2013-03-12 07:50 (UTC)
XE Market Analysis
The USD firmed moderately in Asia today as stock markets corrected from recent gains. The saw EUR-USD ebb back towards 1.3000. USD-JPY logged a fresh three-and-a-half year peak to 96.71 before correcting to 96.25, which matched its Tuesday closing level. Cable drifted back under 1.4900, but remained shy of its major trend low of yesterday, which was logged at 1.4863. There were few strong leads during the Asia session. The Chinese stock market remained a notable underperformer, still reeling from the disappointing batch of China data that had come in over the weekend, which included the cocktail of softer production figures but perkier inflation. Japan released data today, including the tertiary index (service sector), which dove 1.1% m/m in January after the 1.1% rise in December, while the Q1 MoF Business Outlook survey improved to 1.0 after -5.5 in Q4, and the CGPI price gauge contracted 0.1% y/y.[EUR, USD]
EUR-USD ebbed to within a fraction of 1.3000 after closing yesterday in New York at 1.3043 bid. The 1.3000 level is reported to be a big option strike level with expiries seen there today and through the rest of the week, which in quiet trade could exert some gravitation pull on trade. Bids were reported into 1.2980, and at 124.50-60 in EUR-JPY. EUR-USD support is marked by last Friday's 1.2955 low, resistance at 1.3045-50.[USD, JPY]
USD-JPY made its fourth consecutive higher high today, reaching a new major-trend peak of 96.71 before settling under 96.40. Some more exporter selling was noted. Trailing sell stops were reported just under 96.00. Mixed Japanese data had little impact. Japan markets continue factor in the prospects of committed deflation-busting policies, with nominee governor Kuroda having said this week that the central bank will consider buying derivatives if he's confirmed as governor and also showing that it will be ready a quick expansion in monetary stimulus. This should help maintain relative yield spreads in favour of the bearish yen trend.[GBP, USD]
Cable moved under 1.4900, posting trend lows near 1.4865. A soft U.K. growth outlook continues to weigh on sterling, as government austerity does not help the economic picture. Some domestic GBP demand has been seen under 1.4900, though dealers report good selling interest in place at 1.4900-20. Cable is likely to see further downside, with the technical picture reflecting a market sentiment that continues to be distinctly bearish. Sterling close last week below 1.5000, the first daily or weekly close at these levels since the third quarter of 2010, having failed to sustain rebounds above 1.5000 during the latter part of last week. Today the pair is stuck about 15-20 pips above Friday's 1.4915 closing low. Resistance can be expected at 1.4955-60 (trendline) and particularly at 1.5000 (previous low-high pivot level).[USD, CHF]
EUR-CHF is posting a consolidation day after four straight days of higher highs, presently making time around 10 pips below Friday's closing bid level of 1.2369. Ditto for USD-CHF, after making a six-month peak on Friday. The CHF has been an underperformer lately, driven by rising risk appetite in global financial markets, which the Swiss currency correlates inversely to. Today, stock markets have corrected in Europe from last week's trend highs. Swiss retail sales data for January today were sub-forecasts at +1.9% y/y but had little market impact, and sales were perhaps due a correction after recent strong outcomes. Friday's CPI data, meanwhile, at -0.3% y/y, assured that the SNB will persist with its easy monetary policy and 1.2000 currency limit peg.[USD, CAD]
USD-CAD peaked over 1.0290 into the North American open, though headed steadily albeit modestly lower through the session. The pairing based near 1.0255 in light trade, largely as risk appetite had a positive tilt to it. With no data on either side of the border, focus remained on risk levels. Equities and oil prices were up moderately, keeping downward pressure on USD-CAD.