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Thursday January 4, 2007 - 15:25:10 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (4 January 2007)



The euro extended its recent pullback vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3085 level and was capped around the $1.3180 level. Stops were reached below the $1.3025 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.3365 to $1.3050. Traders shrugged off yesterday’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes in which Fed policymakers expressed “heightened concern” about the U.S. housing slump. Federal funds futures are now discounting about an 80% likelihood the FOMC will ease monetary policy by July. Data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims rise 10,000 to 329,000 in the week ended 30 December while continuing jobless claims fell 76,000 to 2.45 million. Some anecdotal evidence from some of the U.S.’s largest retail stores suggest the holiday shopping season was worse-than-expected. Additionally, November factory orders climbed +0.9%, November pending home sales were off 0.5%, and the December services ISM index printed at 57.1, down from 58.9 in November. The ISM new orders index was lower while the employment index and prices paid index rose. In eurozone news, provisional December EMU-12 inflation data printed at +1.9% y/y, unchanged from November’s tally, while the EMU-12 service sector PMI survey fell to 57.2 from November’s tally of 57.6. Most traders continue to believe the European Central Bank will lift interest rates by +25bps to 3.75% in Q1. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3045/ 25 levels.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥119.05 level and was capped around the ¥119.50 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was just below the 50% retracement of the move from ¥118.50 to ¥119.70. Speculation that Bank of Japan is inching closer to another interest rate hike is lending support to the yen. December monetary base data will be released in Japan overnight. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.74% to close at ¥17,353.67, an eight-month closing high. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥118.75 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥156.00 figure and was capped around the ¥157.30 level. The British pound and Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥231.50 and ¥96.65 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.8090 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.8051.



The British pound extended its recent depreciation vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9400 figure and was capped around the $1.9530 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.8515 to $1.9845. Data released in the U.K. today saw the December service sector PMI survey rise to 60.6, the highest level since June 1997, while Nationwide reported U.K. house price growth accelerated in the last three months of 2006. Also, U.K. November net mortgage lending rose to ₤9.8 billion, its highest level since September 2003, while the November M4 money supply was up 0.5% m/m and 13.0% y/y. Moreover, the December GfK consumer confidence index receded to -8 from -7 in November. Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Blanchflower spoke today and saw migrants from Eastern Europe have reduced the U.K.’s natural rate of unemployment and inflationary pressures. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9340 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6730 level and was capped around the ₤0.6760 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2325 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2240 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 50% retracement of the move from CHF 1.2770 to CHF 1.1875. Data released in Switzerland today saw the December consumer price index climb +0.6% y/y, unchanged from the previous month. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2430 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.6105 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 2.3955 level.

A$

The Australian dollar weakened sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7825 level and was capped around the US$ 0.7920 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 76.4% retracement level of the move from $0.7780 to $0.7980. Data released in Australia today saw the December AIG services performance index up 1.0 index point to 49.5. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7810 level.

C$

The Canadian dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1760 level and was supported around the C$ 1.1715 level. Data released in Canada today saw the manufactured goods prices index remain unchanged m/m in November and were up 1.9% y/y while the raw materials price index was up 0.9% m/m and 4.6% y/y. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1830 level.

NZ$

The New Zealand dollar fell sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.6970 level and was capped around the US$ 0.7080 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $0.6575 to $0.7095. New Zealand dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.6895 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 630.80 level and was supported around the $624.60 level. Silver moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 12.79 level and was supported around the $12.41 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$ 56.74 level and were capped around the $58.48 level. Traders await the release of weekly U.S. inventories data and they are expected to evidence a healthy rise in fuel stocks on account of mild weather in parts of the oil import-dependent U.S.

 

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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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