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Monday January 15, 2007 - 16:38:03 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (15 January 2007)

The euro appreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2955 level and was supported around the $ 1.2915 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 50% retracement of the move from $1.2480 to $1.3365. Liquidity was thin during the North American session on account of a bank holiday in the U.S. Goldman Sachs released a forecast today predicting the euro will finish 2007 around US$ 1.32. In eurozone news, EMU-12 industrial output rose 0.2% m/m and 2.5% y/y in November. Additionally, traders are awaiting comments from European Central Bank President Trichet later today. Trichet moved the markets on Thursday after the ECB kept interest rates unchanged by not mentioning “vigilance” in talking about interest rates. Most traders now expect the ECB to lift rates by 25bps in March. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2820/ 1.2775 levels.

¥/ CNY

The yen weakened marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥120.60 level and was supported around the ¥120.05 level. Japanese media outlets continued this weekend to report that Bank of Japan is likely to raise interest rates this week. BoJ’s Policy Board convenes on Wednesday and Thursday and is expected to lift the overnight call rate to +0.50%. Vice finance minister Fujii and other government officials called on the central bank to not lift rates. The big question is if and how quickly yen carry trades will be unwound, leading to yen appreciation. Data released in Japan today saw November core machinery orders climb 3.8% m/m. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.90% to close at ¥17,209.92. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥119.60 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥156.05 level and was supported around the ¥155.05 level. The British pound and Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥236.95 and ¥96.80 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.7918 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.7984 and the pair’s lowest level since the July 2005 yuan revaluation. Data released in China today saw the M2 money supply measure up 16.94% y/y as of the end of December. Also, actual foreign direct investment was off 4.06% last year to US$ 69.47 billion.

The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9670 level and was supported around the $1.9570 level. Stops were reached above the $1.9620 level, representing the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.9845 to $1.9260. Data released in the U.K. today saw retail sales in London climb 11% y/y according to the London Retail Consortium. These data suggest final private demand was strong during the holiday shopping period. Also, the government reported U.K. November house prices were up 8.9% y/y and December input prices were up 1.9% y/y, their lowest gain since March 2004. Traders are still talking about last week’s surprise rate hike by Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and there is much speculation the central bank could tighten rates further again soon. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9555/ 1.9485 levels. The euro weakened vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6575 level and was capped around the ₤0.6600 figure.


The Swiss franc lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2485 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2445 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from CHF 1.2330 to CHF 1.2530. A survey released by UBS expects the positive trend to continue for Swiss businesses in 2007. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2520/ 60 levels. The euro and British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6140 and CHF 2.4530 levels, respectively.


The Australian dollar gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.7860 level and was supported around the $0.7825 level. Technically, the pair continues to orbit the $0.7840 level, representing the 38.2% retracement of the move from US$ 0.7615 to $0.7980. Data released in Australia today saw November housing finance by volume fall 0.6% m/m. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7795 level.


The Canadian dollar gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.1660 level and was capped around the C$ 1.1705 level. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.1775/ 1.1830 levels.

Gold/ Silver

Gold weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 624.25 level and was capped around the $ 628.10 level. Liquidity was reduced on account of the U.S. market holiday. Silver gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 12.98 level and was supported around the $12.82 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for February delivery tested bids around the US$ 52.47 level and were capped around the $53.53 level. Kuwait’s oil minister reported OPEC may convene an emergency meeting after 1 February if oil prices continue to decline.


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