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Friday August 25, 2006 - 14:19:30 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (25 August 2006)



The euro came off marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2745 level and was capped around the $1.2780 level. The common currency’s range was limited before Fed Chairman Bernanke took the airwaves at the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium. The pair’s thin range evidences the fact that many traders continue to look to U.S. interest rates for direction regarding the U.S. dollar. Minutes from the Fed’s 8 August interest rate deliberations will be reduced on Tuesday and some traders continue to believe the Fed may lift the fed funds target rate by +25bps on 20 September. In eurozone news, preliminary consumer price inflation data for some German states released today showed slowing price pressures in the eurozone’s largest economy. The European Central Bank convenes next Thursday and is expected to tighten monetary policy around October and December. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2700/ 1.2640 levels.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥1.8915 level and was supported around the ¥1.8825 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from ¥117.85 to ¥113.95. Today’s intraday high represented the pair’s strongest showing since 19 July and was precipitated by weaker-than-expected July consumer price inflation data. July core CPI were up +0.2% y/y, defying expectations for a +0.5% y/y rise. These data reinforced the view that Bank of Japan is in no hurry to raise interest rate furthers. Many traders still believe the central bank will lift borrowing costs by +25bps by the end of the year. Traders also dumped yen overnight after the Japanese government warned North Korea that a nuclear test would be a “grave threat” to the region. In addition to July’s CPI reading, there were some revisions to past data and the manner in which they are calculated and these potentially reduce the need for the central bank to lift rates also. The Nikkei 225 stock index slumped 0.14% to close at ¥15,938.66. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥116.75 level. The euro rocketed higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥149.75 level and was supported around the ¥148.55 level. Today’s intraday low represents a fresh lifetime high for the cross and dealers are curious to see if the pair can get through the options minefield ahead of the ¥150.00 figure. The British pound and Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥221.65 and ¥94.75 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback closed at CNY 7.9763 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.9725, and at CNY 7.9768 in the exchange-traded market. The government reported the Chinese government will reduce investment and credit growth in the second half of 2006 and a Chinese scholar predicted China’s foreign exchange reserves will be about US$ 2.49 trillion in 2010.



The British pound was unchanged vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8825 level and was capped around the $1.8915 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.8175 to $1.9145. Data released in the U.K. today saw Q2 GDP growth of an unrevised +0.8%, its fastest rate in two years. Also, it was reported that BBA July mortgage approvals fell sharply from their pace in June, reaching their lowest level since April. Some sterling buying was cited on market rumours that Bank of America may be interested in purchasing U.K. banks Lloyds TSB or Barclays. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 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 ₤0.6780 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc was little-changed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2370 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2410 level. Technically, the pair continues to orbit the 50% retracement of the move from $1.2595 to $ 1.2180. Today’s thin range is attributable to suspense ahead of remarks from Fed Chairman Bernanke. Dollar offers are cited around the US$ 1.2435 level. The euro came off marginally vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5800 figure while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 2.3400 figure.

AUD

The Australian dollar slumped vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7575 level and was capped around the $ 0.7615 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from $0.7985 to $0.7015. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7500 figure.

CAD

The Canadian dollar gained ground 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$ 1.1105 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 76.4% retracement of the move from $1.0925 to $1.1455. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1130 level.

NZD

The New Zealand dollar moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.6355 level and was supported around the $0.6325 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from $0.6145 to $0.6440. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6370/ 0.6505 levels.

Gold/ Silver

Gold gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 629.80 level and was supported around the $ 618.35 level. The move higher in inflation and continued inflation jitters have gold bid. Silver came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested bids around the US$ 12.21 level and was capped around the $12.50 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for October delivery tested offers around the US$ 73.63 level and was supported around the $ 72.39 level. Speculation that the west will reject Iran’s counterproposals regarding its nuclear development activities is keeping oil bid. Traders are also loading up on oil on account of a strong Caribbean storm called Ernesto that is on the verge of becoming a hurricane and could be in the Gulf of Mexico by the middle of next week. Additionally, it was reported that China’s fuel consumption climbed 12.2% y/y in July.

 

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