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Wednesday August 23, 2006 - 16:59:13 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (23 August 2006)



The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2850 level and was supported around the $1.2785 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.3480 to $1.1640. The common currency sold off sharply yesterday after two Federal Reserve officials made hawkish comments about U.S. interest rates. Chicago Fed President Moskow said “…some additional firming of policy may yet be necessary to bring inflation back into the comfort zone within a reasonable period of time. I don't accept for a minute we are less attentive to inflation. If I felt like inflation would move up and maybe even stay at current levels, rather than to move back down, I would be in the forefront of wanting to take additional policy action.” Guynn added “it would be naïve” to think that forthcoming inflation data will benign. U.S. data released today saw July existing home sales fall to their lowest level in 2 ½ years, off 4.1% y/y. This will bolster the argument of the monetary doves who suggest the Fed’s long-standing rate tightening cycle is choking the U.S. housing market and could spur a housing-led recession. In eurozone news, European Central Bank policymaker Weber discounted the surprisingly weak German ZEW headline index that was released yesterday and pledged the central bank will keep tightening policy provided EMU-12 growth prospects and price risks continue to move higher. Belgium’s business confidence indicator fell to 3.1 in August from 5.4 in July and some traders believe this could presage a weak German Ifo figure tomorrow. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2755/ 00 levels.


¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥116.05 level and was capped around the ¥116.55 level. Data released in Japan today saw the July merchandise trade surplus decline to ¥860.0 billion from ¥861.9 billion one year ago, significantly below expectations on account of more expensive crude oil products. This follows June’s 5.9% decline and is largely attributable to the fact that Japan has to import most of its oil products. Tonight’s corporate services price index data will be closely watched as traders want to make sure deflation does not return to the Japanese economy. Most dealers believe Bank of Japan will raise interest rates about another +25bps in 2006, but central bank policymakers have made it clear they are in no hurry to tighten policy quickly. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.11% to close at ¥16,163.03. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥115.75/ 114.90 levels. The euro came off marginally vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥148.75 level and was capped around the ¥149.25 level. The British pound and Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥219.50 and ¥94.10 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.9699 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.9664, and at CNY 7.9686 in the exchange-traded market. The Commerce Ministry warned that a rapid yuan appreciation could “gravely” impact the Chinese economy.



The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8995 level and was supported around the $1.8860 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.9145 to $1.8775 and today’s intraday high was right around the 61.8% retracement of the same range. Sterling gained ground after CBI reported U.K. manufacturers’ orders books registered a twenty-month high in August with an index balance of -8 for orders books being above normal levels. This represents the highest reading since -4 in December 2004. Separately, a survey from KPMG reported 60% of U.K. manufacturers expect new orders, output, and business revenues to climb over the next twelve months. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.8775 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6755 level and was capped around the ₤0.6785 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2360 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2290 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 50% retracement of the move from CHF 1.1285 to CHF 1.3285. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2435 level. The euro and British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.5815 and CHF 2.3385 levels, respectively.

AUD

The Australian dollar gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.7670 level and was supported around the $0.7615 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from $0.7985 to $0.7015. Data released in Australia today saw the Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index of economic activity rise at an annualized rate of 5.3% in June after May’s 4.2% annualized pace. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7525 level.

CAD

The Canadian dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.1050 level and was capped around the C$ 1.1160 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 76.4% retracement of the move from $1.0925 to $1.1455. Data released in Canada today saw July leading indicators climb 0.2% and June’s tally was upwardly revised to +0.3%. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1190 level.

NZD

The New Zealand dollar moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.6420 level and was supported around the $0.6370 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $0.6145 to $0.6440. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6505 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 621.45 level and was capped around the $ 630.68 level. Silver gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 12.66 level and was supported around the $12.19 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for October delivery tested bids around the US$ 71.33 level and was capped around the $73.08 level. Iran indicated yesterday that it is prepared to enter “serious negotiations” to discuss the suspension of its nuclear enrichment activities. Iran has until 31 August to end its uranium enrichment activities or face United Nations sanctions. Traders await the release of weekly U.S. energy inventories data today.

 

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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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