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Thursday August 5, 2010 - 21:49:03 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (5 August 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3235 level and was supported around the $1.3120 level.  The common currency tested the $1.3120 level, representing the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.5140 to $1.1875, and moved higher to erase some of yesterday’s losses.  Traders were surprised by a weaker-than-expected print in U.S. weekly initial jobless claims of 479,000, up from the revised prior result of 460,000.  Continuing jobless claims moved lower to 4.537 million from a revised 4.571 million.  Other data saw July ICSC chain store sales tick lower to +2.8% from 3.0%.  Tomorrow’s release of July non-farm payrolls data will be closely scrutinized to see if the U.S. labour market improved early in the second half of the year.  Forecasts are focusing on job losses of 65,000 last month and are waiting to see if June’s -125,000 result is revised.  The unemployment rate is expected by many to tick higher to 9.6%.  Average hourly earnings data and average weekly hours worked data will also be closely watched.  The Federal Open Market Committee convenes next week and is not expected to alter monetary policy.  Some Fed-watchers believe the Fed may eventually be forced to buy more assets at a time when it is trying to shrink its balance sheet.  In eurozone news, the European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged today, as expected, with the main refinancing rate steady at 1.0%.  ECB President Trichet cautioned eurozone economic growth will remain “relatively modest” and said the economy is progressing better-than-expected.  Trichet said early economic data for the third quarter are improving from second quarter data.  Many banks expect the ECB to keep official rates unchanged through the end of next year.  The ECB will release revised economic projections in September and there is a chance the projections will be narrowly upgraded.  Data released in the eurozone today saw German factory orders climb 3.2% m/m and 24.6% y/y and June industrial production data will be released tomorrow.  Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.3505 level. 


¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥85.70 level and was capped around the ¥86.45 level.  Traders continue to test the ¥85 handle amid speculation Japanese monetary authorities may conduct yen selling-intervention to prevent the pair from moving back that level. Some policymakers have warned the stronger yen is having a negative impact on the economy while BoJ Deputy Governor Yamaguchi reported on 21 July that companies are able to contend with the yen’s strength better now than last year.  Policymakers, however, are expected to discuss what their policy responses might be if the yen continues to appreciate and the global economy decelerates.  July official reserve assets will be released overnight along with the June leading index and June coincident index.  Bank of Japan is expected to keep monetary policy unchanged next week when the Policy Board convenes on 10 August.  Finance minister Noda this week verbally intervened against the yen’s recent appreciation, noting moves have been “a bit one-sided.” Noda reported “Our basic stance is that disorderly and excessive currency movements are undesirable and can have a negative impact on the stability of the economy and finance.”  He added he will “continue to monitor developments in markets more carefully.” The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 1.73% to close at ¥9,653.92.  U.S. dollar bids are cited around the ¥85.30 level.   The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥112.75 level and was capped around the ¥113.90 level.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥135.75 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥82.50 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.7714 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.7736.  The government is said to have instructed banks to conduct stress tests to quantify the potential impact of a 60% slide in real estate prices.  People’s Bank of China reported “there is still a need to strengthen the management of inflation expectations.” 


The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5920 level and was supported around the US$ 1.5820 level. As expected, Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee kept its main Bank rate target unchanged at 0.50% and kept its asset purchase target unchanged at £200 billion.  Data to be released tomorrow include July input and output data, June industrial production, and June manufacturing production.  Yields on ten-year gilts reached their lowest level in fifteen months.  The BoE’s quarterly inflation report will be released on Wednesday.  Earlier this week, former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee members Gieve and Goodhart warned interest rates in the U.K. will move higher more sharply and earlier than expected.  Gieve noted he “wouldn’t at all be surprised to see interest rates at 2.5% a year from now,” adding the Bank will want to normalize policy “more quickly” when the recovery is established.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5640 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.8325 level and was supported around the £0.8275 level.



The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0410 level and was capped around the CHF 1.0540 level.  Swiss National Bank reported its foreign reserves declined for a second consecutive month in July, an indication the central bank may be paring the massive amount of euro it accumulated during franc-selling interventions earlier this year.   Data to be released in Switzerland tomorrow include the July unemployment rate.  Data released in Switzerland this week saw July consumer price inflation off 0.7% m/m and up 0.4% y/y while June retail sales declined to +0.9% y/y from the revised prior print of +3.9% y/y.  Also, the July PMI manufacturing survey improved to 66.9 from the prior reading of 65.7 and the SNB July quarterly KOF employment indicator improved to 11.2 from a revised 3.8 in April.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0980 level.  The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids  around the CHF 1.3750 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.6565 level.


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