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Friday September 29, 2006 - 14:10:43 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (29 September 2006)



The euro extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2655 level and was capped around the $1.2710 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.2630 to $1.2830 and euro bears are eyeing the $1.2560 level if the $1.2650 level breaks. The main impetus for the weaker euro today was the provisional September harmonized consumer price inflation data that saw a print at +1.8%, down from August’s level of +2.3%. This represents the first time EMU-12 inflation has been below the European Central Bank’s 2.0% ceiling target since January 2005. Other data saw German August retail sales unchanged m/m and up 1.0% y/y. Additionally, an EC business climate survey saw sentiment at six-year highs while the EMU-12 September economic sentiment indicator climbed to 109.3. Additionally, the French August producer price index gained 0.2% m/m. In U.S. news, August core personal consumption expenditures came in at +2.5% y/y, more-than-expected and the strongest showing since April 1995. These data keep the possibility of additional Federal Reserve interest rate hikes alive. Also, the PCE deflator printed at +3.2% while August personal spending came in lower-than-expected at +0.1%. Additionally, the final September University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was released today and it printed at 85.4, just above expectations, while the September Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index printed at 62.1, exceeding expectations. New Philadelphia Fed President Plosser spoke yesterday and said “it would be dangerous” to assume headline inflation will definitively move lower on account of the recent pullback in oil and he said he “wouldn’t be so confident…that the Fed got it right” when it kept rates unchanged this month. Kansas City Fed President Hoenig spoke yesterday and said “the outlook for the U.S. economy is for some slowing as we move through the fourth quarter.” Euro bids are cited around the $1.2480 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen came off marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥118.10 level and was supported around the ¥117.50 level. Technically, the pair is trying to establish a base around the ¥117.65 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the move from ¥115.55 to ¥118.30. Many data were released in Japan overnight. First, the August core consumer price index gained 0.3% y/y, consistent with market forecasts. These data are important because they further validate Bank of Japan’s decision to lift interest rates to +0.25%. Second, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1% in August. Third, August industrial output improved 1.9% m/m, right around forecasts. Fourth, August household spending tanked 4.3% y/y, worse-than-expected. Fifth, August housing starts gained 1.8% y/y, exceeding market forecasts. Sixth, August orders received by the 50 largest contractors were up 10.3% y/y. New finance minister Omi characterized the yen’s decline vis-à-vis the euro as a “little rough.” The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.64% to close at ¥16,127.58. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥117.25/ 116.65 levels. The euro dropped vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥149.10 level and was capped around the ¥149.80 level. The British pound and Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥220.10 and ¥93.85 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.9041 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.8965, and at CNY 7.9079 in the exchange-traded market. A research bureau of People’s Bank of China estimates GDP will climb 10.5% in 2006 with CPI at +1.5%.



The British pound fell sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.8630 level and was capped around the $1.8775 level. Stops were hit below the $1.8710 level, representing the 76.4% retracement of the move from $1.8600 to $1.9070. The pair is now down more than 350 pips on the week. Data released in the U.K. today saw August mortgage lending marginally slow but it remained at heightened levels with net mortgage lending up ₤9.14 billion. Also, the GfK September consumer confidence index rose one index point -7. Other data released today saw the August M4 money supply 0.8% m/m and 13.7% y/y. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.8595/ 35 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6785 level and was supported around the ₤0.6765 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2565 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2455 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from CHF 1.1920 to CHF 1.2620. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2685/ 1.2815 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5895 level while the British pound came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 2.3365 level.


AUD

The Australian dollar came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7435 level and was capped around the $0.7490 level. Data released in Australia today saw August private sector credit growth up 0.9% m/m and 14.4% y/y. Australian dollar bids are cited around the $0.7405 level.

CAD

The Canadian dollar moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1185 level and was supported around the C$ 1.1100 figure. Stops were hit above the C$ 1.1160 level, representing the 50% retracement of the move from C$ 1.1030 to $1.1295. Data released in Canada today saw July GDP up +0.2%, consistent with expectations. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1355 level.

NZD

The New Zealand dollar moved sharply lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.6505 level and was capped around the $0.6590 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from $0.5910 to $0.7465. Data released in New Zealand today saw Q2 GDP growth decelerate to +0.5 q/q. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6685 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 598.50 level and was capped around the $ 603.83 level. Stronger-than-expected U.S. PCE inflation data have gold on the defensive. Silver came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested bids around the $11.39 level and was capped around the $11.62 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for November delivery tested bids around the US$ 62.12 level and was capped around the $62.73 level. Nigeria announced it will reduce supplies by 5% from 1 October and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are rumoured to be doing the same thing. European negotiators have announced they have not yet reached any deal with Iran about that country’s nuclear ambitions.

 

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