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Thursday June 22, 2006 - 14:13:50 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (22 June 2006)



The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2570 level and was capped around the $1.2680 level. Technically, today’s intraday low is right around the 50% retracement of the move from $1.3480 to $1.1640. The common currency came off after it was reported that EMU-12 April industrial orders were off 0.2% m/m and up 4.4% y/y. Most eurozone data has been relatively stellar as of late and traders continue to price in another monetary tightening from European Central Bank, perhaps as early as next month. ECB’s Liikanen was today quoted as saying inflation risks in the eurozone are to the upside. Other data released today saw Italian June consumer confidence pull back to 106.8 from 107.6 in May. In U.S. news, weekly initial jobless claims climbed 9,000 to 308,000 while continuing jobless claims were fairly steady around 2.43 million. Also, it was reported that the May index of leading economic indicators was off 0.6%. Tomorrow’s U.S. May durable goods orders data will be closely watched by the markets, as will comments from ECB policymaker Weber. Euro offers are cited around the US$ 1.2635/ 1.2700 levels.

¥/ CNY

The yen moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥115.70 level and was supported around the ¥114.65 level. Traders pushed the yen lower after Bank of Japan Governor Fukui reiterated the central bank foresees a “gradual” credit-tightening cycle, seemingly in contrast with his remark earlier this week wherein he speculated about an “early” return to higher interest rates. Fukui added the economy “has been moving more or less along our projections made in the (semi-annual) outlook released in April” and continues to counter criticism about his past investments in a controversial investment fund. BoJ Policy Board’s Nishimura added the economy will continue to grow but cited risks towards economic growth. Data released in Japan today saw the all-industries index rise 1.3% while Japan’s merchandise trade surplus rallied 35.2% y/y in May, the first increase in seventeen months. Capital flows data saw foreign investors as net sellers of Japanese shares for the second consecutive week. Dealers also sold yen overnight when it was reported a U.S. military plane crashed in North Korea overnight, a story that has since been dismissed. Traders anticipate the yen could slip even more if North Korea follows through on plans to test-fire a missile. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 3.36% to close at ¥15,135.69. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥114.45/ 113.85 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥145.70 level and was supported around the ¥145.25 level. The British pound came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥211.40 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥93.20 level. The Chinese yuan moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.9964 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.9970, and at CNY 7.9962 in the exchange-traded market. Data released in China today saw January – May industrial firms’ profits climb 25.5% y/y. A People’s Bank of China official spoke today and suggested China may enact “tough” reform measures after a period of review.



The British pound moved sharply lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8270 level and was capped around the $1.8465 level. Stops were hit below the $1.8300 figure, representing the 50% retracement of the move from $1.9550 to $1.7045. Sterling tumbled after it was reported hawkish Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member, David Walton, unexpectedly died last night after a brief illness. It was reported this week that Walton was the sole MPC member to vote for higher rates again this month and his absence from the MPC could easily bring a less hawkish bias to the vote-setting Committee. Data released in the U.K. today saw the monthly CBI industrial trends survey’s expected output volume improve to +14 from +10. Cable offers are cited around the US$ 1.8535 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6880 level and was supported around the ₤0.6855 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2440 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2315 level. Stops were hit above the CHF 1.2425 level, representing the 38.2% retracement of the move from CHF 1.4270 to CHF 1.1285. Data released in Switzerland today saw the May trade surplus print at CHF 1.221 billion, down from CHF 1.249 billion one year ago. Traders may be reluctant to sell the franc too much as geopolitical risks involving Iran and North Korea are heightened now. Dollar bids are cited around the CHF 1.2285 level. The euro moved marginally higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5640 level and was supported around the CHF 1.5615 level. The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as sterling tested bids around the CHF 2.2705 level.

AUD

The Australian dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7345 level and was capped around the $0.7420 level. Technically, the pair continues to orbit the $0.7380 level, around the 50.0% retracement of the move from $0.6770 to $0.7985. Australian dollar offers are cited around the $0.7445 level.

CAD

The Canadian dollar moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1185 level and was supported around the C$ 1.1070 level. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the $1.1250 level.

NZD

The New Zealand dollar moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.6105 level and was capped around the $0.6210 level. Chartists are eyeing the $0.6100 figure, representing the 76.4% retracement of the move from $0.5990 to $0.6445. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6165/ 0.6215 levels.

Gold/ Silver

Gold came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 583.45 level and was capped around the $598.30 level. The U.S. dollar’s resurgence overnight dented gold as the pair continues to have problems ahead of the $600.00 figure. A People’s Bank of China official issued a report suggesting China should convert some foreign reserves holdings to gold to hedge against the U.S. dollar’s weakness. Silver came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the pair tested bids around the $10.30 level and was capped around the $10.67 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude futures for August delivery tested offers around the US$ 71.14 level and was supported around the $70.25 level. A story that a U.S. military plane had crashed in North Korea pushed oil higher overnight as did more tough talk from President Bush who said Iran must “verifiably suspend” its nuclear enrichment activities and added the U.S. will not agree to bilateral talks with North Korea.

 

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