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Friday December 29, 2006 - 16:28:15 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (29 December 2006)



The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3190 level and was supported around the $1.3135 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 76.4% retracement of the move from $1.3665 to $1.1640. Data released in the eurozone today saw the November M3 money supply measure jump to 9.3% from 8.5% in October, above forecast. Germany’s DIW institute sees 2007 German GDP growth around 1.7% and GfK’s German consumer climate index declined to 8.7 in January. One major issue that could affect the German economy in 2007 is an increase in the value-added tax from next month. Traders are also noting that Slovenia will become a full member of the eurozone this weekend. In U.S. news, traders continue to await evidence that the Federal Reserve will definitively end its long-standing tightening cycle while some dollar bears believe the Fed will begin to reduce interest rates in 2007. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3130 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥119.15 level and was supported around the ¥118.75 level. Technically, the pair continues to orbit the 38.2% retracement of the move from ¥147.65 to ¥101.30. The biggest issue for the yen in 2007 will be the timing of Bank of Japan’s next interest rate increase. Most traders believe the central bank will deliver its next hike in rates by the end of the current fiscal year end in March. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.01% to close at ¥17,225.83. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥118.45 level. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥156.95 level and was supported around the ¥156.25 level. The British pound came off vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥233.00 figure while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥97.65 level. The Chinese yuan appreciated significantly vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.8051 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.8141.



The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9570 level and was capped around the $1.9670 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just below the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.9435 to $1.9745. Data released in the U.K. today saw Q3 mortgage equity withdrawal rise to ₤11.8 billion from Q2’s rate of ₤11.0 billion while BBA reported November mortgage approvals reached their highest level in five months. Many traders believe Bank of England will tighten monetary policy further by +25bps in February. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9505 level. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6730 level and was supported around the ₤0.6695 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc was little-changed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2180 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2225 level. Data released in Switzerland today saw the December KOF economic barometer recede to 1.60 from a revised 1.75 in November and 1.95 in October. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2285 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.6085 level while the British pound came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 2.3895 level.

A$

The Australian dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7850 level and was capped around the $0.7925 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was just below the 50% retracement of the move from $0.7930 to $0.7780. Data released in Australia today saw November private sector credit up 1.1% m/m and 15.0% y/y. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7840 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold came off marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 632.20 level and was capped around the $635.50 level. Gold finished 2006 up about 23% y/y. Silver moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested bids around the US$ 12.81 level and was capped around the $12.94 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for February delivery tested bids around the US$ 59.96 level and were capped around the $60.61 level. Mild temperatures in parts of the U.S. are decreasing demand for home heating oil. Traders await OPEC’s reduction of daily output by 500,000 barrels from 1 February.

 

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