XE Market Analysis: Europe - Feb 28, 2013
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EUR-USD was supported on dips following yesterday's short squeeze. EUR-JPY demand was the catalyst for a move on 1.3160 after it was unable to sustain levels under 1.3050. The improvement in risk appetite helped the EUR tone, but there is also mild optimism that Italy will move through the current political instability without the eurozone going through another meltdown. Yesterday's Italian auctions saw relatively good demand, albeit with higher refinancing costs, while economic fundamentals in the region as a whole are also still improving.
USD-JPY and the JPY crosses were well supported throughout. Japanese importers were notable buyers over the Tokyo fix, while over the course of the session Japanese investment flows were noted in both the dollar pairing and EUR-JPY. The cross traded up to 121.80 during the Asian morning and then pulled back to 121.10, where short term buyers were noted. AUD and NZD saw good retail interest after longs were more confident in these currencies after the clear out in recent sessions. Japan Finance Minister Aso rule out BoJ foreign bond buying, which could be seen as intervention, but added that it is still eyeing FX closely.
Cable maintained a supportive tone following yesterday's grind higher, which left it just shy of 1.5200. It pulled back by the N.Y. afternoon to 1.5120, but found buyers on dips, leaving it over 1.5150 today. News that Vodafone may delay its approach for Kabel Deutschland triggered some unwinding of speculative short positions. There was also added benefit from U.K. Q4 GDP, which was revised up to +0.3% y/y from a flat reading previously. Economic data releases out of the U.K. have been more encouraging since the start of the year, but Cable has tended to trend lower due to BoE policy expectations. However, we are now at levels where a short term base may be building.
EUR-CHF moved back over 1.2200 after Wednesday's European close and has consolidated gains overnight, with EUR-USD on a firmer footing. Most of the action since early in the week has been dominated by repositioning after EUR was severely oversold on the daily chart in the wake of the uncertain Italian election outcome. The market is now taking a slightly more optimistic view and believes that the eurozone will not return to crisis levels from last year. This should keep EUR-CHF steady and buyers are likely into 1.2200 and 1.2180 in the near-term.
USD-CAD headed back to 1.0220 overnight after a rise in risk appetite triggered good demand for the commodity bloc currencies. USD-CAD has scope on the downside after longs played the range after 1.0300 capped on Wednesday. It pulled back from 1.0275-80 and may test bids at 1.0200 if risk appetite can hold up.
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