July 11th, 2010 20:26:31 GMT

ForexLive Asian market open: all eyes on ESP/NLG cross

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That’s the Spanish Peseta against the Dutch Guilder for you post-EUR people out there. The World Cup final is scoreless and the FX market is equally uneventful with all of the majors trading close to their NY closing levels in early interbank trade.

Good luck today.

9 Comments

July 11th, 2010 12:15:59 GMT

NHK: Japan Ruling Parties Seen Losing Majority in Upper House

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TOKYO (MNI) – The ruling coalition led by the Democratic Party of
Japan appears to have lost a majority in the House of Councillors after
Sunday’s parliamentary elections, public broadcaster NHK projected based
on its exit polls.

But NHK also reported that Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who heads the
DPJ, told his aides that he will stay in power regardless of the results
of the elections in order to continue pursuing sustained economic growth
and more stable social security.

Opinion polls by news media leading up to Sunday’s elections had
indicated that the DPJ-led coalition were unlikely to maintain its
majority in the upper house and would have to ask small parties to join
the coalition.

Of the 242 seats in the House of Councillors, 121 were up for
grabs, including 73 in prefectural districts and 48 proportional
representation seats.

The ruling coalition led by the DPJ, which still holds a majority
in the more powerful lower house, is estimated to have gained only 44 to
51 seats in the upper house in addition to its 66 uncontested seats,
according to NHK’s projections.

The estimated total — in a range of 110 to 117 — would fall short
of the majority of 122 seats in the upper house.

In the House of Representatives, the DPJ holds 310 seats, easily
clearing a majority of the 480-seat chamber without support of other
parties, but in the House of Councillors, the DPJ and its small ally
held only 122 seats before Sunday’s elections, a tight majority of the
242-seat chamber.

The ruling coalition’s majority in the House of Representatives
allows it to push its national budget through parliament without upper
house consent. However, all other bills have to be approved by the upper
chamber to become law.

In the last upper house election in 2007, the DPJ, which was the
main opposition party at the time, scored a landslide win and secured a
majority in the chamber together with other parties in the opposition
camp.

After a sweeping victory in the last lower house elections in
August 2009, the DPJ took power away from the then ruling coalition led
by the Liberal Democratic Party, creating a non-LDP government for the
first time in 15 years. The LDP had ruled the country since 1955 except
for a brief eight-month period through early April 1994.

But the DPJ has had its own crises since last September when its
then leader Yukio Hatoyama took office as prime minister.

In June Hatoyama resigned after less than nine months in power. He
took the blame for the plunging public approval of the administration
and the departure of one of the two small ruling coalition partners. He
sacked the head of the Social Democratic Party as a cabinet minister
over policy differences regarding a controversial U.S. air base.

The DPJ has failed to keep its election campaign promise of
relocating the Futenma U.S. Air Base somewhere outside the prefecture or
even outside the country.

The party has also suffered political funding scandals involving
both Hatoyama and Ichiro Ozawa, the conservative politician who was
number two at the DPJ and had been the driving force behind major
election wins for the party.

After taking over from Hatoyama, Kan said he would push for a
policy of achieving a combination of strong economic growth, fiscal
consolidation and social security.

During the upper house election campaigns, Kan called for
parliamentary debate on the need to raise the 5% sales tax in order to
secure a stable funding source for additional public spending on job
creation, which he said should help Japan move out of stubborn
deflation.

Kan mentioned an idea of hiking the sales tax rate to 10% in the
medium term, which appeared to have come as an abrupt proposal to some
voters, prompting the public approval rating for the Kan administration
to slump.

Japan’s consumption (sales) tax took effect on April 1, 1989, with
an initial 3% rate on goods and services. In April 1997, then prime
minister Ryutaro Hashimoto raised it to 5%, following the decision to do
so by the previous government.

msato@marketnews.com
** Market News International Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-5403-4833 **

[TOPICS: M$J$$$,M$A$$$,MGJ$$$,MT$$$$]

1 Comment

July 9th, 2010 20:22:20 GMT

ForexLive US wrap-up: EUR rally stalls

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EUR/USD was sold from the outset in New York with the market frustrated at the euro’s inability to maintain levels above trendline resistance at 1.2710. Also contributing to the early slide was expected demand from the Bank of Korea for EUR/USD to diversify some of the $2 bln dollars bought overnight against the Won. That demand came to late for many of the specs, who hammered EUR.USD down to 1.2609 before it could rebound. Heavy sales in the 1.2620s were absorbed on the way back up in EUR/USD (Asian central bank buying? May have been…) which prompted intraday shorts to cover. Selling from US real money accounts toward 1.2660 capped EUR/USD for the balance of the session despite a nice rally in risky assets late in the day.

USD/JPY managed a late day rally, along with stocks and commodities. It reached the 88.65 area after spending most of the day in a narrow range around 88.50. Exporter offers are eyed at 88.70/75, traders say.EUR/JPY rallied above 112 late in the day as risk aversion eased further.

GBP/USD performed weakly late in London and that weakness extended through the US afternoon. EUR/GBP managed to rally toward 0.8400 late in the day, and with EUR/USD capped, the only place for cable to go was lower. It triggered stops below the 1.5080 level and more below 1.5060, falling as low as 1.5053. Important EUR/GBP resistance looms above the market at 0.8420/25 level.

CAD was the star performer among the commodity currencies today after an astonishingly strong Canadian employment report Friday morning.  Real money buying of the Loonie drove the USD to 1.0294. It closes at 1.03335 with the market once again pricing in a series of BOC rate hikes.

AUD/USD was supported by its own strong employment report Thursday as well as the general rally in risk seen for the bulk of he week. It ends near highs for the week, at 0.8780.

4 Comments

July 9th, 2010 19:52:46 GMT

Market cuts EUR short in half

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As of close of business Tuesday, specs on the IMM were short 39,000 contracts versus 74,000 the prior week. The week before the market was short something like 111,000 contracts…

We’ve rallied to new highs for the trend since the data was published, so in all likelihood the market is even less short today.

Headed into the close, real money selling is keeping a lid on EUR/USD. The pair has been unable to rally despite a rally in risk assets. holding at 1.2640. USD/JPY has rallied nicely late in the day, up to 88.65, along with stocks. EUR/GBP and EUR/JPY are firm as well. EUR/GBP is at 0.8390 with EUR/JPY at 112.05.

2 Comments

July 9th, 2010 19:04:23 GMT

Stocks getting perky late in the day

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We’re about to enter the final hour or trading for the week and the S&P is gaining a head of steam.

We’re up 0.6% at 1077, another strong showing for an index that opened the week at 1022.

While EUR/USD is off its highs, clearly risky assets have had a good week, making it difficult to become overly bearish on EUR/USD until that rally loses steam. If EUR/USD is to come sharply lower, the rebound in stocks needs to sputter, in my view.

EUR/USD trades very quietly at 1.2644 amid offers at the 1.2650 level. Expect some mild short-covering from day traders if that level is cleared ahead of the close.

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