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Friday December 3, 2010 - 00:05:27 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (2 December 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3245 level and was supported around the $1.3060 level. The common currency moved lower during the North American session before dealers lifted it higher to intraday highs in a very abrupt move.  Data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims up 436,000 from a revised prior level of 410,000 while continuing jobless claims moved higher and printed at 4.27 million.  Also, October pending home sales were stronger-than-expected at +10.4% m/m and -22.4% y/y.  Traders will pay very close attention to tomorrow’s November non-farm payrolls data.  Many forecasts are focusing on total jobs growth around 150,000 last month and an unchanged unemployment rate around 10.6%.  Private payrolls are expected to remain mostly unchanged from last month’s +159,000 level.  Other data to be released tomorrow include November average hourly earnings, November services ISM, and October factory orders. Philadelphia Fed President Plosser reported “One cost of expanding the Fed’s balance sheet is that it will complicate our exit strategy from a very accommodative monetary policy, when that time comes.”  Plosser also said the Fed may find itself “at risk for substantial inflation” and added he is “still somewhat skeptical that we will see much of a stimulative effect from the new round of purchases.” St. Louis Fed President Bullard reported “dollar depreciation is a normal byproduct of an easier monetary policy” and said the recent increase in market interest rates does not mean the Fed’s quantitative easing policies are failing.  The Fed’s Beige Book was released this week and reported the U.S. economy “continued to improve, on balance, during the reporting period from early/ mid-October to mid-November.” In eurozone news, EMU-16 Q3 gross domestic product was up 0.4% q/q and 1.9% y/y while October producer price inflation was up 0.4% m/m and 4.4% y/y. As expected, the European Central Bank kept its main refinancing rate unchanged at 1.00% today.  ECB President Trichet said he is not against increasing the size of the European Stability Fund from its current €750 billion level.  Trichet also said eurozone governments cannot have “benign neglect” on fiscal policy.  ECB member Weber said the German economy may reach “pre-crisis levels within a year.”  French data released today saw Q3 unemployment tick lower to 9.3%.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3075 level. 

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥84.35 level and was supported around the ¥83.95 level.  North American dealers lifted the pair higher from intraday lows.  Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Nishimura reported funding conditions remain tight but are easing. Yesterday, 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 released in Japan overnight saw the November monetary base climb 7.6% y/y while Q3 capital spending was up 5.0%.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.81% to close at ¥10,168.52.  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 ¥111.20 level and was supported around the ¥110.05 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥130.80 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥84.40 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6613 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6633.  Data to be released in China overnight include November services PMI.  Speculation continued that People’s Bank of China will continue to lift interest rates higher to reduce inflation pressures. 


The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today
as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5540 level and was capped around the US$ 1.5665 level.  Data released in the U.K. today saw November construction PMI improve to 51.8 from the prior reading of 51.6.  November services PMI data will be released tomorrow.  Bank of England Governor King is facing calls for his resignation following commentary that he has become too political and damaged the central bank’s independence via the May Inflation report.  Data released in the United Kingdom this week 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 this week 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 £0.8465 level and was supported around the £0.8390 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 0.9885 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0055 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw Q3 gross domestic product up 0.7% q/q and 3.0% y/y while October retail sales were up 3.5% y/y.  November consumer price inflation data will be released tomorrow.  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 depreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.3110 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5525 level.


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