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Tuesday December 12, 2006 - 14:33:40 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (12 December 2006)



The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3265 level and was supported around the $1.3220 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.2760 to $1.3365. The pair got a pop overnight after former Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan reported “I expect that the dollar will continue to drift downwards until there will be a change in the U.S. balance of payments.” Traders await today’s Federal Open Market Committee interest rate decision with most traders anticipating no change in the current federal funds target rate of 5.25%. As always, the Fed’s policy statement will be closely watched to see if the Fed’s message changes in its last official policy statement of the year. No significant changes are expected as the U.S. economy has shown evidence of moderating since the last FOMC meeting and some measures of inflation remain elevated. Traders are currently pricing in about a 24% chance the FOMC will lower interest rates in Q1 2007 by 25bps. Data released in the U.S. today saw the October trade deficit print lower-than-expected at –US$ 58.87 billion. These data are important because they could result in an increase in Q4 GDP. In eurozonew news, the German December ZEW survey evidenced an improvement in investor sentiment for the first time since January. The headline figure improved to -19.0 from -28.5 in November. Also, the German IFW research institute revised its estimates for German GDP growth upwards to 2.6% from the previous estimate of 2.4%. European Central Bank Vice President Papademos hawkishly said the “fast expansion” of private sector credit at “very robust rates…implies upside risks to price stability.” Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3185 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥117.15 level and was supported around the ¥116.70 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from ¥101.65 to ¥121.40. Data released in Japan overnight saw the November wholesale goods price index rise 2.7% y/y, the 22nd consecutive monthly increase, but these data were weaker-than-expected and investors pared back their interest rate expectations further. Following last week’s soft machinery orders data and downward revision to Q3 GDP data, today’s data saw traders scale back their expectations that Bank of Japan will lift rates this month to about 40%, down from 70% one week ago. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.66% to close at ¥16,637.78. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥116.45/ ¥115.95 levels. The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥115.05 level and was capped around the ¥154.55 level. The British pound and Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥229.75 and ¥97.35 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.8308 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.8350. Data released in China today saw November retail sales climb 14.1% y/y while November wholesale prices gained 4.1% y/y.



The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9645 level and was supported around the $ 1.9570 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was just above the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.9725 to $1.9465. Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Tucker said the MPC’s decision to lift interest rates last month “was warranted to avoid any misperception that (the MPC’s) reaction function had altered.” Tucker specifically cited upcoming wage round negotiations as an important consideration for policymakers. Data released in the U.K. today saw November annual consumer price inflation rise 2.7%, up from October’s 2.4%, and this remains the highest level since at least January 1997. Also, RICS reported it estimated U.K. house prices will expand 7% in 2007. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9525 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6735 level and was capped around the ₤0.6760 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2050 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2000 figure. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from CHF 1.1285 to CHF 1.3285. Traders await Swiss National Bank’s year-end interest rate decision on Thursday with most traders anticipating a hike in borrowing costs by +25bps. Comments from SNB Chairman Roth will also be closely parsed. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2130 level. The euro and British pound gained ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.5930 and CHF 2.3640 levels, respectively.

A$

The Australian dollar gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.7875 level and was supported around the $0.7835 level. Data released in Australia today saw the NAB November business confidence index remain steady at 6.0 points, unchanged from October’s tally. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7810 level.

C$

The Canadian dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1545 level and was supported around the C$ 1.1455 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from C$ 1.1770 to C$ 1.0925. Data released in Canada today saw the October trade surplus recede sharply to C$ 3.8 billion from a revised C$ 4.54 billion in September. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1570 level.

NZ$

The New Zealand dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.6925 level and was supported around the $0.6880 level. Data released in New Zealand today saw the budget surplus in the four months to October print at US$ 3.08 billion, stronger-than-expected. U.S. dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.6855 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 628.27 level and was capped around the $ 630.85 level. Today’s range was thin ahead of the FOMC’s interest rate decision. Further weakness in the U.S. dollar could result in an appreciation in the price of gold. Silver gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the pair tested offers around the US$ 13.92 level and was supported around the $13.80 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for January delivery tested offers around the US$ 61.62 level and was supported around the $61.19 level. Traders await OPEC’s decision on supply and production on Thursday with some anticipating a further cut in market supply. OPEC officials have provided a mixed message ahead of the meeting in Nigeria with many officials indicating they would prefer a cut of at least 500,000 barrels per day. Many traders believe the US$ 60.00 figure is a level OPEC wants to keep the price around. Warmer-than-normal weather in parts of the U.S. may keep prices depressed for a couple of days.

 

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Forex news reports can be found on the forex research headlines page below. Here you will find real-time forex market news reports provided by respected contributors of currency trading information. Daily forex market news, weekly forex research and monthly forex news features can be found here.

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Real-time forex market news reports and features providing other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the headlines below. At the top of the forex blog page you will find the latest forex trading information. Scroll down the page if you are looking for less recent currency trading information. Scroll to the bottom of fx blog headlines and click on the link for past reports on forex. Currency world news reports from previous years can be found on the left sidebar under "FX Archives."



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