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Monday August 28, 2006 - 14:13:18 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (28 August 2006)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2820 level and was supported around the $1.2755 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.2460 to $1.2940 and today’s intraday high was right below the 23.6% retracement of the same range. The common currency moved higher as traders reacted to a speech by European Central Bank member Bini Smaghi who hawkishly said the central bank must move quickly to counter any inflationary pressures. The ECB will convene on Thursday and is widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged but most traders believe the ECB will raise rates again this year, possibly in October and December. Remarks from ECB President Trichet will be scrutinized to see if they yield any clues about policy. The common currency largely shrugged off data released today that saw EMU-12 money supply growth of 7.8% in July, below forecast and down from 8.5% in June. In U.S. news, remarks from Fed Chairman Bernanke on Friday at the Jackson Hole symposium were a non-event and traders await further remarks from Bernanke this week to see if they offer any clues about the likely course of policy. The Federal Open Market Committee will convene on 20 September and a majority of traders do not believe the Fed will raise rates then. Still, readings on U.S. inflation remain elevated and the Fed does not want to be seen as insensitive to price pressures. Most dealers believe the Fed will lift rates at least one more time by the end of the year, if not in September. Major U.S. economic data to be released this week include August payrolls on Friday and July’s personal consumption expenditures. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2700 figure.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥116.85 level and was capped around the ¥117.30 level. Charists are eyeing the ¥116.75 level as the pair’s next downside target while other believe the pair may consolidate to the ¥116.40 level. Vice finance minister Fujii today reiterated that “an end to deflation is in sight” but most traders have move past deflation and are now awaiting the next interest rate hike from Bank of Japan. Central bank policymakers have been very careful to make sure the markets understand they will be tightening policy gradually. The Nikkei 225 stock index shed 1.10% to close at ¥15,762.59. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥116.40/ 115.90 levels. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥149.95 level and was supported around the ¥149.55 level. The British pound and Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥221.90 and ¥94.90 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.9709 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.9763, and at CNY 7.9693 in the exchange-traded market.

The British pound scored gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8960 level and was supported around the $1.8860 level. Technically, today’s intraday high and low were right around the 50% and 23.6% retracements of the move from $1.9145 to $1.8775 levels, respectively. A market holiday in the U.K. saw reduced liquidity during the European dealing session. Data released last night saw Hometrack house price growth decelerate to 0.4% m/m in August. Some chartists are eyeing the $1.9000 figure as the pair’s next upside target. Cable bids are cited around the $1.8915 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6750 level and was capped around the ₤0.6770 level.


The Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2320 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2395 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the 50% retracement of the move from CHF 1.2595 to CHF 1.2180. Swiss National Bank Chairman Roth spoke today and said “Given the moderate development of our monetary aggregates as well as benign inflationary prospects, our policy of normalization of interest rates has been fruitful. Still, a good economic outlook, both internationally and at home, as well as a higher degree of capacity utilization, oblige us to pursue (this policy of normalization.” Roth added he expects inflation to be contained and that both economic growth and the franc should remain relatively strong. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2425 level. The euro and British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.5785 and CHF 2.3355 levels, respectively.


The Australian dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$0.7590 level and was supported around the $0.7565 level. Chartists are eyeing the $0.7615 level as the pair’s next upside target. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$0.7520/ 00 levels.


The Canadian dollar moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$1.1060 level and was capped around the C$1.1095 level. Input prices will be released on Wednesday followed by GDP data on Thursday. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1130 level.


The New Zealand dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested offers around the US$0.6385 level and was supported around the $0.6355 level. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$0.6440 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 620.35 level and was capped around the US$ 624.35 level. Metals prices tracked oil prices lower. Silver came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested bids around the $ 12.34 level and was capped around the $12.49 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$ 71.03 level and were capped around the $ 72.20 level. Traders sold oil after it was learned that Hurricane Ernest – the first threat to the Gulf of Mexico in the hurricane season – was downgraded to a tropical storm. News that Iran tested a new type of missile this weekend will be overshadowed by last-ditch diplomatic efforts to get Iran to rein in its nuclear activities.


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