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Tuesday March 20, 2007 - 15:54:24 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (20 March 2007)



The euro weakened marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3270 level and was capped around the $1.3315 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.3070 to $1.3340. Some traders are reluctant to put on new positions ahead of the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting that begins today. Most traders expect the Fed to keep the federal funds target rate unchanged but many expect some subtle nuances in the FOMC’s statement that could evidence policymakers’ concern over recent market volatility and allude to the possibility of a rate cut later this year. This will be a tricky proposition for the Fed, however, as recent inflation data confirm that price pressures remain elevated. Data released in the U.S. today saw February housing starts rise 9.0% to an annualized pace of 1.53 million units while February building permits were off 2.5% to an annualized clip of 1.532 million units. Also, Redbook chain store sales were up 0.5% m/m in the first two weeks of March while ICSC-UBS chain store sales were up 0.4% w/w. In eurozone news, German producer prices rose 0.3% m/m and 2.8% y/y. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3235/ 05 levels.


¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥117.05 level and was capped around the ¥118.00 figure. Technically, today’s intraday low was just below the 38.2% retracement of the move from ¥109.00 to ¥122.15. As expected, Bank of Japan’s Policy Board did not change interest rates overnight, leaving the unsecured overnight call rate at 0.50%. The central bank also kept its assessment of the economy unchanged, noting it is “expanding moderately.” BoJ Governor Fukui spoke overnight and said the recent developments in the global equity markets have been a “healthy correction.” There is speculation in the market that BoJ’s tankan survey of consumer sentiment to be released on 2 April could evidence a small decline in business sentiment to about +24. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.90% to close at ¥17,163.20. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥116.25 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥155.60 level and was capped around the ¥156.95 level. The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥230.75 level while the Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the pair tested bids around the ¥96.55 level. The Chinese yuan weakened marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.7375 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.7360. Data released in China today saw February value-added industrial output climb 12.6% y/y. Traders are talking about a market report that China will begin limiting its acquisition of foreign reserves.



The British pound rocketed higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9605 level and was supported around the $1.9430 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 50% retracement of the move from $1.9670 to $1.9180. Data released in the U.K. today saw the February consumer price index climb 2.8% y/y, the second highest result in twelve years. These data increase the chances that Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will tighten rates by +25bps next month. Other data released today saw BSA and CML February mortgage lending and approvals reach their highest level ever for the month while BBA reported U.K. mortgage lending growth moderated last month. Also, the February M4 money supply was up 12.8% y/y and public sector net borrowing was at ₤1.0 billion last month. Traders await Chancellor Brown’s Budget statement tomorrow. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9460 level. The euro weakened vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6780 level and was capped around the ₤0.6845 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2160 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2105 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from CHF 1.2354 to CHF 1.2025. Data released in Switzerland today saw February producer and import prices climb 0.3% m/m and 2.2% y/y. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2210 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.6105 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 2.3790 level.

A$

The Australian dollar came off marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.7960 level and was capped around the $0.8030 level, a new multi-year high. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7950 level.

C$

The Canadian dollar made huge gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.1625 level and was capped around the C$ 1.1785 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 76.4% retracement of the move from C$ 1.1560 to C$ 1.1825. Data released in Canada today saw the February consumer price index rise 2.0% y/y, up sharply from January’s 1.2% y/y increase and the highest level since September 2005. Some traders believe these data will increase the chances that Bank of Canada will lift interest rates again soon. The federal budget released overnight is now seen as having a chance of being accepted by Canada’s legislature, a move that would avert early spring elections. U.S. dollar bids are cited around the C$ 1.1570 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 661.05 level and was supported around the $652.90 level. The U.S. dollar’s sell-off vis-à-vis the British pound and Canadian dollar added to gold’s gains, as did market speculation that China will reduce its acquisition of foreign reserves. Silver appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the $13.39 level and was supported around the $13.14 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil weakened marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for May delivery tested bids around the $59.44 level and were capped around the $60.15 level. Traders await weekly U.S. inventories data tomorrow.

 

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Daily Forex Market News
Forex news reports can be found on the forex research headlines page below. Here you will find real-time forex market news reports provided by respected contributors of currency trading information. Daily forex market news, weekly forex research and monthly forex news features can be found here.

Forex News
Real-time forex market news reports and features providing other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the headlines below. At the top of the forex blog page you will find the latest forex trading information. Scroll down the page if you are looking for less recent currency trading information. Scroll to the bottom of fx blog headlines and click on the link for past reports on forex. Currency world news reports from previous years can be found on the left sidebar under "FX Archives."



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