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Monday May 22, 2006 - 13:55:38 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (22 May 2006)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2690 level and was capped around the $1.2785 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.3480 to $1.1640. The common currency fought back during European dealing after EMU-12 finance officials appeared comfortable with the euro’s recent turn higher. Dutch and Greek finance ministers did not appear overly concerned with the pair’s recent levels while ECB President Trichet reiterated policymakers will remain vigilant on inflation. French finance minister Breton – who last week said France would do “anything” to stop the euro from appreciating – today said discussions between the Ecofin and European Central Bank were “appreciating.” This is notable because it suggests some members of the eurozone do not want a stronger euro and could pressure the ECB to keep borrowing costs unchanged. ECB’s Libescher on Friday called the recent rise in core HICP “a warning.” The dollar gave up some gains late on Friday after Kansas City Fed President Hoenig said Fed policymakers should “be a little patient” and warned of a risk of overshooting during their current tightening cycle. Dallas Fed President Fisher speaks later today. This week’s personal consumption expenditures data will be closely watched to see if it mirrors last week’s hotter-than-expected U.S. CPI Data. Other important data due in the U.S. this week include durable goods on Wednesday and GDP on Thursday. In the eurozone, Wednesday’s German Ifo survey will be closelt watched and will German inflation data on Friday. The ECB convenes on 8 June to deliberate rates and most traders are split between 25bps and 50bps on tightening. Bundesbank released a German economic outlook today and said it is “mainly favourable.” Data released in the eurozone today saw the March EMU-12 trade surplus climb €1.2 billion from February’s deficit of €3.1 billion. Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2890 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥112.95 level and was supported around the ¥111.55 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 50.0% retracement of the move from ¥101.65 to ¥121.40. Data released in Japan today saw April convenience store sales fall 4.9% y/y. Japanese financial and monetary authorities have been verbally intervening recently in an effort to prevent the yen from appreciating too rapidly. The March all-industry and tertiary indices will be released today. The Nikkei 225 stock index shed 1.84% to close at ¥15,857.87. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥111.60 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥143.75 level and was supported around the ¥142.45 level. The British pound and Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥211.15 and ¥92.65 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 8.0260 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 8.0220, and at CNY 8.0265 in the exchange-traded market. People’s Bank of China pledged this week to increase the yuan’s flexibility this year.

The British pound slumped vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8630 level and was capped around the $1.8785 level. Sterling recovered during European dealing by moving above the figure. Outgoing Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Nickell today said spare capacity in the U.K. economy will keep U.K. inflation in check. Nickell retires at the end of the month and most traders think the MPC could have a hawkish bent afterwards. Cable offers are cited around the US$ 1.8960 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6815 level and was supported around the ₤0.6795 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2125 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2235 level. Data released in Switzerland today saw March retail sales up a real 0.7% y/y. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2050 level. The euro and British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.5495 and CHF 2.2750 levels, respectively.


The Australian dollar moved sharply lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7465 level and was capped around the US$ 0.7575 level. Australian dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.7615 level.


The Canadian dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1265 level and was supported around the C$ 1.1195 level. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1280/ 1.1370 levels.


The New Zealand dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.6140 level and was capped around the $0.6200 figure. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6230 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold came off sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 636.90 level and was capped around the $661.40 level. The dollar’s moved higher today partially resulted in weaker gold. Silver came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested bids around the US$ 11.96 level and was capped around the $12.60 level.

Crude oil

Crude oil weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude futures tested bids around the US$ 68.19 level and were capped around the $69.51 level. Oil producer Indonesian suggested oil prices can call at least $10.00 if Iranian and Nigerian tensions are reduced. The pullback in oil prices mirrors the recent pullback seen in other commodities and continued increases in U.S. fuel inventories has also limited the pair’s upside.


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