Lower range for the JPY, GBP vulnerable

The announcement of the Spanish 2013 budget, German jobs data, and the release of European confidence measures mean that attention will remain focussed on the Eurozone today and the news is unlikely to be good. The request for a Spanish bailout moves ever closer and could eventually provide some relief but prevarication continues to weigh on sentiment.

US data releases will not provide much solace for markets either, with weak durable goods orders and a revision lower to US Q2 GDP expected to be revealed. All in all, another tough session for markets is in store.

Meanwhile, currencies against the USD continue to look vulnerable, with EUR/USD, AUD/USD, USD/CHF in particular, close to breaching their 200 day moving average levels. USD/JPY has closed below the 78.00 level throughout this week suggesting that the currency pair may be moving into a new lower range. So far, there is little sign of potential FX intervention by the Japanese authorities.

Interestingly USD/JPY has dropped despite a general rebound in the USD, suggesting that it is very difficult for the Japanese authorities to blame the move on a weaker USD this time. Nor is the JPY particularly sensitive to risk aversion at present. For a change the move in the JPY cannot be blamed on a narrowing in US versus Japanese bond yield differentials too as the sensitivity of USD/JPY to yield differentials has dropped to an insignificant level while the US yield advantage has actually widened.

Net securities inflows into Japan have been strong recently however, suggesting either or both repatriation into Japanese fiscal half year end or renewed foreign interest in Japanese portfolio assets are helping the JPY. USD/JPY is expected to run into bids around the 77.10 level.

EUR/GBP has tracked the move lower in EUR/USD, while GBP/USD appears to be showing some resilience despite a generally firmer USD. Renewed Eurozone tensions are helping GBP as investors once again look for relative save havens although many would question whether GBP can really be considered as a safe haven.

With little on the data front in the UK today (only the third reading of Q2 GDP) GBP will be left to follow the travails of the EUR. Notably my models show that EUR/GBP divergence from its short term fair value estimate is growing, implying that the drop in the currency pair is unlikely to persist, with GBP resilience likely to give way over coming sessions. My estimate for short term EUR/GBP fair value is 0.8143. This is corroborated by my GBP/USD quantitative model, which also shows downside risks.

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