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Tuesday January 30, 2007 - 15:26:13 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (30 January 2007)



The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2980 level and was supported around the $1.2945 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.3045 to $1.2875. Traders await the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day monetary policy meeting tomorrow. Most dealers do not believe the Fed will change interest rates and as usual, the biggest question involves the Fed’s statement and bias. The Fed has retained a hawkish bias for several meetings even though it has not lifted rates. Some Fed officials have publicly noted that inflation seems to be ebbing thus traders are curious to see if the FOMC will reference this in its statement. Data released in the U.S. today saw the January consumer confidence indicator improve to 110.3 in January from 110.0 in December with the future expectations sub-index off marginally. In eurozone news, EMU-13 finance ministers convened last night and reconfirmed their support for the independent of the European Central Bank. Data released in Germany today saw December wholesale sales climb 1.0% m/m and 0.6% y/y. Provisional January CPI data for the German states of Saxony and Bavaria were up 2.4% y/y and 1.8% y/y, respectively. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2925/ 1.2885 levels.

¥/ CNY

The yen extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥121.95 level and was supported around the ¥121.55 level. Traders continued their short yen carry trades after Japanese data released overnight cast doubt on the possibility of an interest rate hike from Bank of Japan next month. First, December household spending was off 1.9%, the twelfth consecutive monthly decline and worse-than-expected. Second, the December jobless rate ticked up to 4.1% from 4.0% in November and was also worse-than-expected. On a positive note, December industrial output climbed 0.7% m/m and exceeded forecasts. Eurogroup chairman Juncker last night said he will voice his concerns over exchange rates with “greater intensity” than the previous Group of Seven meeting. The G7 convenes at the end of next week and traders wonder whether or not the yen will be mentioned specifically. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.11% to close at ¥17,490.19. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥121.20 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥158.15 level and was supported around the ¥157.40 level. The British pound and Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥240.00 and ¥97.40 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.7750 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.7745.



The British pound gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9695 level and was supported around the $1.9595 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.9760 to $1.9545. Data released in the U.K. today saw Nationwide January house prices climb 0.3% m/m, the lowest rise in eight months. These data may evidence a deceleration in the housing market owing to Bank of England’s recent monetary tightenings. Also, BoE reported December mortgage approvals fell to 113,000, their lowest level since April, while the M4 money supply was up 0.9% m/m and 12.8% y/y. NIESR today called on the central bank to lift borrowing costs in response to growing inflationary pressures. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9535 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6850 level and was capped around the ₤0.6610 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2495 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2545 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from CHF 1.2375 to CHF 1.2570. Traders await the release of the January KOF leading indicator tomorrow. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2560 level. The euro and British pound weakened vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.6210 and CHF 2.4545 levels, respectively.

A$

The Australian dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7700 figure and was capped around the $0.7735 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 76.4% retracement of the move from $0.7615 to $0.7980. Data released in Australia today saw the December NAB business confidence index recede to +4 from +6 in November. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7615 level.

C$

The Canadian dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.1795 level and was capped around the C$ 1.1840 level. Data released in Canada today saw December factory prices up 1.4% m/m and 3.6% y/y, more-than-expected as raw materials prices jumped 5.2%. U.S. dollar bids are cited around the C$ 1.1750 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 645.80 level and was supported around the $641.15 level. Traders do not expect much activity in the pair ahead of the FOMC’s interest rate decision tomorrow. Silver moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the $13.37 level and was supported around the $13.07 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for March delivery tested offers around the US$ 54.76 level and were supported around the $53.88 level. Continued cold weather in the northeastern part of the United Stated contributed to the pair’s gains. Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S. limited the pair’s upside, however, when he indicated prices are “adequate to meet the requirements of producing and consuming countries.”

 

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