Daily Forex Analysis by Finexo.com 03/05/2010

Past events:

• USD Advance GDP q/q out at 3.2%, versus expected 3.4%, prior 5.6% (revised down)
• EUR CPI Flash Estimate y/y out at 1.5%, versus expected 1.4%, prior 1.4% (revised down)
• EUR Unemployment Rate out at 10.0%, expected 10.0%, prior 10.0%
• CAD GDP q/q out at 0.3%, versus expected 0.5%, prior 0.6%
• CHF KOF Barometer out at 1.99, versus expected 1.99, prior 1.96
• AUD HPI q/q out at 4.8%, versus expected 3.2%, prior 5.1%

Upcoming Events:

• USD Core PCE Price Index Index m/m (1330GMT)
• USD Personal Spending m/m (1330GMT)
• USD ISM Manufacturing PMI (1500GMT)
• AUD Cash Rate (tomorrow 0530GMT)

Market Commentary:

Greece seals bailout deal, but Euro continues to fall

The Euro fell from a one-week high against the U.S Dollar on concern that the €110 billion-euro ($146 billion) bailout package for Greece will fail to contain the region’s sovereign-debt crisis. The single European currency declined for the first time in four days against the U.S Dollar and Japanese Yen as EU leaders prepare to meet on May 7th to discuss the timeline of the parliamentary approval for loans to Greece, and as Germany plans to debate the plan on the same day. In the Asian trading session this morning, the Euro dropped to $1.32047 from $1.32934 on Friday’s close, and down as much as 1.12% from yesterday’s high of $1.33595. The EUR/JPY struck a low of 123.977, down 1.17% from yesterday’s high of 125.450, and down 0.63% from Friday’s close.

Yesterday, Greek officials finalized a deal with the European Union and the IMF that will give Greece access to a muti-billion euro financial bailout. Greek officials agreed to budget cuts worth €30 billion ($40 billion), on top of measures already agreed and aimed at reducing the nation’s colossal budget deficit. The aid package, expected to total up to €110 over three years, represents the first rescue of a member of the 16-nation euro zone. On Sunday, the finance ministers of 16-euro nations agreed that the 15 other countries would lend €80 billion over three years. The IMF will, in parallel, offer a €30 billion package.

The Euro dropped for a fifth month versus the greenback in April, the longest stretch of losses since November 2008 as fear escalated that Europe’s deficit crisis would spread. Last week, the 16-nation Euro touched $1.311531, the lowest level since April 2009, when Standard & Poor’s cut Spain’s credit rating was cut from AA+ to AA, a sign that the debt crisis is spreading. It fell below $1.32 the previous day for the first time in a year after S&P sliced Greece’s credit rating to junk and lowered Portugal’s to the third-lowest investment grade.

In the United States, a report showing the economy grew at a slightly slower-than-expected pace in the first quarter had little impact on the greenback. Despite the below-forecast headline number, analysts said the GDP report shows signs of an improving economy. On Friday, the Advance GDP showed that the economy expanded by 3.2%, slightly slower than the predicted 3.4%, and significantly smaller than the 5.6% growth seen in the last quarter of 2009. On Friday, the USD/JPY hit a high of 94.569, before settling back down to close the week at 93.837, 0.17% below its opening price. The USD was up against the British Pound, closing the week at $1.52584, up 0.55% from the day’s opening price.

Later today, the US will release the ISM Manufacturing PMI – a survey of 400 purchasing managers which asks respondents to rate the relative level of business conditions including employment, production, new orders, prices, supplier deliveries, and inventories. The US manufacturing sector has shown very good signs of recovery. In the past 8 months, the result has been above 50, indicating economic expansion. After surprising last month and reaching 59.6, further gains aren’t expected this time.

Across the border, Canada’s dollar registered its biggest weekly drop since January. The Loonie fell for the first time three days on Friday, depreciating 1.38% against the U.S Dollar to close the week at C$1.01768. The currency also tumbled against the Euro and the Yen as a plunge in stocks outweighed data showing that Canada’s economy expanded. Stats Canada reported on Friday that Gross Domestic Product grew by 0.3% in February from January, the sixth consecutive monthly increase, pushed higher by stronger manufacturing and the Olympics.

The Canadian currency gained last week as speculations increased that the BOC would raise the interest rates, possibly as early as June 1st. At their last meeting, the BOC held the benchmark at its current record low level of 0.25%, but dropped the conditional commitment to hold it there through June – spurring rapid gains in the Canadian Dollar. However, last week, Mark Carney, the central bank governor, modified his language slightly hastening speculations that the markets had been pricing in too much chance of an increase as the June 1 rate meeting.

Down under in Australia, house prices rose the most since 2003, in the three months through March. An index measuring the weighted average of prices for established houses in the eight capital cities climbed 20 percent from a year earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney this morning. House prices rose 4.8% in the first quarter from the previous three months, when they gained 5.2%, according to the figures released this morning. The 20% annual gain was the biggest since March 2003 in a quarterly series that began a year earlier. The Aussie touched a high 0.92624USD following the release of the report, up 0.22% from Friday’s close of 0.92419USD

Surging property prices are a key reason that Governor Glenn Stevens is predicted to raise the central bank’s benchmark lending rate tomorrow by 0.25bps to 4.5%, the sixth increase in seven meetings.

Written by Finexo.com