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Friday November 30, 2007 - 18:33:16 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (30 November 2007)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$1.4675 level and was capped around the $1.4785 level.  Stops were hit below the $1.4690 level, representing the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.4520 to $1.4965.  Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke spoke yesterday and made it very clear that the Federal Open Market Committee may reduce interest rates further on 11 December by being “exceptionally alert and flexible.” Bernanke noted the worsening credit market turmoil, an expanding housing slump, and escalating energy prices are creating some “headwinds for consumers in the months ahead.” His comments follow similar dovish remarks from Fed Vice Chairman Kohn earlier this week.  Many data were released this week. First, October construction spending was off 0.8% while private spending was off 0.8%.  Second, the Chicago November purchasing managers index rose to 52.9, above forecasts, while the prices paid component reached its highest level since July 2006 at 76.2.  Third, October consumer spending was up 0.2%, the weakest showing since June, and October personal incomes were up 0.2%.  Fourth, the core personal consumption expenditures index increased 0.2% m/m and 1.9% y/y, within the Fed’s perceived comfort zone for core inflation. The core PCE data should afford the Fed a little bit of breathing room to reduce borrowing costs. In eurozone news, the Q3 EMU-13 GDP growth was upwardly revised to an annualized 2.7% from 2.6% and EMU-13 November provisional harmonized inflation was up 3.0% from 2.6% in October. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4625 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥111.20 level and was supported around the ¥109.65 level.  The pair reached its highest level since 16 November as traders continued to speculate that a rate cut by the Fed will help the U.S. economy.  Many data were released in Japan overnight. First, October core CPI was up 0.1% y/y, the first rise in ten months and the latest evidence that Japan may finally be overcoming its long-standing bout with deflation.  Some traders believe Bank of Japan will press to raise interest rates by +0.25% to +0.75% before the end of the current fiscal year in March.  Second, October all-household spending was up 0.6% y/y and October orders received by the 50 largest contractors were off 22.7% y/y.  Third, the October consumer sentiment reached its worst level in nearly one year.  Fourth, October housing starts fell 35% and October unemployment was unchanged at 4.0%, as expected. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 1.08% to close at ¥15,680.67.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥109.25 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥163.80 level and was supported around the ¥161.80 level. The British pound and Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥229.30 and ¥99.05 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan weakened sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.4000 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.3824.  Traders will closely monitor Monday’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers following recent meetings between Chinese and European officials about the yuan’s value vis-à-vis the euro.



The British pound weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 2.0530 level and was capped around the $2.0700 figure.  The pair reached its lowest level this week after U.K. November consumer confidence fell to its weakest level since March 2003.  Most traders believe BoE’s MPC will begin easing monetary policy in early 2008, if not in December.  Also, U.K. median pay settlements were up 3.5% in the three months to November from 3.2% in October.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 2.0365 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.7130 level and was capped around the ₤0.7165 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.1295 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1160 level.  The pair reached its highest level since 13 November.  Data released in Switzerland today saw November CPI up 0.5% m/m and 1.8% y/y, stronger-than-expected, while Q3 GDP was up 0.8% m/m and 2.9% y/y.  Many traders believe Swiss National Bank will tighten monetary policy in a couple of weeks.  Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1390 level.  The euro and British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6585 and CHF 2.3225 levels, respectively.

 

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