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Monday January 22, 2007 - 15:54:34 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (22 January 2007)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.2925 level and was capped around the $1.2975 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 50% retracement of the move from $1.2480 to $1.3365. The common currency came off after German producer prices data for December came in softer-than-expected, unchanged m/m and up 4.4% y/y. For all of 2006, producer prices were up 5.5% compared with 2005, the highest rise since 1982. The euro also moved lower on a report that European Central Bank President Trichet, Eurogroup chief Juncker, and European Union Commission Alumnia have agreed to informally meet once per month to increase the coordination of economic and monetary policy. The ECB denied this report and the euro came off on a concern that the ECB’s independence may be questionable. Bundesbank’s January monthly report indicated the “cyclical upturn of the German economy continued in the fourth quarter.” In U.S. news, December leading economic indicators data that were scheduled to be released today will now be released tomorrow instead. Traders await comments from San Francisco Fed President Yellen later in the day. Her comments are the last scheduled comments from a Fed officials ahead of the 30-31 January Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2885/ 20.

¥/ CNY

The yen extended its recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥121.75 level and was supported around the ¥121.20 level. The pair moved to a fresh multi-year high overnight on concerns that Bank of Japan’s autonomy has been compromised following pressure from the Japanese government to not raise interest rates last week. BoJ Governor spoke overnight and called on Asian officials to reduce the amount of capital inflows into the region by “strengthening the function of foreign exchange and financial markets in the region as a whole.” Japan’s government left its monthly economic assessment unchanged, noting the “economy is recovering.” Data released in Japan today saw December supermarket sales off 3.8% y/y, down for the twelfth straight month, while December convenience store sales were off 0.2% y/y. IMM data evidenced a net yen short position of 138,146 contracts through last Tuesday, a record high. These trade position data suggest the yen could be in line for a major appreciation when the dollar’s fortunes reverse. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.66% to close at ¥17,424.18. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥120.90 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥157.60 level and was supported around the ¥157.05 level. The British pound and Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥240.55 and ¥97.35 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan weakened marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.7743 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.7739. IMF Director Rato called on China to adopt a “more flexible exchange rate regime.” The government released a report that estimates China’s trade surplus may swell to US$ 210 billion and GDP is seen expanded between 9.5% and 10.5% this year.

The British pound gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9765 level and was supported around the $1.9715 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the 76.4% retracement of the move from $1.9845 to $1.9260. Data released in the U.K. today saw Rightmove average asking house prices rise 0.5% m/m this month, up from December’s 0.3% decline, and gain 13.5% y/y – the highest level since October 2004. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9655/ 20 levels. The euro came off vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6545 level and was capped around the ₤0.6570 level.


The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2525 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2470 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from CHF 1.1285 to CHF 1.3285. Data released in Switzerland today saw December producer and import prices remain unchanged m/m and up 2.6% y/y. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2560/ 80 levels. The euro lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.6175 level while the British pound escalated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 2.4720 level.


The Australian dollar weakened marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7880 level and was capped around the $0.7905 level. Data released in Australia today saw the final Q4 producer price index up 0.2%, down from Q3’s gain of 1.0%. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7840 level.


The Canadian dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1770 level and was supported around the C$ 1.1710 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 50% retracement of the move from C$ 1.1625 to C$ 1.1800. December CPI data will be released tomorrow. U.S. dollar bids are cited around the C$ 1.1655 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 639.50 level and was supported around the $633.23 level. Technicians cite some congestion around the US$ 642 level. Silver gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 13.10 level and was supported around the $12.79 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil leapt higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for March delivery tested offers around the US$ 54.60 level and were supported around the $53.04 level. A cold spell in parts of the United States prompted the pair higher. OPEC has seemed to have ruled out an emergency meeting to discuss additional supply cuts. NYMEX investment flows data suggest large speculative funds have significantly reduced their net short positions in crude and this may prompt more buying activity.


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