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Friday February 23, 2007 - 15:15:04 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (23 February 2007)



The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3155 level and was supported around the $1.3100 figure. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.2480 to $1.3360. Traders await comments from San Francisco Fed President Yellen later in the North American session and will not be surprised if she is hawkish in her remarks. The Fed has made it abundantly clear that inflation pressures continue to threaten the U.S. economy and this has keep the U.S. dollar bid in recent sessions. In eurozone news, the German February Ifo business climate index fell to 107.0 from 107.9 in January, below forecasts and down from December’s record print of 108.7. The current economic conditions index and the business expectations index fell to 111.6 and 102.6, respectively. Other data released today saw French January household consumption climb 1.2% m/m, defying expectations of a pullback. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3045 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥121.25 level and was capped around the ¥121.60 level. Today’s intraday activity marks the pair’s first setback this week as traders largely ignored Bank of Japan interest rate hike of +25bps to +0.50%. BoJ Governor Fukui today said he is “open” to further rate hikes but said “assuming the economy continues to expand smoothly under price stability, making gradual adjustments to interest rate levels in line with economic and price developments, while keeping accommodative monetary conditions backed by very low interest rates for now, is the key to supporting sustained growth.” Data released in Japan overnight saw the January corporate services price index rise 0.6% y/y, up for the second consecutive month. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.44% to close at ¥18,188.42. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥120.55 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥159.10 level and was capped around the ¥159.60 level. The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥238.15 level and was supported around the ¥237.35 level. The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the yen as the pair tested bids around the ¥97.85 level and was capped around the ¥98.15 level. The Chinese yuan market will reopen next week after this week’s Lunar new year holiday. The Xinhua news agency reported quoted a government official who said China will utilize import and export tariffs to balance trade and capital inflows.



The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9645 level and was supported around the $1.9535 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.8515 to $1.9845. Data released in the U.K. today saw Q4 GDP grow 0.8% q/q, its fastest rate of growth since Q2 2004. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9585 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6690 level and was capped around the ₤0.6710 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2330 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2410 level. Dollar bears are eyeing the CHF 1.2325 level as the pair’s next downside target below which the CHF 1.2285 level is seen as a big target. Most traders expect Swiss National Bank to tighten monetary policy by +25bps next month. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2430 level. The euro and British pound came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.6230 and CHF 2.4210 levels, respectively.

A$

The Australian dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.7915 level and was supported around the $0.7880 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 76.4% retracement of the move from $0.7980 to $0.7695. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7840 level.

C$

The Canadian dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.1560 level and was capped around the C$ 1.1625 level. Stops were hit below the C$ 1.1570 level, representing the 76.4% retracement of the move from C$ 1.1770 to $1.0925. Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Kennedy yesterday estimated the economy will expand by about 2.5% in the first half of 2007 and accelerate to an annualized 2.75% growth rate in the second half. U.S. dollar bids are cited around the C$ 1.1530/ 1.1445 levels.

Gold/ Silver

Gold climbed higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 685.35 level and was supported around the $673.45 level. Escalating geopolitical tensions, rising oil prices, and inflation jitters have kept the pair bid. Some traders believe the pair may test the psychologically-important US$ 700.00 figure in the short-term. The StreetTRACKS exchange-traded gold fund, the world’s largest such fund, added four tons of gold this week and has increased its holdings by more than 25 tons so far this month. Silver moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the pair tested offers around the US$ 14.61 level and was supported around the $14.20 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil extended recent gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for April delivery tested offers around the US$ 61.93 level and was supported around the $60.67 level. The pair leapt higher after Iran said it will show “no weakness” regarding its nuclear program, one day after the United Nations said that country failed to meet a deadline on 21 February to suspend its uranium enrichment activities.

 

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