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Wednesday October 11, 2006 - 14:37:04 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (11 October 2006)

The euro was little-changed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.8515 level and was capped around the $1.8585 level. Today’s intraday range was thin compared to yesterday’s strong sell-off. Dallas Fed President Fisher expressed comfort with current Fed monetary policy but indicated rates would have to move higher to counter inflation if necessary. Fed Governor Bies today called the U.S. housing market’s condition a “fairly orderly” adjustment process. The Fed has recently been driving the point across that the housing market slowdown is not yet a marked concern and that it will contribute to a soft landing of the U.S. economy. Traders await the release of the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting on 20 September and for comments from Richmond Fed President Lacker later today. In eurozone news, European Central Bank President Trichet hawkishly talked about wage inflation noting wage growth in some eurozone countries has been “abnormal.” Trichet also noted borrowing costs will need to escalate if the economic outlook materializes as expected. Most dealers believe the ECB will move rates higher in December by +25bps. The European Commission today reported EMU-12 GDP in H2 2006 and early 2007 may be slower than expected. Data released in the eurozone today saw EMU-12 GDP growth confirmed at 0.9% m/m and 2.7% y/y while forecasts for Q3 and Q4 were reduced. Other data released today saw German September wholesale prices off 0.5% m/m and up 3.0% y/y. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2460 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥119.35 level and was capped around the ¥119.75 level. The pair established another 2006 high today on news that North Korea may have tested its nuclear capabilities again. Japan has called for bilateral sanctions against North Korea and MoF’s Watanabe reported “The real impact of the North Korean test on the foreign exchange market, especially for the yen, is limited.” North Korea indicated it will consider increase in pressure from the U.S. “a declaration of war.” Traders await Bank of Japan Governor Fukui’s comments on Friday following a BoJ Policy Board meeting. There is a sense among some traders that BoJ may lift interest rates again earlier than expected. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.47% to close at ¥16,400.57. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥118.25 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥149.75 level and was capped around the ¥150.15 level. The British pound and Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥221.50 and ¥93.95 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback closed at CNY 7.9149 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.9112, and at CNY 7.9140 in the exchange-traded market. China Academy of Social Sciences estimates Chinese GDP will grow 10.5% in 2006 and 10.0% in 2007. Data released in China today saw the September consumer confidence index print at 95.7, up from 94.1 in June.

The British pound gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8585 level and was supported around the $1.8515 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just below the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.9550 to $1.7045. Bank of England Governor King spoke overnight and suggested the pullback in oil prices makes it less likely consumer price inflation will spike above 3.0%. He did, however, note that rising wage pressures could push inflation higher. His comments were relatively hawkish and most traders continue to expect Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will lift rates higher next month. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.8490 level. The euro was little-changed vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6750 level and was capped around the ₤0.6765 level.


The Swiss franc lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2720 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2685 level. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2735/ 1.2815 levels. The euro and British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.5950 and CHF 2.3600 figures, respectively.


The Australian dollar climbed marginally higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.7460 level and was supported around the $0.7425 level. Data released in Australia today saw the Westpac October consumer index climb 3.9% m/m. Also, August housing finance by volume was off 1.0% m/m. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Stevens spoke today and reported the economy may have moderated more than expected but warned the risk of inflation has not necessarily diminished. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7405/ 0.7385 levels.


The Canadian dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1370 level and was supported around the C$ 1.1325 level. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1450 level.


The New Zealand dollar moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.6615 level and was supported around the $0.6560 level. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US $0.6685 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold rallied vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 577.45 level and was supported around the $570.23 level. Traders moved into gold following an escalation of rhetoric from North Korea and unconfirmed reports that the country may have again tested its nuclear capabilities. China has issued a strong rebuke to Pyongyang. Some demand was also seen on news that StreetTRACKS Gold Shares, the world’s largest gold exchange-traded fund, has started trading on the Singapore Exchange. Silver gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 11.36 level and was supported around the $11.08 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil came off marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for November delivery tested bids around the US$ 57.86 level and was capped around the $58.66 level. OPEC may meet between 16-18 October at which time they are expected to formally announce a decrease in production supply, its first in 2 ½ years. IEA today lowered its 2007 forecast for global oil remand by 90,000 barrels per day. U.S. inventories data will be released tomorrow.


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