The euro fell vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3160 level and was capped around the US$ 1.3285 level. Traders will pay close attention to the Group of Twenty meeting in London on 2 April amid widespread doubt as to how much officials can realistically expect to accomplish this week. One key theme being watched closely is any indication that Europe will not give in to the Obama administration's putative calls for more fiscal stimulus. Another key theme this week will be any sort of reaction to China's and Russia's calls for a new international reserve currency, possibly to the detriment of the U.S. dollar. The Obama administration is said to be forcing General Motors Chief Executive Officer Wagoner to step down from his post with one report suggesting the government believes a “quick and surgical bankruptcy” may be the best way to rescue the ailing company. In eurozone news, European Central Bank President Trichet is scheduled to speak later in the day. The European Commission's economic sentiment indicator for the eurozone fell to 64.6 in March from 65.3 in February - the lowest print since 1985 as the new orders sub-index fell to -57. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3245 level.
The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥95.95 level and was capped around the ¥98.30 level. Data released in Japan overnight saw February industrial output off 9.4% m/m, worse-than-expected and marginally better than January's record 10.2% pullback in the sector. Notably, exports were off 49% y/y in February and these data may collectively force the Aso government to broaden the fiscal stimulus plan it is availing to counter the massive recession in Japan. Other data saw the trade balance print at ¥217.26 billion between 1 - 10 March. Japan's fiscal year ends tomorrow. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 4.53% to close at ¥8,236.08. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥104.15 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥126.40 level and was capped around the ¥130.55 level. The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥135.70 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥83.40 level. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8331 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8280. Chinese ambassador to the U.K. said China is not calling for a replacement of the U.S. dollar.
The British pound weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.4110 level and was capped around the $1.4295 level. Data released in the United Kingdom overnight saw February net lending to individuals increase to â‚¤1.3 billion and February mortgage approvals reached their highest level in nine months, up to 38,000 from 32,000 in January. Overall mortgage lending activity expanded to â‚¤1.5 billion in February from â‚¤1.1 billion in January. Additionally, M4 money supply growth rose 18.7% in February. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.4085 level. The euro rallied vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers round the â‚¤0.9340 level and was supported around the â‚¤0.9275 level.
The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.1515 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1440 level. Swiss National Bank is expected to continue pursing quantitative easing measures by conducting franc-selling intervention in the foreign exchange markets. U.S. dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.1165 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5125 level while the British pound lost ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 1.6230 level.
The Australian dollar moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.6765 level and was capped around the $0.6925 level. Data released in Australia overnight saw HIA new home sales up 3.9% m/m. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.6690 level.
The Canadian dollar came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.2535 level and was supported around the C$ 1.2380 level. Bank of Canada Governor Carney speaks today. U.S. dollar bids are cited around the C$ 1.2065 level