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Monday April 17, 2006 - 14:16:12 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (17 April 2006)



The euro scored sizable gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2265 and $1.2120 levels, respectively. Stops were reached above the $1.2225 level, representing the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.2590 to $1.1640. Many European trading centers are closed today on account of the Easter holiday weekend and liquidity conditions will return to normal tomorrow. Asian dealers sold the dollar across the board as gold and oil today printed above the psychologically-important $600.00 and $70.00 levels, respectively. Data released in the U.S. today saw the New York Fed’s Empire State manufacturing index fall to 15.8 this month from a revised 29.0 in March, its weakest print since October 2005. Also, the government confirmed that February Treasury International Capital Securities purchases came in at US$ 86.9 billion, meaning foreigners easily financed the U.S.’s massive trade deficit two months ago. Still, some U.S. dollar bears who focus on the U.S.’s structural imbalances such as its large trade and current account deficits continue to sell the dollar under the premise the U.S. cannot import sufficient international capital indefinitely. Data released in the eurozone today saw Italian final March CPI up 0.2% m/m and 2.1% y/y. The two main events in the market this week include Thursday’s meeting between President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao and the meeting of G7 finance ministers in Washington D.C. on Friday. Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2340 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥117.55 level and was capped around the ¥118.60 level. Stops were hit just below the ¥118.00 figure, representing the 23.6% retracement of the move from ¥113.40 to ¥121.40. Bank of Japan Governor Fukui spoke overnight and said “"I think the possibility that our economy will show prolonged growth is high. Prices have been posting relatively clear gains.” Fukui did not, however, share any clues as to when the central bank will lift interest rates from their near zero per cent level. Data released in Japan overnight saw the March consumer confidence index decline to 47.9 from 49.8 in February, the first pullback in three months, while February industrial output was off 1.2% m/m. The Nikkei 225 stock index shed 1.35% to close at ¥17,000.36. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥117.40 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥144.30 level and was supported around the ¥143.55 level. The British pound and Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥208.55 and ¥91.95 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 8.0205 in over-the-counter trade, up from CNY 8.0180, and at CNY 8.0168 in exchange-traded activity. Data released in China today saw Q1 GDP grow 10.2% y/y. All eyes will be on President Hu Jintao as he visits Washington, D.C. to meet with President Bush. Exchange rates and trade will be key topics that will received a lot of attention.

£

The British pound notched appreciable gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.7725 level and was supported around the $1.7525 level. Today’s intraday high represented the pair’s strongest showing since 3 February and stops were hit above the $1.7635 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.9550 to $1.7045. Today is a market holiday in the U.K. April Rightmove house prices and March RICS house data will be released in the U.K. tonight. Cable offers are cited around the US$ 1.7770 level. The euro moved marginally lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.6905 level and was capped around the £0.6935 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2800 figure and was capped around the CHF 1.2970 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was just below the 23.6% retracement of the move from CHF 1.1290 to CHF 1.3285. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2760 level. The euro and British pound weakened vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.5680 and CHF 2.2660 levels, respectively.

AUD

The Australian dollar moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.7345 level and was supported around the $ 0.7270 level. Australian dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.7375 level.

CAD

The Canadian dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.1435 level and was capped around the C$ 1.1535 level. Stops were hit below the $1.1460 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.1975 to $1.1300. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1555 level.


NZD

The New Zealand dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.6225 level and was supported around the $0.6175 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from US$ 0.7000 to $ 0.5990. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6275 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 607.85 level and was supported around the $597.00 figure. Today’s intraday high represents fresh 25-year highs. Oil’s surge above the psychologically-important US$ 70.00 figure per barrel and lingering concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions propelled the pair higher. Silver surged vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 13.36 level and was supported around the $12.89 level, a fresh 25-year high. Spot silver is up more than 50% since the beginning of the year.

Crude oil

Crude oil appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude for May delivery tested offers around the US$ 70.00 figure and were supported around the $69.44 level. This represents the pair’s strongest showing in some eight months. Iranian leaders continued the war of words with the west saying they will continue to enrich uranium.

 

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