  Also, Q3 non-farm productivity was up 2.3% and Q3 unit labour costs were off 0.1%.  Other data saw November ISM manufacturing decline to +56.6 while the November ISM prices paid component fell to 69.5.  Additionally, October construction spending improved +0.7% m/m.  Collectively, these data evidence a U.S. economy that continues to improve.  Traders await the release of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book later during the North American session.  Richmond Fed President Lacker reported the Fed “has stopped” intervening in the foreign exchange markets and indicated he opposes any move to restart that policy option in the future.  Fed Vice Chairman Yellen said the U.S.’s “unsustainable” budget needs to be addressed.  The Fed will also identify recipients of the US$ 3.3 trillion in emergency aid it provided during the credit crisis.  Lacker also said the Fed is “very vigilant” regarding inflation pressures.  St. Louis Fed President Bullard said it would be “okay” if there was a change to the Fed’s dual mandate.  In eurozone news, European bond prices improved today on news the U.S. may pledge additional funds to the International Monetary Fund to support the European Financial Stability Fund.  Most dealers believe Portugal and Spain will eventually require a bailout and Italy is now on traders’ radar.  Data released in the eurozone today saw EMU-16 PMI manufacturing decline to 55.3 from the prior reading of 55.5.  German October retail sales were up 2.3% m/m and off 0.7% y/y.  November manufacturing PMI fell to 58.1 while French manufacturing PMI increased to 57.9.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2780 level. 


¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥84.40 level and was supported around the ¥83.35 level.  Bank of Japan Policy Board member Suda pessimistically said “Chances of overcoming negative core consumer prices in the next fiscal year aren’t high.  It will take a while to beat deflation.”  Suda is known as a monetary hawk and her comments suggest the central bank may be reluctant to end its quantitative easing program.  Suda also said the central bank may need to purchase additional asset types.  The Japanese government reported it may scale back its plan to reduce corporate taxes.  BoJ Governor Shirakawa spoke about the yen this week saying “In the short run, the appreciation of the yen depresses the revenue and profits of exporting firms. It should also be noted that the appreciation of the yen, from a longer-term perspective, has the positive effect of bringing about an improvement of the terms of trade through a decline in import prices.”  Shirakawa again vowed to take “appropriate action” on the yen and reiterated the Japanese economy is “pausing.”  Additionally, Shirakawa said he “doesn’t feel the need to change in a major manner our judgment that economic risks are roughly in balance.”  Data to be released in Japan overnight include Q3 capital spending and the November monetary base.   Data released in Japan this week saw November manufacturing PMI tick higher to 47.3 while October household spending was off 0.4% y/y. Also, the October jobless rate ticked higher to 5.1% and October industrial production was off 1.8% m/m and up 4.5% y/y.  October labour cash earnings slowed to +0.6% y/y.  Other data saw October housing starts up +6.4% y/y to an annualized rate of 813,000.  Also, October construction orders improved to -5.6% y/y.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.51% to close at ¥9,988.05.  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 ¥110.60 level and was supported around the ¥108.40 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥131.55 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥84.10 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6633 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6673.  Data released in China overnight saw November PMI manufacturing climb higher to 55.2 while the November HSBC manufacturing PMI reading ticked higher to 55.3.  People’s Bank of China adviser Xia Bin today reported the central bank will “take prudent and relatively tight monetary policy next year.”


The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today
as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5645 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5545 level.  Data released in the United Kingdom today saw November Nationwide house prices decline 0.3% m/m and climb 0.4% y/y.  Also, November PMI manufacturing climbed to 58.0 from the revised prior reading of 55.4.  Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Dale said the central bank is as “hard-nosed as ever” in hitting its consumer price inflation target, adding it is “not true” to say the MPC has “gone soft” on inflation.  Dale also said quarterly economic growth is “likely to be choppy.”  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5295 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.8415 level and was supported around the £0.8335 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 0.9985 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0065 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw November PMI improve to 61.8 from the prior reading of 59.2.  Data released in Switzerland this week saw the October consumption indicator climb to 1.716 from the revised prior reading of 1.695.  Other data to be released this week include November PMI, Q3 GDP, October retail sales, and November CPI.  Swiss National Bank Chairman Hildebrand this week reported banks must be disincentivized from returning to their old risk models of the past.  Last week, Hildebrand noted exchange rate moves are a “major challenge” to Switzerland.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0180 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.3185 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5590 level.


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