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Wednesday December 5, 2007 - 20:16:17 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (5 December 2007)

The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4650 level and was capped around the $1.4770 level.  The common currency came off on growing speculation the Federal Open Market Committee is likely to ease monetary policy by at least 25bps on 11 December and that a rate cut could improve economic growth and lead to more U.S. dollar strength.  Also, the U.S. dollar gained ground after the release of a very strong ADP November jobs report that saw 189,000 private sector jobs created last month, significantly above expectations.  Some traders believe the strong ADP data will result in an exceptionally high November non-farm payrolls number on Friday.  Other data released in the U.S. today saw the ISM November services index decline to 54.1 while the prices paid sub-index shot up to 76.5 from 63.5 in October. Additionally, October headline factory orders were up a strong 0.5% with non-durable goods orders up 1.3%.  The main indicator of business investment – orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft – fell 2.0% in October.  This could coincide with a decline in business investment in Q4 and create more pressure on the Fed to ease interest rates.  Other data released in the U.S. today saw Q3 non-farm productivity rise at its fastest pace in four years, up an annualized 6.3% from the initial 4.9% estimate, while unit labour costs were off 2.0%.  In eurozone news, EMU-13 October retail sales were off 0.7% m/m and up 0.2% y/y and final EMU-13 November services PMI were upwardly revised to 54.1 from 53.7.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4605 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥110.95 level and was supported around the ¥109.70 level.  Stops were reached above the ¥110.70 level, representing the 76.4% retracement of the move from ¥111.75 to ¥107.20.  The yen was pressured today as traders continue to speculate that Bank of Japan’s Policy Board will not lift the overnight call rate from 0.50% anytime soon.  The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.83% to close at ¥15,606.88.  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 ¥163.05 level and was supported around the ¥161.90 level.  The British pound came off vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥224.45 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the ¥98.80 level.  In Chinese news, People’s Bank of China reported it will implement tight monetary policy in 2008.

The British pound depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 2.0265 level and was capped around the $2.0610 level.  Sterling has not been this weak since 22 October and stops were hit below the $2.0365 level, representing the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.9870 to $2.1160.  Traders dumped cable ahead of tomorrow’s Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee interest rate decision. Many traders believe the MPC will begin to ease monetary policy tomorrow and not wait until 2008 to take interest rates lower.  Data released in the U.K. today saw the November CIPS PMI services index fall to 51.9, its lowest level since May 2003.  Also, Halifax reported that house price inflation fell to a 20-month low in November while Nationwide reported consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since February.  Perhaps the biggest news in the U.K. today was a report the U.K. government is drafting a bill that would nationalize troubled lender Northern Rock Plc if a suitable buyer is not found by February.  It was also reported today that BRC November annual shop price inflation remained at a seven-year high of 1.1%.  Interbank lending rates remain stubbornly high in the U.K. , as much as 100bps above official target rates, and this may cause BoE’s MPC to lower rates tomorrow. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 2.0175 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.7235 level and was supported around the ₤0.7165 level.


The Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.1260 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1155 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from CHF 1.2475 to CHF 1.0875.  Some dealers believe Swiss National Bank will tighten monetary policy on 13 December while others believe the SNB’s tightening cycle may have ended.  ollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1390 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.6515 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 2.2770 level.




A$/ NZ$

The Australian dollar lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 0.8660 level and was capped around the $0.8740 level.  Data released in Australia today saw Q2 GDP rise 1.0% q/q and 4.3% y/y.  Reserve Bank of Australia today announced it is concerned with the inflation outlook despite the fact its official cash rate unchanged at 6.75% yesterday.  Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8535 level. The New Zealand dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.7690 level and was supported around the $0.7575 level.  ANZ’s New Zealand November commodity price index rose 0.8% m/m and 36% y/y.  New Zealand bids are cited around the US$ 0.7275 level.


The Canadian dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today
as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.0215 level and was supported around the C$ 1.0085 level.  The loonie fell to its lowest level since 18 September. Traders await testimony from Bank of Canada Governor Dodge and Senior Deputy Governor Jenkins tomorrow.  Canadian employment data will be released on Friday.  Incoming BoC Governor Carney will testify later today.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0465 level.


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