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Wednesday May 24, 2006 - 14:08:23 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (24 May 2006)



The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2890 level and was supported around the $ 1.2765 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.3665 to $1.1640. The common currency moved to intraday highs after April headline durable goods orders printed at -4.8% with the ex-transportation component at -1.1%. These data were much less than March’s tally, much less than forecast, and represent the most sizable decline since January. These data are important because the Federal Reserve is in a data-dependent mode with regard to further tightening in interest rates. Most traders currently believe the Federal Open Market Committee will raise rates by another +25bps at the end of June while some believe the Fed will pause until 8 August. Regardless, it is quite clear that the Fed is near the end of their tightening cycle while the European Central Bank still has more room to tighten and this is pressuring the dollar. The ECB convenes on 8 June and some traders see as much as a +50bps hike in rates at that time; a full +25bps move is now priced in. The euro also moved higher earlier today after the German May Ifo business climate index fell to 105.6 from April’s fifteen-year high of 105.9, better-than-expected. Other data to be released in the U.S. today include April new home sales. Data to be released in the U.S. tomorrow include Q1 GDP data and personal consumption expenditures data. Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2905 level.


¥/ CNY

The yen weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥112.65 level and was supported around the ¥111.65 level. Technically, the pair continues to orbit the ¥112.25 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the move from ¥147.65 to ¥101.30. Data released in Japan today saw the March tertiary index fall 0.6% m/m while the all-industries index was off 0.4%. The decline in the tertiary index was the second consecutive monthly decline. The International Monetary Fund officially declared that deflation has ended in Japan. Traders await clues as to when Bank of Japan may lift interest rates from near zero per cent with some anticipating a move as early as June. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.97% to close at ¥15,907.20. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥111.55 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥144.20 level and was supported around the ¥143.10 level. The British pound and Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥211.25 and ¥92.90 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback closed at CNY 8.0265 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 8.0240, and at CNY 8.0252 in the exchange-traded market.



The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8730 level and was capped around the $1.8860 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.9025 to $1.8630. Data released in the U.K. today saw Q1 provisional business investment up 1.7% q/q and up 2.8% y/y. Incoming Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Blanchflower reconfirmed his commitment to monetary policy today and would not comment on outgoing MPC member Nickell’s dovish comments about the output gap in the U.K. He also added he has “no strong view” on the euro and added U.K. employment is “close to the equilibrium state.” Other data released in the U.K. today saw U.K. manufacturing activity worsen slightly this month with the CBI total orders books balance at -12, down from -11 in April. Cable offers are cited around the US$ 1.8830 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6840 level and was supported around the ₤0.6800 figure.

CHF

The Swiss franc was mostly unchanged vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2135 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2025 level. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.1995 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5530 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 2.2675 level.

AUD

The Australian dollar moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.7560 level and was supported around the $0.7490 level. Today’s intraday low was just below the 50% retracement of the move from $0.7985 to $0.7500. Data released in Australia today saw the March Westpac leading index of economic activity rise 1.9 points m/m while the May skilled vacancies tally was up 1.8% m/m.



CAD

The Canadian dollar moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.1180 level and was capped around the C$ 1.1265 level. Bank of Canada lifted its main overnight interest rate by +25bps to 4.25% and indicated it will not raise rates further at this time. BoC’s statement did not mention the possible need to raise rates further for the first time since September with the central bank reporting “With today's increase, the target for the overnight rate is now at a level that is expected to keep the Canadian economy on the base-case path projected in the April Monetary Policy Report and to return inflation to the 2 percent target.” U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1280 level.

NZD

The New Zealand dollar moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.6320 level and was supported around the $0.6215 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was just below the 23.6% retracement of the move from $0.7000 to $0.5990. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6375 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 649.70 level after testing offers around the $670.70 level. Silver moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested bids around the US$ 12.46 level and was supported around the $13.15 level.

Crude oil

Crude oil moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude futures tested bids around the US$ 70.57 level and was capped around the $71.39 level. Global leaders are meeting in Europe today to discuss Iran’s nuclear ambitions and traders await weekly U.S. energy inventories data.

 

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Real-time forex market news reports and features providing other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the headlines below. At the top of the forex blog page you will find the latest forex trading information. Scroll down the page if you are looking for less recent currency trading information. Scroll to the bottom of fx blog headlines and click on the link for past reports on forex. Currency world news reports from previous years can be found on the left sidebar under "FX Archives."



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