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Friday September 8, 2006 - 15:17:51 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (8 September 2006)

The euro extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2650 level and was capped around the $1.2740 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 50% retracement of the move from $1.3665 to $1.1640. The big news of the day related to verbal intervention from U.S. and European officials. U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson, who is attending the APEC meeting in Hanoi this weekend, said he is “very much in favour of a strong dollar” and added exchange rates should be determined in open and competitive markets. He added “The US has a low savings rate, has a trade deficit. Asia has a very high savings rate and a trade surplus...No nation can solve this by themselves, it's a shared responsibility…The U.S. needs to increase its savings rate and deal with the deficit, while Japan, China and Europe need to do more to generate domestic consumption.” In Finland, European Central Bank President reported “On the exchange rates question, I trust...that excessive volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates are undesirable for economic growth.” Eurogroup president Juncker noted “Any sharp move in the exchange rate leads to certain risks and is not welcome.” Trichet reiterated the ECB is exercising “strong vigilance” against inflation risks. Data released in Germany today saw the July trade surplus recede to €13.1 billion from €13.4 billion in June. Traders await remarks from Cleveland Fed President Pianalto today. San Francisco Fed President Yellen yesterday said the Fed should lean towards future rate hikes until inflation subsides. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2560 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥116.85 level and was supported around the ¥116.10 level. As expected, Bank of Japan’s Policy Board voted to keep the uncollateralized overnight call rate unchanged at +0.25%. The central bank lifted the rate to +0.25% from 0% in July, its first interest rate increase in some six years. BoJ Governor Fukui spoke about recent weaker-than-expected consumer price inflation data overnight saying “…the data still confirms that prices have been on a moderate uptrend since the start of this year, and suggests that the year-on-year rate of change in consumer prices is projected to continue to follow a positive trend, as the output gap continues to be positive…With regard to the adjustment in the interest rates, we will do it slowly while carefully assessing developments in economic activity and prices.” The big question in traders’ minds is whether or not BoJ will lift rates again this year or during the current Japanese fiscal year ending in March, 2007. Similarly, the central bank’s monthly report noted the economy is expanding moderately and reiterated that deflation is easing. Data released in Japan overnight saw the August money supply climb 0.5% y/y while August bank lending was up 1.9% y/y. Also, the August economy watchers’ index rose 1.8 points from July’s reading, the first improvement in five months. Finance minister Tanigaki noted the Group of Seven will discuss exchange rates when they convene in Singapore in a couple of weeks but did not specify if the yen would be discussed. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.42% to close at ¥16,080.46. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥115.55 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥147.55 level and was capped around the ¥148.35 level. The British pound and Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥217.35 and ¥93.25 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.9485 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.9410, and at 7.9491 in the exchange-traded market. Data released in China overnight saw the August producer price index up 3.4% y/y. Vice Premier Wu reported China will continue to “open up to attract more foreign investment.” Finance minister Jin noted the currency market will play a greater role in the yuan’s value but added “the exchange rate regime of China is not the major reason that causes imbalances in the global economy.”

The British pound fell sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8625 level and was capped around the $1.8761 level. The pair reached levels not seen since 1 August. Political uncertainty regarding when Prime Minister Blair will resign his top slot and its ensuing impact on his Labour Party are having a pronounced impact on sterling. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.8595 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6795 level and was supported around the ₤0.6780 level.


The Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2505 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2420 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from CHF 1.4270 to CHF 1.1285. Data released in Switzerland today saw the August unemployment rate remain steady at 3.1%, unchanged from July’s level. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2685 level. The euro and British pound came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.5805 and CHF 2.3250 levels, respectively.


The Australian dollar moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7530 level and was capped around the $0.7625 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the 61.8% retracement of the move from $0.7985 to $0.7015. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$0.7500 figure.


The Canadian dollar depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1195 level and was supported around the $1.1090 level. Data released in Canada today saw the August unemployment rate rise to 6.5% from July’s 6.4% reading. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1355 level.


The New Zealand dollar came off acutely vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.6355 level and was capped around the $0.6465 level. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the $0.6495 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold slumped further vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 606.55 level and was capped around the $ 619.53 level. Silver came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested bids around the $12.01 level and was capped around the $12.69 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for October delivery tested bids around the US$ 66.71 level and was capped around the $67.52 level. British Petroleum noted its Prudhoe Bay facility may return to full capacity by the end of October and traders expect OPEC will announce it is keeping supplies at strong levels on Monday. Traders are also monitoring the United Nations Security Council as the U.S. wants talks to commence next week on a draft resolution that establishes sanctions against Iran for its nuclear activities.


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