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Tuesday May 29, 2007 - 15:53:02 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (29 May 2007)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3520 level and was supported around the $1.3420 level. Technically, today’s intraday high and low were right around the 38.2% and 61.8% retracement levels of the move from $1.3255 to $1.3680. Data released in the U.S. today saw the May consumer confidence indicator improve to 108.0 from 106.3 in April. Traders await the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s interest rate deliberations tomorrow followed by May non-farm payrolls data on Friday. In eurozone news, European Central Bank member Weber indicated policymakers will stop utilizing “code words” to signal interest rate changes when the current monetary tightening cycle end. Many traders believe the ECB’s main refinancing rate will be 4.25% by September. Weber also defended the ECB’s utilization of the M3 money supply indicator in formulating monetary policy, noting broad money has risen 10.9% y/y in March. Data released in the eurozone today saw the March current account balance print at -€5.4 billion from -€3.7 billion in February. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3420 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥121.20 level and was capped around the ¥121.75 level. Traders pushed the pair lower following economic data that saw the April unemployment rate to 3.8% from 4.0% in March, the lowest level since 1998. Also, April household spending was up 1.1% y/y, the fourth consecutive monthly gain and traders bid the yen higher on these numbers on the premise that Bank of Japan could accelerate its next interest rate hike. The eventual increase in Japanese interest rates will lead to some unwinding of short yen carry trades. Most dealers believe the BoJ will not lift borrowing costs again until after the July parliamentary elections. Other data released in Japan today saw April retail sales off 0.6% y/y, the seventh consecutive monthly decline. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.48% to close at ¥17,672.56. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥120.85 level. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥164.25 level and was supported around the ¥162.95 level. The British pound came off vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥240.55 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥99.60 level. In Chinese news, the Chinese government estimates China’s 2007 trade surplus will reach US$ 250 – 300 billion.

The British pound lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9815 level and was capped around the $1.9900 figure. Technically, today’s intraday high was just below the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.9545 to $2.0130. Data released in the U.K. today saw BBA report that the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases grew 1% y/y in April while the value of loans was up 10% to ₤9.9 billion. These data represent deceleration in mortgage activity and evidence a stabilization in the housing sector that is partially due to Bank of England’s continued monetary tightenings. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9770 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6805 level and was supported around the ₤0.6765 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2195 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2305 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 April private consumption index improve to +2.35 from +2.09 in March. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2280/ 1.2325 levels. The euro and British pound lost ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.6485 and CHF 2.4215 levels, respectively.


The Australian dollar gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.8210 level and was supported around the $0.8160 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $0.7415 to $0.8390. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8120 level.


The Canadian dollar appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.0710 level and was capped around the $1.0835 level. Traders drove the pair to a fresh multi-decade low after Bank of Canada’s announced it was keeping its key interest rate unchanged at 4.25%, the eighth consecutive time over the past year that the base rate was left unchanged. BoC, however, reported that economic growth and inflation during the first part of the year were stronger-than-expected and estimates the Canadian economy grew at an annualized rate of about 3.5% in Q1. Additionally, the central bank sees an increased risk that inflation will remain above its 2% target rate in the future “and that some increase in the target for the overnight rate may be required in the near term to bring inflation back to the target.” Many traders believe BoC will tighten monetary policy by +25bps on 11 July. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0815 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 660.85 level and was supported around the $ 653.80 level. Intraday weakness in the U.S. dollar contributed to the pair’s gains. Dealers also cite increasing physical demand as a result of lower prices in gold. Silver moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 13.23 level and was supported around the $12.88 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for July delivery tested bids around the US$ 63.46 level and were capped around the $64.76 level. The pair came off after ConocoPhillips, Citgo, and Valero indicated they resolved some refinery issues that reduced output last week and led to higher prices. Energy prices also moved lower on account of reduced tensions in Nigeria. Traders await this week’s U.S. energy inventories data especially as the U.S. summer driving season has now started. Also, tropical storms remain on traders’ radar. Notably, the first tropical storms of the 2006 and 2005 seasons began in early-to-mid June.


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