2013-03-21 08:17 (UTC)
XE Market Analysis
The dollar was a little easier, but overall it maintained Wednesday ranges ahead of more concrete news on Cyprus. The FOMC outcome was as-expected. The Fed maintained that rates would remain low and QE would continue for now. The statement indicated that economic growth returned to a moderate pace, but it wanted to see sustained improvement before shifting policy. In Asia, JPY maintained easier levels ahead of today's press conference from BoJ Governor Kuroda, who is expected to call for bold easing. China's HSBC flash manufacturing PMI reading rebounded from 50.4 in February to 51.7 in March, which was much stronger than expected and the first release not distorted by the Lunar New Year. In Europe, manufacturing PMI is the focus, along with developments in Cyprus.[EUR, USD]
EUR-USD continued to trade in close proximity to 1.2950. The downside was supported on optimism that Cyprus will raise the funds in order to get a bailout. After parliament rejected the deposit tax proposals it is seeking help from Russia, though no agreement has been reached yet. The president is expected to talk with party leaders this morning in order to discuss a new plan. EUR-JPY support on dips was a supportive influence ahead of Kuroda's first press conference as BoJ Governor. However, EUR-USD upside should continue to run into sellers ahead of 1.3000 unless there is a break through on Cyprus.[USD, JPY]
USD-JPY started the session on the front foot after the Japanese press said Kuroda is expected to make calls for bold easing when he speaks at 9:00GMT with Iwata and Nakaso. USD-JPY started the session above 96.00, but drifted lower on profit taking, leaving it around 95.75 by the Tokyo close. The downside should be limited from here, with bids anticipated into 95.20-30 and 95.00, where buyers were noted on Wednesday.[GBP, USD]
Cable was net firmer after the BoE minutes and the U.K. Budget statement on Wednesday. It traded out of 1.5030 to hit 1.5186 highs. The BoE were concerned over the impact from weaker sterling, while the main takeaway from the Budget was a new remit for the MPC, which will include intermediate thresholds on policy guidance. In respect of the Budget, the market welcomed the cut in corporation tax by 1% to 20% in 2015. A new employment allowance will cut national insurance bills. Stamp duty was also axed on shares traded on growth markets like Aim. A new housing scheme was also announced, with interest-free loans up to 20% of the value of new-build properties and a bank guarantee will underpin GBP 130 bln of new mortgage lending. Cable is still holding about 1.5100 today, but upward momentum slowed ahead of retail sales and U.K CBI data.[USD, CHF]
EUR-CHF is trading close to 1.2220 after it traded in lockstep with EUR-USD amid rising expectations that Cyprus will come up with another plan in order to get a bailout. It has to find EUR 5.8 bln, but could not pass the bank deposit tax and is currently in talks with Russia to provide aid. The majority of the funds deposited at Cyprus banks is believed to be from Russian investors. EUR-CHF should see limited upside until there is more certainty over Cyprus and sellers are expected to cap into 1.2230 and 1.2250.[USD, CAD]
USD-CAD held into the 1.0240 level, after moving mostly sideways overnight around 1.0250-60 overnight. Bids are noted from 1.0230, with offers at 1.0290-00 now. Ranges held up on Wednesday and into the FOMC announcement, which was ultimately a non-event. This is strong signal for more rangebound action today.