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Wednesday February 13, 2008 - 15:20:29 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (13 January 2008)

The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4535 level and was capped around the $1.4595 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was just below the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.4015 to $1.4965.  The common currency was pressured lower on account of a surprising fall in EMU-13 December industrial output of 0.2% m/m with the annual number up 1.3% y/y, down from 3.1% y/y in November.  Some traders believe these weaker-than-expected data will cause the European Central Bank to reduce interest rates sooner than the markets thing, possibly as early as March.  ECB Vice President Papademos called on the markets to enhance transparency and disclosure to avert financial crises. Traders are also paying close attention to IG Metall, Germany’s trade union that is threatening to expand several strike warnings tomorrow regarding wage increases in that country.  Other data saw the German January wholesale price index rise 1.4% m/m and 6.6% y/y.  In U.S. news, January headline retail sales were up +0.3% with the ex-autos component up +0.3% and are up 3.9% in the previous twelve months.  Also, December business inventories were up +0.6 from November’s +0.4% rise.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4380 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥108.20 level and was supported around the ¥107.00 figure.  The pair reached its highest level since 15 January as speculation increased that Bank of Japan will be forced to keep its overnight rate unchanged at 0.50% for the foreseeable future – or even reduce rates this year.  Data released in Japan overnight saw January consumer confidence decline to its lowest level in more than four years, printing at 37.5.  Also, the January current account surplus fell 4.7% y/y to ¥1.697 trillion and January corporate failures were off 0.3% m/m.  Other data saw the January corporate goods price index rise 3.0% y/y – the fastest increase since March 1981.  BoJ’s Policy Board meeting begins tonight.  The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.36% to close at ¥13,068.30.  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 ¥157.65 level and was supported around the ¥155.80 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥212.25 and ¥97.65 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.2000 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.1840.

The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9655 level and was supported around the $1.9550 level.  The pair continues to orbit the $1.9625 level, representing the 50% retracement of the move from $1.8090 to $2.1160.  Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report was released today and it assumes an additional 75bps of monetary easing between now and Q4.  BoE also reported risks to economic growth are weighted to the “downside” and indicated inflation could spike higher temporarily before receding. BoE Governor King said “tighter credit conditions for households and businesses will bear down on demand both in the United Kingdom and abroad” and added “second, rising energy, food and import prices will push up on inflation." Data released in the U.K. today saw RICS report that January house prices reached their lowest level in more than fifteen years. Also, the January claimant count fell by 10,800 after falling an upwardly revised 8,700 in December and wage growth remained benign, falling to +3.8% from +4.0% in November.  BoE MPC member Tucker said banks’ earnings over the next few weeks will be critical in solving the credit crisis.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9260 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.7415 level and was capped around the ₤0.7450 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.1105 level and was supported around the CHF 1.0005 level.  The February ZEW survey will be released tomorrow followed by December retail sales on Friday.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1155 level.  The euro and British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6155 and CHF 2.1770 levels, respectively.

A$/ NZ$

The Australian dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.8950 level and was capped around the $0.9045 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 50% retracement of the move from $0.9400 to $0.8520.  Data released in Australia today saw the Westpac February consumer sentiment index fall 5.5% to 97.4, partially a reaction to Reserve Bank of Australia’s 25bps rate hike to 7.0% on 5 February.  Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8835 level.  The New Zealand dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.7825 level and was capped around the $0.7905 level.  New Zealand dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7805 level.


The Canadian dollar appreciated 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$ 1.0025 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low represents the 50% retracement of the move from C$ 1.0865 to C$ 0.9060.  December merchandise trade will be released tomorrow. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0065/ 1.0125 levels.


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