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Daily Market Commentary

Discussion in 'Forex Daily News & Outlook' started by gcitrading, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. gcitrading

    gcitrading Contributing Member

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    The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3665 level and was supported around the $1.3570 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the $1.3576 level, representing the 50.0% retracement of the $1.4281 - $1.2873 range. The common currency rallied on comments from European Central Bank member Mersch who reported “At the beginning of March you’ll have our first forecast in 2011 and if it’s true that what we see at the moment is only a temporary increase with a retreat at the end of the year below 2%, there’s no danger. However, there would have to be a rigorous intervention by the monetary authorities if across the second-round effects there’s the risk that this increase transforms itself into a plateau.” Traders intrepreted Mersch’s comments as being at least a little more hawkish than comments from ECB President Trichet last week following the ECB’s decision to keep policy unchanged. Mersch added the ECB would likely raise rates before completely unwinding its other unconventional easing measures including the purchase of peripheral eurozone sovereign debt and bank lending programs. The ECB continues to resist calls from Ireland to enact a “substantial discount” on €20 billion of unsecured Irish senior bank debt. To date, Ireland has injected about €46 billion into its banks to help capitalize them and upcoming Irish government elections on 25 February may see the new government seek to impose losses on senior bank bondholders in a burden-sharing arrangement. Also on the fiscal front, news emerged today that Italy is trying to block a German-driven initiative that would penalize eurozone members that fail to meet numerical debt reduction targets. Data released in Germany today saw December industrial production off 1.5% m/m and up 10.0% y/y. Also, the January Bank of France business sentiment index rallied to 110 from the prior reading of +107. In U.S. news, data released yesterday saw December consumer credit expand substantially to US$ 6.099 billion from the revised prior reading of US$ 2.00 billion. Data released today saw January NFIB Small Business Optimism improve to 94.1. Richmond Fed President Lacker spoke about the Fed’s US$ 600 billion U.S. Treasuries purchasing program saying “The distinct imporvement in the economic outlook since the program was initiated suggests taking that re-evaluation quite seriously. That re-evaluation will be challenging, because inflation is capable of accelerating, even if the level of economic activity has not yet returned to pre-recession trend.” Atlanta Fed President Lockhart speaks later today. Dallas Fed President Fisher yesterday indicated noted he is unlikely to support additional monetary accommodation beyond the US$ 600 billion Treasuries purchase plan. Fed Chairman Bernanke will testify before the House Budget Committee tomorrow. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3435 level.
    ¥/ CNY
    The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥82.00 figure and was capped around the ¥82.35 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just below the ¥82.38 level, representing the 50.0% retracement of the ¥80.24 – 84.50 range. Traders reacted to China’s latest monetary tightening announced overnight and the pair briefly traded below the ¥82.00 figure before European dealers lifted the pair from intraday lows. Data released in Japan overnight saw the January M2 money supply come in at +2.3% y/y in January, as expected. Also, January bank lending was off 1.9% y/y, slightly higher than the -2.1% y/y prior reading but still evidence of a decrease in demand for corporate funding. Third, the December current account total was up 30.5% y/y to ¥1.195 trillion as the December trade balance printed at ¥768.8 billion on a balance of payments basis. Fourth, January bankruptcies were off 2.1% y/y. Fifth, the January economy watchers’ survey current reading ticked lower to 44.3 while the outlook component improved significantly from 43.9 to 47.2. Data to be released tonight include January consumer confidence and January machine tool orders. Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa this week reported Japan should make “every effort to maintain the confidence shown by markets while working on mid-to long-term fiscal consolidation” and warned “no country can continue to run fiscal deficits forever.” Last month, Standard & Poor’s reduced Japan’s debt rating to AA-, the fourth highest ratings level. Shirakawa also said additional asset purchases “may be needed.” The Japanese government warned Japan’s public debt will probably reach to ¥997.7 trillion in the fiscal year starting in April. Regarding the economic outlook, Shirakawa noted “Recent data suggest that Japan’s economy looks like it is about to emerge from that pause. As far as short-term economic and financial developments are concerned, Japan’s situation is by no means worse than that of other advanced economies.” The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.41% to close at ¥10,635.98. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥112.20 level and was supported around the ¥111.60 level. The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥132.00 figure while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥85.90 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan today as the greenback closed at CNY 6.5860 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.5850. As expected, People’s Bank of China tightened monetary policy overnight by raising its benchmark one-year lending rate to 6.06% from 5.81%, effective tomorrow. This represents the central bank’s third rate hike since mid-October and came ahead of a forecast that may show inflation growth accelerated to its fastest pace in 30 months. China’s money supply has expanded more than 50% in two years and banks provided CNY 7.95 trillion of new loans in 2010, above the Chinese government’s CNY 7.5 trillion target. The one-year deposit rate will also rise to 3.00% from 2.75%. Even though China remains the fastest-growing major global economy, most dealers expect the Chinese economy will eventually slow on account of the ongoing rate hikes. Some China-watchers believe China has not raised borrowing costs quickly enough to contain price pressures and believe China has the ability to raise rates further given its economic growth rate is around 10%. Notably, China’s foreign exchange reserves expanded a record US$ 199 billion in Q4 to US$ 2.85 trillion.
    £

    The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.6025 level and was capped around the US$ 1.6160 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the $1.6153 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the $1.5750 – 1.6277 range. Sterling came off after U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne raised a tax on banks’ balance sheets by an extra £800 million. Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee is not expected to tighten monetary policy this week and will likely keep the benchmark Bank Rate unchanged at 0.50%. Two MPC members voted to tighten monetary policy last month and some dealers believe more members may join the call for a tighter policy this week. Inflation has remained above the central bank’s target for more than one year and reached 3.7% in December. Data released in the U.K. overnight saw the January RICS house price balance improve to -31% from the prior reading of -39%. Also, the BRC reported retail sales were up 2.3% y/y. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5965 level. The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.8490 level and was supported around the £0.8420 level.

    CHF
    The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 0.9575 level and was supported around the CHF 0.9520 level. Technically, today’s intraday high above the CHF 0.9556 level, representing the 50.0% retracement of the CHF 0.9783 – 0.9328 range. Data released in Switzerland today saw the January adjusted unemployment rate print at 3.5%, around its lowest level in nearly three years. January SECO consumer confidence and January consumer price inflation data will be released on Thursday. Data released in Switzerland last week saw January foreign currency reserves increase to CHF 207.9 billion and it is not believed Swiss National Bank conducted franc-selling intervention last month. Also, the December trade balance expanded to CHF 1.93 billion from the revised prior reading of CHF 1.79 billion. Swiss banking giant UBS last week reported it expects Swiss National Bank will begin raising its benchmark rate in June by 25bps to 0.5%, three months later than previously expected. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 0.9775 level. The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.3045 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.5345 level.
     
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