Currency Markets a quiet day

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The Currency Markets a quiet day

Thanksgiving holiday in the US made sure that trade was quiet yesterday, with a lot of liquidity taken off the table as a result. We heard a fair bit from European leaders yesterday afternoon with Merkel and Sarkozy draping an arm around technocrat Monti, however this did little to help markets. They once again reiterated their desire for fiscal union to make sure that member states behave themselves economically going forward. Angela Merkel was clear in her assertions, however, that this needs to be written into treaty before any semblance of Eurobonds are talked about. This was unimpressive to the markets as it did not address the market’s primary desire; ECB running its printing presses. EURUSD has dipped below 1.33 overnight with cable also slipping as the market becomes more and more bearish.

In a rather strange turn of economic fortune, the UK’s cost of borrowing over a 10yr term dipped below that of Germany for the first time since March 2009, a move that coincided with the Bank of England’s launch of a quantitative easing plan. Alas this strength only lasted for a few hours as the market began to come round to our belief that the uncovered bond auction was not as disastrous as most had originally thought, and German assets finished the day strongly. It is good to see gilts performing well but we cannot classify this as a safe-haven event without a subsequent pick up in the value of the pound, which you can see from the table below is not happening.

Another political shift overnight has been seen in Holland with the government there saying that they would back the ECB having a more “active role” in markets to contain the debt crisis “as a last resort”. The Dutch, Finns and Germans have formed the fiscally conservative Northern Bloc in Europe and for one to be wavering is a great help to risk in the short-term.

We also saw Portugal’s credit rating downgraded to junk by Fitch yesterday while Hungary was cut to BA1 after it approached the IMF for another bailout last week.

The data calendar is quiet today and liquidity will remain poor with most US traders wanting that extra day off (and who can blame them given these markets). We would expect that GBPEUR will remain quiet through the session whilst crosses against the USD are likely to remain weak.

Indicative Rates Sell Buy
GBPEUR 1.1596 1.1622
GBPUSD 1.5529 1.5553
EURUSD 1.3373 1.3397
GBPJPY 119.76 120.04
GBPAUD 1.5927 1.5954
GBPNZD 2.0875 2.0906
GBPCAD 1.6236 1.6264
NZDUSD 0.7426 0.7445
GBPZAR 13.21 13.26
USDZAR 8.5005 8.5352
GBPPLN 5.1875 5.2244
EURJPY 103.11 103.36

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