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Wednesday September 13, 2006 - 15:11:31 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (13 September 2006)

The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2665 level and was capped around the $1.2700 figure. Traders are awaiting a speech today from U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson to see if he yields any clues about the U.S.’s position towards China, its lack of currency flexibility, and this weekend’s Group of Seven meeting. San Francisco Fed President Yellen spoke yesterday and hawkishly noted “With inflation too high, policy must have a bias toward further firming…our past actions have already put a lot of firming in the pipeline" and added "with the lags in policy we haven't yet seen the full effect of our past actions.” Yellen also said “by pausing, we allowed ourselves more time to observe the data and more time to gauge how much, if any, additional firming is needed to pursue our dual mandate.” In eurozone news, German August final consumer price inflation was off 0.1% m/m and up 1.7% y/y. Recent CPI data from the eurozone have been evidenced a deceleration in consumer-level price pressures but most dealers still believe the European Central Bank will tighten interest rates next month and again in December. August CPI inflation for the eurozone and EMU-12 July trade balance data will be released on Friday. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2560 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥117.45 level and was capped around the ¥118.00 figure. Minutes from the 10-11 August Bank of Japan Policy Board meeting were released overnight and they were more hawkish than expected. Members concluded consumer prices would likely continue to rise year-on-year and added CPI “is likely to continue to follow a positive trend as the output gap continued to be positive.” More recently, BoJ Governor Fukui noted additional interest rate hikes by the central bank will be “slow.” Data released in Japan overnight saw the July current account surplus climb 7.1% y/y to ¥1.81 trillion while July industrial output was off 0.9% m/m, unchanged from preliminary estimates. Capital flows data released overnight saw foreign investors remain net buyers of Japanese equities for the second consecutive month in August. Traders are talking about this Friday’s government report in which the Japanese will offer their monthly assessment of the economy. The government is expected to announce deflation has been beaten and to suggest a slowdown in the U.S. economy could impact the recovery in Japanese prices. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.20% to close at ¥15,750.05. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥116.75 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥149.05 level and was capped around the ¥149.75 level. The British pound and Swiss franc declined vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥220.20 and ¥93.75 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar closed at CNY 7.9486 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.9465, and at CNY 7.9479 in the exchange-traded market. Traders are speculating to what extent the Group of Seven’s statement this weekend will include a reference to Asian currency flexibility. A Chinese legislator was quoted overnight as saying 2008 may be an appropriate time for China to make the yuan fully convertible. Data released in China overnight saw August industrial output up 15.7% y/y.

The British pound gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8765 level and was capped around the $ 1.8710 level. Data released in the U.K. today saw the August claimant count of unemployed persons decline. Other data released today saw REC August salary increases at a two-year high. Cable bids are cited around the $1.8595 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6775 level and was supported around the ₤0.6755 level.


The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2550 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2500 figure. Stops were hit above the CHF 1.2520 level, representing the 38.2% retracement of the move from CHF 1.1285 to CHF 1.3285. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2685 level. The euro and British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.5910 and CHF 2.3490 levels, respectively.


The Australian dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.7530 level and was supported around the US$ 0.7480 level. Stops were hit below the $0.7520 level, representing the 38.2% of the retracement of the move from $0.6770 to $0.7985. Data released in Australia today saw the September Westpac consumer sentiment index climb 12.5% m/m. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7385 level.


The Canadian dollar came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1235 level and was supported around the C$ 1.1180 level. Technically, today’s intraday low just above the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.1030 to $1.1225 level. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1245/ 95 levels.


The New Zealand dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.6470 level and was supported around the $0.6390 level. Traders await Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s interest rate decision later today. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6525/ 0.6615 levels.

Gold/ Silver

Gold moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 579.10 level and was capped around the $593.35 level. Today’s intraday low is the pair’s lowest level since the end of June and prices are moving lower on account of weakening crude oil prices and the stronger U.S. dollar. Silver moved marginally higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the $11.26 level and was supported around the $10.89 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil climbed higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for October delivery tested offers around the US$ 64.39 level and was supported around the $63.52 level. European Union officials will convene tomorrow with Iranian official regarding the latter’s nuclear program. At the same time, the U.S. is pushing for the United Nations to draft punitive sanctions against Iran for failing to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities. Traders await the release of weekly U.S. energy inventories data today.


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