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Tuesday February 12, 2008 - 15:46:02 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (12 February 2008)

The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4605 level and was supported around the $1.4495 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.4015 to $1.4965.  German finance minister Steinbrueck said European Central Bank President Trichet “did not signal a change of paradigm in policy” and added “an interest rate cut is not necessary.”  Steinbrueck predicted no recession for the eurozone economy but said there will be a “flattening of growth.” Data released in Germany today saw the February ZEW economic expectations index improve to -39.5 from -41.6 in January while the current economic index fell to 33.7 from 56.6.  Slovenian finance minister Bajuk hawkishly said EMU-15 inflation is a “very serious problem.”  In U.S. news, traders await testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Paulson on Thursday to see if the yield any additional clues about monetary and fiscal stimuli.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4380 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥107.55 level and was supported around the ¥106.75 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 50% retracement of the move from ¥110.10 to ¥104.95.  The yen was pressured today after Credit Suisse posted decent quarterly results.  Traders had expected some European banks to post disappointing results like their U.S. counterparts on account of write-downs related to the subprime crisis but the early intraday performance in European bourses raised risk appetites and lessened demand for yen.  Traders await the results of the two-day Bank of Japan Policy Board meeting that begins on Thursday with most traders expecting the overnight call rate to remain unchanged at 0.50% for the next few months.  Data released in Japan overnight saw orders for industrial machinery fall 1.5% y/y to ¥523.7 billion.  Traders also await Thursday’s GDP data in Japan.  The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.04% to close at ¥13,021.96.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥105.65/ 104.95 levels.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥156.65 level and was supported around the ¥154.85 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥210.25 and ¥97.65 levels, respectively.  In Chinese news, yuan trading will recommence 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$ 1.9610 level and was supported around the $1.9440 level.  The pair hit stops above the $1.9605 level, representing the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.9955 to $1.9385.  Data released in the U.K. today saw January consumer price inflation up an annualized 2.2%, above December’s 2.1% print but below the 2.3% estimate.  Bank of England is currently in a monetary easing cycle and CPI numbers above 2.0% make it difficult for policymakers to justify substantial monetary easing.  Other data released today saw CML report that U.K. mortgage affordability worsened in December.  Also, BRC January like-for-like retail sales expanded 2.6% and Lloyds TSB reported U.K. firms’ confidence has fallen to a five-year low.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9260 level.  The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.7460 level and was supported around the ₤0.7425 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.0980 level and was capped around the CHF 1.1040 level.  The February ZEW survey will be released on Thursday followed by December retail sales on Friday.  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 1.6050 and CHF 2.1560 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$ 0.9085 level and was supported around the $1.9440 level.  Traders continue to bid the A$ higher as traders anticipate additional monetary tightening from Reserve Bank of Australia.  The markets are currently pricing in another 25bps of rate hikes from RBA in March.  Data released in Australia today saw the NAB January business confidence index fall to its lowest level since September 2001.  Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8990 level.  The New Zealand dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.7955 level and was supported around the $0.7865 level.  New Zealand dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7840 level.

 

C$

The Canadian dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 0.9935 level and was capped around the C$ 1.0040 level.  The pair continues to orbit the $0.9990 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the move from C$ 1.0380 to C$ 0.9870.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0065/ 1.0125 levels.

 

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