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Thursday April 19, 2007 - 17:01:24 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (19 April 2007)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3560 level and was capped around the $1.3620 level. The common currency established a fresh multi-year high about 45 pips below its lifetime high before profit-taking ensued. Data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims fall 4,000 to 339,000 while continuing jobless claims rose 6,000 to 2,531,000. In eurozone news, the Belgian National Bank’s April consumer confidence indicator printed at +2, up from -1 in March. European Central Bank’s monthly bulletin indicated monetary policy remains on the “accommodative side” with “money and credit growth vigorous and liquidity in the euro area ample by all plausible measures.” Data released in Germany today saw March producer prices rise 0.3% m/m and 2.5% y/y. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3545 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥117.60 level and was capped around the ¥118.65 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was just below the 61.8% retracement of the move from ¥116.35 to ¥119.85. Bank of Japan reported “The year-on-year rise in core consumer prices, which excludes prices of fresh food but includes energy prices, could stay around zero in the short run, with the impact from the drop in crude oil prices continuing. From a longer-term perspective, consumer prices are projected to follow a positive trend.” Most traders continue to speculate the central bank will not raise interest rates again for at least several months. Data released in Japan today saw the February tertiary index rise 1.0% m/m, its strongest showing since 1988. Also, March department store sales were off 1.5% y/y and capital flows data revealed foreign investors remained net buyers of Japanese equities for the fourth consecutive week. BoJ also released a quarterly report today that indicated regional economies are moderately expanding. Traders await next week’s semi-annual outlook on economic activity and prices. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.67% to close at ¥17,371.97. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥117.40 level. The euro weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥159.60 level and was capped around the ¥161.50 level. The British pound and Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥235.20 and ¥97.70 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.7165 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.7218. Many data were released in China overnight including GDP data that confirmed the economy expanded 11.1% in Q1, above market expectations. Also, the consumer price index expanded 2.7% y/y during the same period. On a worrisome note, March CPI was up 3.3% y/y and Q1 PPI was up 2.9% y/y. Additionally, Q1 industrial output was up 18.3% y/y and Q1 retail sales were up 14.9% y/y. The fast pace of economic expansion in China coupled with rising inflationary pressures have many traders speculating People’s Bank of China will be forced to tighten monetary policy again, likely resulting in an appreciation in the Chinese yuan.

The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9985 level and was capped around the US$ 2.0095 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was just below the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.9545 to $2.0130 level. Traders await U.K. March retail sales data tomorrow. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9925 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6800 figure and was supported around the ₤0.6775 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2060 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2000 figure. Technically, today’s intraday high was just below the 23.6% retracement of the move from CHF 1.2280 to CHF 1.2000. The ZEWs April benchmark indicator for Switzerland’s economic outlook improved to -3.5 from -28.0 in March. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2085 level. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.6405 level while the British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as sterling tested bids around the CHF 2.4035 level.


The Australian dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.8280 level and was capped around the $0.8390 level. Stops were hit below the $0.8310 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the move from $0.8030 to $0.8390. The pair, however, established a fresh multi-year high today before moving lower. Data released in Australia today saw March merchandise imports rise 1.0% m/m. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8250 level.


The Canadian dollar weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.1310 level and was supported around the C$ 1.1225 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 76.4% retracement of the move from C$ 1.1030 to C$ 1.1875. Data released in Canada today saw March CPI climb 2.3% y/y, up from February's 2.0% climb. U.S. dollar bids are cited around the C$ 1.1150 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 679.65 level and was capped around the $691.50 level. The U.S. dollar’s intraday gains contributed to gold’s sell-off, as did a slide in Asian equities following China’s blistering GDP data. Silver moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested bids around the US$ 13.60 level and was capped around the $14.05 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil lessened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for June delivery tested bids around the US$ 63.10 level and were capped around the $64.80 level. Enbridge Pipelines in Canada restarted a portion of its pipeline to Wisconsin that is responsible for 490,000 barrels per day. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported Iran has started uranium enrichment at an underground plant and traders are closely monitoring violence in Nigeria ahead of that country’s presidential elections this weekend.


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