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Wednesday March 7, 2007 - 15:10:14 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (7 March 2007)

The euro climbed marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3140 level and was supported around the $1.3110 level. Traders were loath to put on new positions ahead of tomorrow’s interest rate decision from the European Central Bank. Most trades believe the ECB will lift its main refinancing rate target by +25bps to 3.75% and will closely scrutinize comments from ECB President Trichet to see if he uses the word “vigilant” to discuss possible future rate hikes. Data released in Germany today saw January factory orders fall 1.0% following December’s revised 0.7% drop. In U.S. news, traders await the release of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book today to assess the health of the U.S. economy. Dealers are also closely watching the fallout in the U.S. sub-prime mortgage market to see how the closure of many lenders will impact the U.S. housing market. Data released in the U.S. today saw ADP private payrolls climb 57,000 last month, below forecasts. The February non-farm payroll report will be released on Friday and many economists estimate about 100,000 new jobs were created last month. Revisions to previous month’s jobs tallies will be of interest to traders. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3050 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥116.20 level and was capped around ¥116.90 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 76.4% retracement of the move from ¥114.45 to ¥122.15. Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Iwata characterized the recent unwinding of yen carry trades as “technical position adjustments” by investors who are “overly complacent” about asset price volatility and associated risks. Iwata was the lone dissenter against last month’s decision to rate interest rates but said consumer prices should evidence “a gradual uptrend” in the coming months. Data released in Japan today saw the January leading index print at 35.0 from 37.5 in December while the coincident index came in at 55.6, down from 63.6. Also, Japan’s foreign reserves reached a record high of US$ 905.05 billion at the end of February. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.47% to close at ¥16,764.62. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥115.20 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥152.40 level and was capped around the ¥153.55 level. The British pound and Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥223.85 and ¥94.95 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.7400 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.7415, the pair’s lowest close since the yuan revaluation of July 2005. U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson met with Chinese Premier Wen today and his presence in China will be closely watched by traders.

The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9260 level and was capped around the $1.9360 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.9915 to $1.9180. Most traders believe Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will keep its main repo rate unchanged at 5.25% tomorrow but remember that the BoE implemented a surprise rate hike in January. Talk that foreign investors redeemed a ₤12 billion bond overnight led to intraday sales of sterling. Data released in the U.K. today saw BRC February monthly shop price index prices up 1.79% y/y, down from January’s +1.84% y/y gain and December’s +2.28% y/y gain. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9180 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6810 level and was supported around the ₤0.6780 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2200 figure and was capped around the CHF 1.2245 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from CHF 1.3235 to CHF 1.1875. Data released in Switzerland today saw the February unemployment rate print at 3.2%, down from 3.3% in January. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2275 level. The euro and British pound weakened vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.6030 and CHF 2.3545 levels, respectively.


The Australian dollar climbed higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.7785 level and was supported around the $0.7740 level. As expected, Reserve Bank of Australia left its official cash rate unchanged at 6.25% overnight. Australian Treasurer Costello today said Australia’s GDP is being impacted by a severe drought. Data released in Australia today saw GDP rise 1.0% and 2.8% y/y in the three months to December. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7615 level.

The Canadian dollar came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1785 level and was supported around the C$ 1.1745 level. Traders await comments from Bank of Canada Governor Dodge tomorrow. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the US$ 1.1830 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold was little-changed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 642.95 level and was capped around the US$ 648.20 level. Silver gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 13.05 level and was supported around the $12.81 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for April delivery tested offers around the US$ 61.02 level and was supported around the $60.63 level. Traders expect today’s weekly Energy Information Administration data to confirm a significant draw in gasoline stocks. Also, Royal Dutch Shell has announced a reduction in Nigerian production on account of a spill in the Niger Delta. Additionally, traders await OPEC’s meeting in Vienna on 15 March but do not expect any changes in output to be announced.


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