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Monday June 19, 2006 - 14:11:13 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (19 June 2006)

The euro came off sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2555 level and was capped around the US$ 1.2650 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was around the 50% retracement of the move from $1.3665 to $1.1640. European Central Bank policymakers talked hawkishly today with Weber saying the central bank must act “pre-emptively” to maintain price stability and Liikanen reiterated EMU-12 borrowing costs are too low. Data released in the eurozone today saw the EMU-12 April trade deficit print at -€2.0 billion from a revised surplus of +€600 million in March. In U.S. news, Atlanta Fed President Guynn is scheduled to speak today and will likely continue the recent hawkish rhetoric of Fed policymakers. Cleveland Fed President Pianalto will speak on Thursday. Most traders believe the Federal Open Market Committee will lift interest rates by +25bps to 5.25% at the end of the month and the question then becomes what the Fed will do on 8 August and whether or not the FOMC will end its long-standing tightening cycle or continue to combat inflation. By most measures, the U.S. economy is currently decelerating and Fed officials are clearly trying to manage interest rate expectations with their continue Fedspeak. Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2775 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥115.75 level and was supported around the ¥115.10 level. Today’s intraday high represented the pair’s strongest showing since 24 April and today’s intraday low was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from ¥118.85 to ¥109.00. Data released in Japan today saw May department store sales decline 1.1% y/y, the second consecutive monthly decline. Traders sold yen on escalating concerns that North Korea will soon test-fire a missile and Japan has warned of a “harsh” response if the missile falls on Japan. New Bank of Japan Policy Board member Noda today said the timing of a move in Japanese interest rates from zero per cent “depends on data” and the Board’s discussions. Many traders believe the BoJ could move rates higher as early as July but BoJ officials have been clear that such a move will depend on economic activity and prices. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.13% to close at ¥14,860.35. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥114.40 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥145.25 level and was capped around the ¥145.85 level, its highest print ever. The British pound and Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥213.00 and ¥93.70 level, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 8.0060 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 8.0020, and at CNY 8.0048 in the exchange-traded market. People’s Bank of China announced measures overnight to “enhance money and credit controls,” just days after it lifted the required deposit reserve ratio domestic lenders. Collectively, these policy moves represent monetary tightenings and PBOC reported China “will strengthen the banking system's liquidity management, further control the overly fast growth of credit, and continue to rationally guide the scale of commercial banks' medium and long term loan issuances.” Separately, a Chinese government advisor predicted the yuan will only be permitted to appreciate by 3% per year.

The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8410 level and was capped around the $1.8530 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 76.4% retracement of the move from $2.0035 to $1.3680. This will be a fairly light week for U.K. data and traders will pay close attention to the release of Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee’s June meeting minutes. CBI lifted its 2006 GDP growth forecast from 2.3% to 2.4% and kept a 2.5% growth forecast for 2007. Rightmove reported U.K. property prices escalated for the sixth consecutive month in June but noted the rate of increase is slowing. Bank of England released a quarterly survey today that reported inflation expectations have fallen back from seven-year highs despite a pick-up in energy costs. This survey is important because it suggests there may be less pressure on the central bank to tighten monetary policy. Cable offers are cited around the US$ $1.8535 level. The euro weakened vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6810 level and was capped around the ₤0.6830 level.


The Swiss franc lost significant ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2415 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2305 level. Technically, the pair stopped just short of testing the 38.2% retracement of the move from CHF 1.4270 to CHF 1.1285. Data released in Switzerland today saw Q1 industrial production climb 9.2% y/y in Q1, the largest increase since Q1 2000. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2285 level. The euro and British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.5590 and CHF 2.2860 levels, respectively.


The Australian dollar came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7365 level and was capped around the $0.7385 level. Australian dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.7500 figure.


The Canadian dollar was little-changed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the U.S. dollar tested bids around the C$ 1.1205 level and was capped around the C$ 1.1245 level. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1355 level.


The New Zealand dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.6145 level and was capped around the US$ 0.6180 level. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6220 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 566.25 level and was capped around the $580.45 level. The dollar’s overnight surge and cheaper oil prices contributed to gold’s decline. Silver weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested bids around the $9.88 level and was capped around the $10.26 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude futures for August delivery tested bids around the US$ 69.46 level and was capped around the $70.37 level. The pair moved lower after Iran noted there is a “positive atmosphere” regarding discussions about its nuclear ambitions. Also, OPEC maintained its forecast for global oil demand at 1.4 million barrels per day but noted “signs indicate an easing in oil demand, partly due to the high oil prices.”


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