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Tuesday December 7, 2010 - 16:53:15 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (7 December 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3395 level and was supported around the $1.3275 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 61.8% retracement of the $1.2650 – 1.4280 range.  Eurozone finance ministers convened in Brussels yesterday to discuss ongoing fiscal problems in the bloc.  The European Union formally approved Ireland’s €85 billion financial rescue package for Ireland.  European policymakers remain deeply fractured about the possibility of expanding the European Union’s bailout fund and issuing debt jointly.  German Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy currently oppose an expansion of the €750 billion European Financial Stability Facility while Belgian finance minister Reynders and others eurozone officials favour an expansion.  Traders remain focused on eurozone sovereign credit issues faced by Portugal, Spain, and other highly indebted eurozone member states.  Most traders do not expect eurozone officials will agree to issue a joint eurozone bond at this time as larger countries like Germany and France argue smaller, highly indebted countries would just be using the bond to shift their problems and burdens to eurozone members that are more fiscally sound.  Reynders reported policymakers did not agree on a permanent crisis resolution mechanism yesterday and will deliberate the issue again later this month.  The European Central Bank was said to be bidding for Irish, Greek, and Portuguese bonds today.  Many dealers believe the lack of political cohesion in the eurozone will place a greater burden on the European Central Bank to provide financial assistance to troubled EMU-16 members. ECB member Wellink critically said “It is not up to the ECB to save countries which threaten to become insolvent, where big budget problems exist.  That is a responsibility for the government.  We are not in favour of taking on the risk of national economies onto our balance sheet…It is important that we are a lender that banks can turn to with collateral.”   German data released today saw October factory orders up 1.6% m/m and 17.9% y/y.  In U.S. news, data to be released today include October consumer credit followed by MBA mortgage applications tomorrow.  Richmond Fed President Lacker yesterday reported “The provision of further monetary stimulus at this point in the business cycle is not without risks.  Historical experience, including the inception of the great inflation of the 1970s, suggests central banks should be careful not to steer monetary policy off course by targeting the unemployment rate.”  Fed Chairman Bernanke this weekend was quoted as saying inflation fears associated with the Fed’s policy are “way overstated” and added the Fed may increase the size of its US$ 600 billion bond buying program if required in the future. 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 ¥82.80 level and was supported around the ¥82.35 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 50% retracement of the ¥80.25 – 84.40 range.  Speculation was renewed that Bank of Japan will adopt an easier monetary policy, especially after Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke was quoted this week as saying the Fed could expand its latest US$ 600 billion asset purchase plan further if need be.  Many dealers believe the BoJ does not want the exchange rate to decline below ¥80 and could expand its own asset purchase programs if required.  On 5 October, BoJ reduced its key overnight unsecured call rate to a range of 0% to 0.1% and announced it will purchase government and corporate debt to reduce borrowing costs.  Data released in Japan overnight saw November reserve assets decline to US$ 1.1101 trillion while the Q1 manpower survey ticked higher to 7.0 from 6.0.  Also, the October coincident index fell to 100.7 while the October leading index moved lower to 97.2.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.26% to close at ¥10,141.10.  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 ¥110.65 level and was supported around the ¥109.55 level.  The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥130.70 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥84.70 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6457 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6487.  Data released in China overnight saw the Q1 manpower survey fall to 38% from the prior reading of 51%.  Inflationary pressures remain significantly elevated in China where the money supply is estimated to have expanded 19% y/y in November.  Many economists are already forecasting China will tolerate inflation above 4% in 2011, a three-year high, while gross domestic product growth is likely to come in around 9.2% next year.  Many traders believe People’s Bank of China will lift its one-year lending rate and one-year deposit rate next year to counter strong inflationary pressures with possible hikes before the end of 2010.   China’s benchmark seven-day repurchase rate fell 1.01% to 2.08%, its sharpest slide since December 2007.  China will likely hold its annual conference to discuss monetary and fiscal policies for 2011 on 10-12 December.  Many traders expect PBoC will lift interest rates multiple times next year as China moves policy to a “prudent” level from a “moderately loose” stance.  PBoC adviser Xia Bin said he expects new loan targets in 2011 will be around ¥7.1 trillion, a reduction partially designed to reduce inflationary pressures in the economy. 


The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today
as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5820 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5700 figure.  Stops were reached above the $1.5800 figure, representing the 50% retracement of the $1.5300 - $1.6300 range.  Data released in the U.K. today saw October industrial production off 0.2% m/m and up 3.3% y/y while October manufacturing production was up 0.6% m/m and 5.8% y/y.  The November NIESR GDP estimate will be released later during the North American session and the BRC November shop price index will be released during the Australasian session. The British Chamber of Commerce yesterday reported Bank of England will be forced to increase its asset purchase plan by the middle of 2011 on account of the risks of a “setback” to economic growth.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5295 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.8480 level and was supported around the £0.8445 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 0.9755 level and was capped around the CHF 0.9835 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 50.0% retracement of the CHF 1.0275 – 0.9460 range.  Data released in Switzerland today saw November unemployment tick higher to 3.6% from 3.5% in October.  Adjusted for seasonal variations, the November unemployment rate is the lowest since May 2009.  Data released in Switzerland yesterday saw November foreign currency reserves climb to CHF 212.4 billion from the prior level of CHF 211.9 billion.  Swiss National Bank is expected to keep monetary policy unchanged when its next rate decision is announced later this month.   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 offers around the CHF 1.3090 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5410 level.


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