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Wednesday June 14, 2006 - 15:12:46 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (14 June 2006)

The euro gained strong ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2645 level and was supported around the $1.2530 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 50% retracement of the move from $1.3665 to $1.1640. The U.S. dollar could not reverse intraday losses despite the release of relatively high May consumer price inflation data that saw headline inflation up +0.4% with the core rate up +0.3%. On an annualized basis, the headline rate was up 4.2% and the core rate was up 2.4%, an increase from 2.3%. This is clearly above the Federal Reserve’s perceived “comfort level” for inflation and the federal funds futures market reacted by pricing in a 100% chance the Federal Open Market Committee will lift the fed funds target rate by +25bps at the end of the month. Traders are now focusing on 8 August and subsequent Fed meetings to determine if – and when – the FOMC may tighten policy further later in the year. Additional Fedspeak is expected today, tomorrow, and Friday. In eurozone news, EMU-12 unemployment was up a provisional 0.3% q/q from Q4 2005 and up +0.9% y/y. Also, Germany’s IfW economic think tank reiterated it believes German GDP will expand 2.1% in 2006 and 1.2% in 2007. European Central Bank President Trichet speaks later today. Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2775 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥114.80 level and was capped around the ¥115.40 level. Stops were hit below the ¥115.10 level, representing the 61.8% retracement of the move from ¥118.85 to ¥109.80. Chartists are eyeing the ¥114.45 level as the pair’s next downside target. Data released in Japan overnight saw Tokyo May condominium sales off 18.6% y/y while May corporate bankruptcies were off 0.3% m/m and May corporate failures were off 8.1% m/m. Traders do not expect Bank of Japan’s Policy Board to announce a change in policy overnight following their policy meeting. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.64% to close at ¥14,309.56. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥113.85 level. The euro came off marginally vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥144.35 level and was capped around the ¥144.80 level. The British pound and Swiss franc gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥212.05 and ¥93.30 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 8.0005 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 8.0035, and at CNY 7.9996 in the exchange-traded market. Premier Wen Jiabao called for controls to slow rapid growth in fixed-asset investments and the credit markets. Data released today saw May property prices in large cities rise 5.8% y/y while May industrial value-added output was up 17.9% y/y. As expected, People’s Bank of China issued CNY 100 billion in bills to commercial banks to remove some surplus liquidity from the markets. It was also reported that the M2 money supply was up 19.1% y/y at the end of May and that China’s foreign exchange reserves topped US$ 900 billion at the end of March.

The British pound made appreciable gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8500 figure and was supported around the $1.8325 level. Stops were triggered above the $1.8455 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.8880 level to $1.8315. Data released in the U.K. today saw the May claimant count escalate for the fourth consecutive month, reaching its highest level since April 2002, while headline average earnings were up 4.4% in the three months to April, from 4.2%. These earnings data are unlikely to add pressure on Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee to tighten monetary policy. BoE will release its inflation attitudes survey next week and this is important because the previous survey reached a plateau not seen in some six years. Cable offers are cited around the US$ 1.8535 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6825 level and was capped around the ₤0.6845 level.


The Swiss franc gained significant ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2265 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2395 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was just below the 50% retracement of the move from CHF 1.1285 to CHF 1.3285. UBS today lifted its Swiss GDP forecast to 3.0% for the currency fiscal year. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2220 level. The euro and British pound weakened vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.5505 and CHF 2.2680 levels, respectively.


The Australian dollar moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.7410 level and was supported around the $0.7345 level. Data released in Australia today saw the June Westpac consumer confidence index decline 0.5 points to 103.8 while production of metals and energy commodities declined in Q1. Australian dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.7450 level.


The Canadian dollar gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.1085 level and was capped around the C$ 1.1170 level. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1190 level.


The New Zealand dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.6265 level and was supported around the $0.6190 level. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6335 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold regained some lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 571.20 level and was supported around the $541.20 level. The sharp decline in the dollar today has precipitated gold-buying, as did strong U.S. consumer price inflation data. Silver moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 10.05 level and was supported around the US$ 9.43 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude futures for July delivery tested offers around the US$ 68.96 level and was supported around the $68.13 level. Traders await weekly U.S. inventories data later today to determine the current levels of gasoline and oil stockpiles. Traders also await Iran’s formal response to the recently-delivered offer of incentives and penalties relating to its nuclear ambitions.


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