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Tuesday June 13, 2006 - 14:15:22 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (13 June 2006)

The euro weakened further vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2545 level and was capped around the $1.2605 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was just below the 50% retracement of the move from $1.3475 to $1.1640. Data released in the U.S. today did little to clarify the U.S. inflation picture with May headline producer price inflation up +0.2% and the core rate up +0.3%. On an annualized basis, headline PPI was up 1.5% y/y and core PPI was up 4.5% y/y. Also, May retail sales climbed +0.1% while the ex-autos component was up +0.5%. Fed officials continued their chorus of hawkish Fedspeak yesterday with Cleveland Fed President Pianalto noting core consumer prices recently surpassed her “comfort level” and Dallas Fed President Fisher adding the Fed is experiencing “some angst” over inflation. Fed Chairman Bernanke will speak again today and also again on Thursday and is expected to be hawkish in any inflation-related remarks. Tomorrow’s U.S. consumer price index data will be closely watched by the markets and could cement a +25bps move higher in rated by the Federal Open Market Committee on 29 June. In eurozone news, the German ZEW economic expectations index receded to +37.8 from +50.0 in May, below forecasts. Also, German May final CPU printed up +0.2% m/m and +1.9% y/y. Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2650 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥114.80 level and was supported around the ¥114.25 level. Today’s intraday high represents the pair’s strongest showing since 27 April and chartists are eyeing the ¥115.10 level as the pair’s next upside hurdle. Bank of Japan Governor Fukui dovishly reiterated the central bank will “adjust interest rates gradually” and added “there is a high possibility that easy credit conditions under very low interest rates will continue for a while, even after the (current) period of zero overnight call rates is over.” The government’s monthly economic assessment noted the economy is “recovering,” noted housing construction is “increasing,” and mentioned some “improvements” in ending the “deflationary phase.” Data released in Japan today saw April industrial output up a revised 1.4% m/m, down from 1.5% m/m. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 4.14% to close at ¥14,218.60. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥113.95/ 35 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥144.35 level and was supported around the ¥143.85 level. The British pound and Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥211.20 and ¥92.95 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 8.0035 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 8.0188, and at CNY 8.0031 in the exchange-traded market. Data released in China today saw May retail sales climb 14.2% y/y while May wholesale prices were up 1.5% y/y. People’s Bank of China may issue CNY 100 billion in commercial bills tomorrow to try and reduce the amount of surplus liquidity in the banking system.

The British pound slumped vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8365 level and was capped around the $1.8455 level. A move through today’s intraday low opens up the $1.8345 level and then the $1.8165 level. Data released in the U.K. today saw May consumer price inflation rise 2.2% y/y, the highest reading since October 2005. Some traders will take this data and eye a rate hike by Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee as early as August while others point to a pullback in the core rate as one reason why policymakers are likely to sit on their hands. The BoE’s quarterly Inflation Report from last month noted inflation is likely to move above the central bank’s 2.0% target in the near-term. BoE Governor King was fairly hawkish in his remarks last night while Chancellor of the Exchequer vowed to maintain the government’s “anti-inflation discipline.” Cable offers are cited around the US$ 1.8525 level. The euro moved marginally higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6840 level and was supported around the ₤0.6820 level.


The Swiss franc was little-changed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2370 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2315 level. The pair has traded in a very tight range since late Thursday as traders have weighed additional U.S. rate hikes against increasing volatility in the markets and heightened geopolitical risks. Traders await Thursday’s interest rate announcement and mid-year policy assessment from Swiss National Bank. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2200 figure. The euro and British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the pairs tested bids around the CHF 1.5510 and CHF 2.2685 levels, respectively.


The Australian dollar came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7385 level and was capped around the $0.7475 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 50.0% retracement of the move from $0.6770 to $0.7985 levels, respectively. Data released in Australia today saw the May NAB business confidence index slide two index points to 9.0. Australian dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.7500 figure.


The Canadian dollar moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1070 level and was supported around the C$ 1.0970 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the 38.2% retracement of the move from C$ 1.1275 to C$ 1.0925. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1100 figure.


The New Zealand dollar came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.6190 level after failing to get above the US$ 0.6295 level. Chartists are eyeing the US$ 0.6160/ 0.6100 levels as the pair’s next downside targets. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6270/ 0.6330 levels.

Gold/ Silver

Gold moved sharply lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 581.85 level and was capped around the $ 605.15 level. Weaker commodities, a pullback in oil, and a generally firm dollar contributed to the pair’s sell-off. Silver moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested bids around the US$ 10.25 level and was capped around the $11.02 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil continued its pullback vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude futures for July delivery tested bids around the US$ 69.14 level and was capped around the $70.15 level. A surprise visit to Iraq by U.S. President Bush added to the pair’s losses as did speculation that tropical storm Alberto will not impact U.S. energy infrastructure facilities in the U.S. Gulf Coast. Additionally, speculation that Iran will not completely snub its nose at a global offer to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities is keeping the pair from escalating at this time.


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