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Monday January 14, 2008 - 16:42:48 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (14 January 2008)

The euro appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4915 level and was supported around the $1.4780 level.  Stops were hit above the $1.4810 level, representing the 76.4% retracement of the move from $1.4965 to $1.4310.  The common currency moved higher on whispers that Q4 earnings from U.S. financial institutions this week will evidence more mammoth sub-prime write-downs.  Citigroup is said to be writing down at least US$ 20 billion off its books with layoffs of 20,000 people looming.  Traders are less than optimistic about the U.S. dollar given the recent capital-raising schemes announced by Citigroup and Merrill Lynch.  Traders also await U.S. consumer price inflation data on Wednesday with the core rate expected around 0.2% m/m.  Fed Chairman Bernanke will testify this week and will solidify expectations the Federal Open Market Committee is expected to ease monetary policy later this month. The most likely scenario calls for a 25bps or 50bps easing on 30 January yet some bears believe the Fed will announce an intermeeting monetary easing before then.  In eurozone news, EMU-13 inflation data will also be released on Wednesday and are expected to evidence a 3.1% y/y increase in December.  European Central Bank member Liebscher said the “basic economic data for the eurozone remain at a healthy level, even if the uncertainty concerning the economy's further development and the risks associated with that is rising.”  ECB President Trichet remained hawkish in comments last week, reinforcing the notion the ECB will continue to tighten policy.  Data released in the eurozone today saw EMU-13 industrial output fall 0.5% m/m and grow 2.7% y/y.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4705/ 1.4625 levels.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥107.35 level and was capped around the ¥108.95 level.  Japanese financial markets were closed for a market holiday but that did not reduce demand for yen overnight as the pair came within fifteen pips of its weakest level since June 2005.  Traders are reducing their exposure to U.S. assets ahead of the Q4 earnings reporting season.  Most traders do not expect Bank of Japan’s Policy Board to lift the overnight call rate from its current 0.50% level anytime soon.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥106.95 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥159.90 level and was capped around the ¥161.55 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥210.70 and ¥98.45 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.2516 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.2620 – representing the pair’s lowest close since the yuan revaluation of July 2005.  Data released in China overnight saw December consumer price inflation up 6.5% y/y, down fro, 6.9% y/y in November.

The British pound weakened appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9645 level and was supported around the $1.9555 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $2.0100 to $1.9485.  Data released in the U.K. today saw producer price inflation rise at its fastest pace in sixteen years in December on account of soaring gasoline and food prices.  Factory gate prices were up 5.0% y/y, the highest rate since August 1991.  These PPI data may make it more difficult for Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee to ease monetary policy in the near future.  Other data released today saw November annual house price inflation at 9.5%, down from 11.3% in October, according to government figures.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9260 level.  The euro extended recent gains vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.7605 level and was supported around the ₤0.7545.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0885 level and was capped around the CHF 1.1010 level.  The pair established a new multi-decade low and the franc continues to make gains vis-à-vis other currencies.  Swiss National Bank Chairman Roth was quoted this weekend as saying Swiss GDP growth may come in around 2.0% but warned a decrease in U.S. consumer spending will impact the Swiss economy.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1050 level.  The euro and British pound weakened vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.6230 and CHF 2.1365 levels, respectively. 

A$/ NZ$

The Australian dollar moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.9005 level and was supported around the $0.8890 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $0.7675 to $0.9400.  Data released in Australia today saw December ANZ job ads up 7.1% m/m and 31% y/y.  Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to remain hawkish.  Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8740 level. The New Zealand dollar moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.7910 level and was supported around the $0.7795 level.  New Zealand dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7630 level.


The Canadian dollar was little-changed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.0145 level and was capped around the C$ 1.0205 level.  Many traders expect Bank of Canada will remain dovish and reduce rates later this month.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0440 level.


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