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Friday February 8, 2008 - 15:29:37 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (8 February 2008)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4450 level and was capped around the $1.4515 level.  The common currency continues to orbit the $1.4490 level, representing the 50% retracement of the move from $1.4015 to $1.4965.  San Francisco Fed President Yellen last night said she is “not confident” the U.S. will avoid a recession.  Data released in the U.S. today saw December wholesale inventories up 1.1%, above expectations and the highest level in more than one year.  In eurozone news, European Central Bank member Garganas reported “it is not possible” to know how long the credit market problems will persist in the market.  ECB’s Gonzalez-Paramo said the ECB kept rates steady yesterday on account of the “big risk” of price rises in the medium-term but conceded uncertainty over economic growth is “unusually high.”  His remarks echoed similar remarks from ECB President Trichet yesterday.  Most traders believe the ECB will lower interest rates later in H1 2008.  Data released in the eurozone today saw December industrial output up 0.8% m/m while the EMU-15 leading indicator fell to 99.1.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4575 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥107.10 level and was capped around the ¥107.70 level.  Technically, the pair’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from ¥104.95 to ¥107.85.  Data released in Japan overnight saw the January economy watchers’ index decline for the tenth consecutive month, printing at 31.8 – the lowest level since December 2001.  Also, December core private sector machinery orders were off 3.2% m/m, the second straight monthly decline.  Traders will carefully monitor this weekend’s G7 meeting in Tokyo to see if policymakers deviate from their standard “excessive volatility is undesirable” mantra.  It was also reported that the January money supply growth was steady at 2.1% and January bank lending was up +0.5% y/y.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.44% to close at ¥13,017.24.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥105.65/ ¥104.95 levels.  The euro weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥155.05 level and was capped around the ¥155.95 level.  The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥209.90 level while the Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥97.00 figure.  In Chinese news, the Chinese yuan will begin trading again after the Chinese New Year holiday.

The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9510 level and was supported around the $1.9405 level.  Traders are still speculating as to how close the Bank of England’s vote was yesterday to reduce the repo rate by 25bps. Data released in the U.K. today saw IDS pay awards average 4% in the three months to January, up from 3.3% in the quarter to December.  These data support the view the BoE will be forced to reduce interest rates gradually.  Traders await next Wednesday’s quarterly inflation report.  NIESR reported U.K. growth fell below its trend growth rate in the three months to January.  Moreover, it was reported that Q4 mortgage repossession orders were up 6% y/y in England and Wales.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9260 level.  The euro weakened vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.7425 level and was capped around the ₤0.7455 level.


The Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.1080 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1025 level.  Technically, the pair continues to orbit the CHF 1.1060 level, representing the 38.2% retracement of the move from CHF 1.1595 to CHF 1.0730.  Data released in Switzerland today saw January CPI up 2.4% y/y and off 0.3% m/m.  Also, KOF reported it sees economic growth decelerating in H1 2008. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1155 level.  The euro and British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6030 and CHF 2.1580 levels, respectively.

A$/ NZ$

The Australian dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.8915 level and was capped around the $0.8970 level.  Most traders believe Reserve Bank of Australia will remain hawkish for the next few months.  Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8835 level.  The New Zealand dollar fell vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.7840 level and was capped around the $0.7900 figure.  New Zealand dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7610 level.



The Canadian dollar appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 0.9965 level and was capped around the C$ 1.0100 figure.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 50% retracement of the move from C$ 1.0865 to C$ 0.9060.  Data released in Canada today saw January employment up 46,000 and the employment rate at a record high 63.8% with the unemployment rate lower at 5.8%.  Most traders believe these data will keep Bank of Canada on a gradualist keel regarding lower interest rates.  It was also reported that January new housing starts were up 21.0% m/m.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0130 level.


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