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Wednesday April 11, 2007 - 16:33:27 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (11 April 2007)

The euro came off marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3415 level and was capped around the $1.3440 level. Today’s range was very limited as traders were reluctant to put on new positions ahead of the release of the Federal Open Market Committee’s March meeting minutes. The Fed’s statement evidenced some indications that it was moving away from its tightening bias but price pressures remain evident in the U.S. economy and if the minutes show significant concern with inflation, the U.S. dollar could benefit. The International Monetary Fund reduced its U.S. growth forecast for 2007 to 2.2% from 2.9%. Also, the National Association of Realtors lowered its forecast for existing home sales to -2.2% and new home sales to -14.2% for 2007. In eurozone news, most traders believe the European Central Bank will not tighten monetary policy tomorrow when its interest rate decision is announced. Data released in Germany today saw March wholesale prices rise 0.5% m/m and 3.1% y/y. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3365 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers vis-à-vis the ¥119.50 level and was supported around the ¥118.85 level. The pair reached its highest level since 27 February as traders put on more short yen carry trades ahead of the Group of Seven meeting later this week. Data released in Japan today saw February core private sector machinery orders fall 5.2% m/m to ¥1.04 trillion, down from January’s 3.9% gain. Also, the February current account surplus rose 4.9%, the March money supply expanded 1.1% y/y, March bank lending was up 1.1% y/y, and March corporate failures climbed 12.0% y/y. Bank of Japan executive director Inaba said “Should short-term interest rates be kept at extremely low levels for a long period of time, inflation expectations and concerns in the markets would emerge and could push up long-term interest rates.” Most traders believe the BoJ will not hike rates again until after the July elections in Japan. The International Monetary Fund today lifted its GDP forecast for Japan in 2007 from 2.1% to 2.3%. The IMF yesterday estimated that short yen carry trades totaled US$ 170 billion last year. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.03% to close at ¥17,670.07. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥118.30 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥160.40 level and was supported around the ¥159.60 level. The British pound and Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥236.25 and ¥97.95 levels, respectively.

The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9815 level and was supported around the $1.9710 level. Data released in the U.K. today saw March BRC like-for-like retail sales climb 3.9% y/y, the fastest increase in nearly one year. Also, sterling was lifted after a report surfaced that the U.K. Treasury is planning a tax exemption on dividends earned overseas. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9670 level. The euro weakened vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6775 level and was capped around the ₤0.6810 level.


The Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2215 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2165 level. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2280 level. The euro and British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6395 and CHF 2.4145 levels, respectively.


The Australian dollar came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.8235 level and was around the $0.8265 level. Data released in Australia today saw February housing finance rise 0.3% m/m. Also, traders cited talk that Mexican cement giant Cemex SAB de CV is increasing its takeover offer for Australian construction materials company Rinker Group. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8220/ 0.8190 levels.


The Canadian dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.1430 level and was capped around the $1.1480 level. Today’s intraday low was the pair’s weakest showing since 20 December 2006. Data released in Canada today saw March housing starts up 7.6% m/m to 210,900 units. U.S. dollar bids are cited around the C$ 1.1400 figure.

Gold/ Silver

Gold came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 674.30 level and was capped around the $680.60 level. Silver came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested bids around the US$ 13.71 level and was capped around the $13.97 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for May delivery tested bids around the US$ 61.62 level and were capped around the $62.53 level. U.S. inventories data released today saw EIA crude inventories climb 700,000 barrels in the latest week while EIA gasoline inventories were off 5.5 million barrels.


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