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FOREX: Franc Falls, NZ Dollar Gains as Oil Drop Stokes Risky Assets

FOREX: Franc Falls, NZ Dollar Gains as Oil Drop Stokes Risky Assets

2011-03-08 06:55:00
Ilya Spivak, Sr. Currency Strategist
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Overnight Headlines

  • Swiss Franc Follows Oil Lower, NZ Dollar Outperforms on Easing Crisis in Libya
  • Japan’s Current Account Surplus Shrinks as Exports Grow Least in 14 Months
  • UK House Prices Improve as Forecast, Retail Sales Unexpectedly Slump in February

Critical Levels

CCY

SUPPORT

RESISTANCE

EURUSD

1.3912

1.4030

GBPUSD

1.6084

1.6286

The Euro edged higher in overnight trade as the rebound in risk appetite nudged the US Dollar lower but prices failed to recapture the 1.40 figure. The British Pound tracked sideways in a narrow range near the 1.62 level. We remain short NZDUSD.

Asia Session: What Happened

GMT

CCY

EVENT

ACT

EXP

PREV

21:45

NZD

Value of All Buildings (4Q)

1.1%

-

-3.2%

23:00

NZD

QV House Prices (YoY) (FEB)

-1.7%

-

-1.5%

23:50

JPY

Japan Money Stock M2 (YoY) (FEB)

2.4%

2.3%

2.3%

23:50

JPY

Japan Money Stock M3 (YoY) (FEB)

1.8%

1.8%

1.8%

23:50

JPY

Bank Lending Banks Adjustments (YoY) (FEB)

-1.7%

-

-1.6%

23:50

JPY

Bank Lending Banks ex-Trust (YoY) (FEB)

-2.0%

-1.8%

-1.9%

23:50

JPY

Bank Lending incl Trusts (YoY) (FEB)

-1.8%

-1.8%

23:50

JPY

Current Account Total (¥) (JAN)

461.9B

470.0B

1195.3B

23:50

JPY

Adjusted Current Account Total (¥) (JAN)

1089.2B

1167.0B

1518.6B (R-)

23:50

JPY

Current Account Balance (YoY) (JAN)

-47.60%

-47.60%

30.50%

23:50

JPY

Trade Balance - BOP Basis (¥) (JAN)

-394.5B

-371.8B

768.8B

0:01

GBP

RICS House Price Balance (FEB)

-26%

-26%

-31%

0:01

GBP

BRC Retail Sales Monitor (YoY) (FEB)

-0.4%

0.7%

2.3%

0:01

CNY

China Manpower Survey (2Q)

29%

-

38%

0:01

AUD

Australia Manpower Survey (2Q)

23%

-

21%

0:01

NZD

New Zealand Manpower Survey (2Q)

18%

-

16%

0:30

AUD

NAB Business Conditions (FEB)

-2

-

-6

0:30

AUD

NAB Business Confidence (FEB)

14

-

4

1:00

JPY

Japan Manpower Survey (2Q)

10

-

8 (R+)

4:30

JPY

Bankruptcies (YoY) (FEB)

-9.4%

-

-2.1%

5:00

JPY

Eco Watchers Survey: Outlook (FEB)

47.2

-

47.2

5:00

JPY

Eco Watchers Survey: Current (FEB)

48.4

-

44.3

The Swiss Franc slumped while the New Zealand Dollar outperformed as a rebound in risk appetite weighed on the safe haven currency while boosting its sentiment-geared counterpart. The MSCI Asia Pacific regional benchmark stock index rebounded after yesterday’s sharp selloff as oil prices fell amid signs the Libyan conflict may inching toward a resolution, alleviating fears that increasingly expensive crude will derail the global recovery. The WTI contract fell as much as 1.45 percent after separate reports suggested Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi a conditional truce (whereby he would leave the country) to rebel forces while other OPEC members pledged to join Saudi Arabia in boosting output to ease recent supply disruptions.

On the data front, Japan’s Current Account surplus narrowed to 461.9 billion yen in January as export growth slumped to the slowest in 14 months, with overseas sales adding just 2.9 percent from the previous year. A gauge of UK House Prices improved in line with expectations but Retail Sales slumped according to a report from the British Retail Consortium, with receipts down 0.4 percent from the previous year in February. BRC Director General Stephen Robertson said the release represents a “more realistic” picture of the current retail environment after a one-off boost in January ahead of an increase in VAT (a consumption tax).

Euro Session: What to Expect

GMT

CCY

EVENT

EXP

PREV

IMPACT

6:45

CHF

Unemployment Rate (FEB)

3.7%

3.8%

Medium

6:45

CHF

Unemployment Rate s.a. (FEB)

3.4%

3.5%

Medium

7:30

EUR

Bank of France Business Sentiment (FEB)

110

110

Low

7:45

EUR

French Trade Balance (€) (JAN)

-5.1B

-5.1B

Low

11:00

EUR

German Factory Orders n.s.a. (YoY) (JAN)

15.6%

19.7%

Low

11:00

EUR

German Factory Orders s.a. (MoM) (JAN)

2.5%

-3.4%

Low

Stock index futures tracking the major European bourses are pointing firmly higher, hinting the rebound in risk appetite noted overnight is set to carry forward into the coming session. On balance, this points to continued losses for the sentiment-linked New Zealand Dollar at the expense of safe havens like the Swiss Franc and Japanese Yen.

German Factory Orders data stands out on an otherwise uneventful economic calendar, with expectations calling for the annual growth rate to hit the lowest reading in four months. The trend in orders has been pointing lower since topping out in April, with today’s outcome threatening to temper buoyant ECB rate hike expectations (and thereby the Euro), reminding investors that underlying growth in the Euro Zone core is not as rosy as priced-in tightening expectations seem to suggest.

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