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Wednesday November 8, 2006 - 15:08:14 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (8 October 2006)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2765 level and was capped around the US$ 1.2805 level. The common currency remained hemmed in by uncertainty over the U.S. mid-term political election where Democrats gained control over the U.S. House of Representatives but control of the U.S. Senate remained unclear. Democratic control of the U.S. Congress is seen as dollar-negative by most U.S. traders as the Bush administration’s tax cuts could be repealed and cause the U.S. economy to slow. Richmond Fed President Lacker was hawkish in remarks published today, noting “we have not communicated very strongly that we want inflation to be lower and would be willing to take action to bring that about.” Further evidence of the slowing U.S. economy emerged last night when total consumer borrowing data saw the economy decelerate for the first time since March. Consumer borrowing was off at an annualized rate of 0.6% in September, the sharpest pace since October 1992. This reflects a pullback in final private demand, higher mortgage interest rates, and heightened inflation expectations. In eurozone news, Germany’s September trade surplus expanded to €15.0 billion from August’s upwardly-revised €12.4 billion tally. Also, Germany’s so-called “Five Wise Men” predicted that country’s GDP growth will reach 2.4% in 2006 and slow to 1.8% in 2007. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2720 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen was little-changed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥117.80 level and was supported around the ¥117.40 level. Data released in Japan today saw the country’s foreign exchange reserves reach a new record high for the eighth consecutive month, up to US$ 885.55 billion in October. Other data saw September leading indicators print at 20.0, the third consecutive month the measure has been below the 50.0 level, while the coincident index receded to 50.0. Bank of Japan Policy Board member Mizuno spoke overnight and reiterated interest rates will gradually rise but added the central bank will not wait until economic risks emerge before lifting borrowing costs. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.08% to close at ¥16,215.74. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥116.65 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥150.15 level and was capped around the ¥150.45 level. The British pound weakened vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥223.90 level while the Swiss franc moved marginally higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥94.35 level. The Chinese yuan strengthened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.8661 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.8745, and at CNY 7.8860 in the exchange-traded market. Data released in China today saw the October trade surplus print at US$ 23.83 billion with the January – October trade surplus now standing at a lofty US$ 133.62 billion.

The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9035 level and was capped around the $ 1.9095 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.9135 to $1.8945. Data released in the U.K. today saw Nationwide October consumer confidence escalate to its highest level in 2006, up to 98, with the future economic, employment, and expectations sub-indices all improving. REC reported October wages continued to rise and BRC reported U.K. shop prices rose at their fastest rate in some 2 ½ years, up 1.52% y/y in October. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.8990 level. The euro was little-changed vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6700 figure and was capped around the ₤0.6715 level.


The Swiss franc weakened marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2510 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2450 level. Swiss National Bank named Board Member Hildebrand to succeed outgoing Vice Chairman Blattner in May of next year. The October SECO consumer climate index will be released tomorrow. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2580/ 1.2685 levels. The euro moved marginally higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.5965 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 2.3750 level.


The Australian dollar came off sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7675 level and was capped around the $0.7750 level. As expected, Reserve Bank of Australia lifted its official cash rate by 25bps to 6.25%, its highest level since January 2001. RBA cited the global economic expansion, high levels of commodity prices, and tight labour market conditions as reasons for hiking. Data released in Australia today saw September housing finance by volume off 1.2% m/m. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7615 level.


The Canadian dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1325 level and was supported around the C$ 1.1280 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from C$ 1.1030 to $1.1410. Data released in Canada today saw housing starts rise 6.8% m/m in October.


The New Zealand dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.6665 level and was capped around the $ 0.6710 level. The pair continues to orbit the $0.6685 level, representing the 50% retracement of the move from $0.5910 to $0.7465. New Zealand dollar offers are cited around the US$ 0.6870 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 617.85 level and was capped around the $626.70 level. Traders await news about the outcome of the electoral battle for the U.S. Senate. Silver moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 12.72 level and was supported around the $ 12.54 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for December delivery tested offers around the US$ 59.31 level and was supported around the $58.94 level. Gulf OPEC oil ministers convened in Abu Dhabi and agreed to endorse the recent supply cut and noted there may be a further reduction in oil output. Yesterday, a U.S. government reported predicted OPEC will only carry out around 60% of its 1.2 million barrel per day pullback in production. Traders await the release of U.S. weekly inventories data today.


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