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Friday May 26, 2006 - 14:38:44 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (26 May 2006)



The euro slumped vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2735 level and was capped around the $1.2835 level. The common currency moved to intraday lows during the North American session despite the release of a weaker-than-expected end-of-May University of Michigan consumer sentiment index that printed at 79.1, down from 87.4 in April. Other data released in the U.S. today saw April personal incomes climb +0.5% while personal spending was up +0.6%. The common currency briefly popped higher after the release of the core personal consumption expenditures price index printed at +0.2% for April, down from March’s +0.3% gain, and at + 2.1% y/y. These annualized core data mean price pressures are above the Federal Reserve’s perceived comfort zone and the age-old question of whether or not the Federal Open Market Committee will raise rates at the end of June is no closer to being clarified. A letter written by Fed Chairman Bernanke to a member of Congress reports that government price indices generally overstate the level of inflation and adds core inflation is generally well-contained. Bernanke wrote “Although increases in energy prices have pushed up overall consumer price inflation over the past couple of years, core inflation has been more stable. The core PCE price index increased 2% over the twelve months to March of this year, about the same as the increase over the preceding twelve months.” He added the stability of core inflation “has been enhanced by the fact that long-term inflation expectations appear to remain well contained.” In other U.S. news, there are growing rumours that U.S. Treasury Secretary Snow could leave his post in June, perhaps concurrently with the Group of Eight Summit in Russia. In eurozone news, German May CPI was up 1.9%, lower than April’s 2.0% print, while the harmonized CPI came in at 2.1% y/y, down from April’s 2.3% y/y level. European Central Bank member Liikanen reiterated “the direction of interest rates is upward.” Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2830 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥112.30 level and was supported around the ¥111.45 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from ¥109.00 to ¥112.95. Data released in Japan overnight saw April nationwide CPI rise 0.4% y/y with core CPI up 0.5% y/y, the sixth consecutive month of increases. Also, the corporate services price index was off 0.4% m/m, the third decline in five months. These inflation data are closely watched because traders are alert for any indications as to when Bank of Japan will lift interest rates from near zero per cent. Some market participants expect a move as early as July. Despite today’s consumer prices data, finance minister Tanigaki pronounced it too early to say deflation is over. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.77% to close at ¥15,970.76. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥111.45/ 110.95 levels. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥143.55 level and was supported around the ¥142.75 levels. The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥208.75 level and was capped around the ¥209.80 level. The Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the cross tested offers around the ¥92.15 level and was supported around the ¥91.60 level. The Chinese yuan weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 8.0250 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 8.0240, and at CNY 8.0242 in the exchange-traded market. Data released in China today saw industrial firms’ profits rise 22.1% y/y in the January – April period.


The British pound came off sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8560 level and was capped around the $1.8770 level. Sterling came off after BBA reported mortgage approvals and net mortgage lending receded in April after reached near two-year highs in March. BBA also reported net mortgage lending increased ₤4.88 billion last month, off from March’s ₤5.51 billion level, while gross mortgage lending dropped to ₤15.5 billion. Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Tucker said monetary policy needs to ensure inflation expectations remain “well anchored.” Cable offers are cited around the US$ 1.8670/ 1.8740 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6865 level and was supported around the ₤0.6825 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2270 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2135 level. Chartists are eyeing the CHF 1.2285 level, representing the 50% retracement of the move from CHF 1.1285 to CHF 1.3285. Dollar bids are cited around the $1.2220 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5625 level and was supported around the CHF 1.5570 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 2.2710 level.


AUD

The Australian dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7560 level and was capped around the ₤0.7620 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from $0.7985 to $0.7015. Australian dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.7630/ 65 levels.

CAD

The Canadian dollar lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1100 figure and was supported around the C$ 1.1045 level. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1160 level.

NZD

The New Zealand dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.6345 level and was capped around the $0.6410 level. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6375/ 0.6495 levels.

Gold/ Silver

Gold came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 641.20 level and was capped around the $655.70 level. Inflation jitters, geopolitical turbulence, and other factors have recently supported the pair but some traders expect that it will continue to consolidate. Silver weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested bids around the US$ 12.44 level and was capped around the $12.76 level.

Crude oil

Crude oil slumped vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude futures for July delivery tested bids around the US$ 70.91 level and was capped around the $71.94 level. Traders await details of next week’s meetings in Europe where the global community is expected to finalize a series of proposed incentives and penalties related to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

 

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Forex news reports can be found on the forex research headlines page below. Here you will find real-time forex market news reports provided by respected contributors of currency trading information. Daily forex market news, weekly forex research and monthly forex news features can be found here.

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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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