2013-02-20 20:07 (UTC)
XE Market Analysis
The dollar trended higher through the morning session, as stocks faded on decreased risk taking activity. U.S. January PPI was tame in the headline, while housing starts dipped more than expected, and put some pressure on stocks. Commodities lost heavy ground on talk of a large commodity fund in trouble. The commodity declines were led by gold, which fell over $37 to $1570. After a relatively quiet FX start, the pace of dollar gains picked up after the release of the FOMC minutes, which had elements of dissent over the duration of QE, as expected, though this was mostly offset by voices warning against ending QE too early and even one in favor of lowering the jobless rate threshold to add more stimulus. EUR-USD touched lows under 1.3270, USD-JPY traded briefly over 94.00, while cable made new trend lows under 1.5200.[EUR, USD]
EUR-USD traded to session lows under 1.3340, after the 60 level gave way. Intra day stops were triggered, though follow through was limited into the FOMC minutes. Early talk of bids at 50-60 never really materialized, which likely exacerbated the selling interest. Accounts had been seen buying in the 60's, and when it broke, were quick to dump positions. In the aftermath of the FOMC minutes, the pairing moved through stops at 1.3320, on its way to lows near 1.3275. The euro remained heavy into the close.[USD, JPY]
USD-JPY pushed back over 93.75 on U.S. account demand from the 93.50 region. JPY corrected to the 93.15 area overnight, but offshore fund names are still gambling on Japanese policy risk. Iwata, who is a potential candidate for the BoJ Governor role and currently professor of economics at Gakushuin University, said that Abe's policies are moving in a good direction, but he has not heard anything about BoJ nomination. Iwata said today that the BoJ isn't doing enough to end deflation and it should buy JGBs with longer maturities. USD-JPY popped from the 93.70 region to highs of 94.04 where Japanese offers returned.[GBP, USD]
GBP plunged after BoE voted 6-3 for unchanged policy. King, Miles and Fisher voted for more quantitative easing, which fueled a Cable drop from 1.5440 to just under 1.5300, which are new trend lows. EUR-GBP also jumped from 0.8690 to just over 0.8760 after option barriers at 0.8750 gave way. Cable backed up from trend lows of 1.5281 as profit taking went through, leaving it just in front of 1.5300. The slightly steadier Cable tone came specifically on EUR-GBP profit taking by European names, which fueled a move into 0.8730 from earlier highs just over 0.8760. Sellers kept the pairing from rising much avobe 1.5300, and following the general dollar rally post-FOMC minutes, sterling plummeted to 1.5193 lows from near 1.5275.[USD, CHF]
EUR-CHF ran into good selling pressure after it started the session close to 1.2350 following yesterday's comments from SNB's Jordan after the European close. SNB's Jordan gave EUR-CHF a boost from 1.2340 to the 1.2355-60 region after he said the Bank will enforce the EUR-CHF floor (1.2000) with the "utmost determination", adding the SNB's FX policy is focused on ensuring prices stability. He said the Bank's current policies are accepted by the IMF, and by global central banks. Local names were keen to sell over 1.2350 and it headed back to the 1.2330 region, which was compounded to a degree by an early stop hunt in USD-CHF to 0.9185 lows, but it backed up on U.S. custodial account offers in EUR-USD on upticks. Overall, EUR-CHF is still likely to hold steady in front of 1.2300, but USD and EUR fluctuations are leaving it sidelined to a degree. USD-CHF popped to 0.9285 highs from 0.9240, while the cross dipped slightly to 1.2320.[USD, CAD]
USD-CAD continued to climb, moving over 1.0170 to seven month highs. Barrier options at 1.0150 were lightly defended, though once they gave way, another round of short covering stepped in. Sellers are reported at 1.0180 to 1.0200, with large stops seen over the figure. The pairing peaked near 1.0175, though remained bid into the close, with dip buying noted from 1.0150.