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Wednesday June 13, 2007 - 14:35:05 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (13 June 2007)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3260 level and was capped around the $1.3315 level. Today’s intraday low was the pair’s weakest showing since 26 March. The common currency’s sell-off followed strong U.S. economic data released today that saw May import prices soar for a third consecutive month. May import prices were up 0.9%, down from April’s upwardly revised 1.4% tally but above expectations. In the twelve months through May, import prices were up 1.1%. Ex-petroleum, import prices were up 0.5% last month, the largest monthly rise since November 2006 and were up 2.8% on the year. These data make it clear the Federal Reserve cannot be complacent about imported price pressures. Other data released today saw May headline retail sales climb +1.4%, up from April’s -0.1% print and above expectations. Ex-automobiles, May retail sales came in at +1.3%, above the +0.1% print from April. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic output thus these data underscore the healthy status of final private demand. Traders await the Fed’s monthly Beige Book today and have priced out the chance the Fed will expand monetary policy by the end of the year. In eurozone news, EMU-13 employment rose 0.4% q/q in Q1 and was up 1.4% y/y. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3175 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥122.45 level and was supported around the ¥121.45 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from ¥119.45 to ¥122.15. Data released in Japan today saw the April current account surplus climb 50.3% to ¥1.986 trillion, exceeding forecasts. Also, revised April industrial output was off 0.2% m/m. One risk factor for the yen overnight remains today’s release of the U.S. Treasury’s semi-annual outlook on global exchange rate policies. If the Bush administration does not label China or Japan a currency manipulator and U.S. Senators threaten new legislation to punish certain Asian countries, the yen could strengthen as a result on the premise that China may be forced to liberalize its exchange rate policies further. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.16% to close at ¥17,732.77. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥121.10 level. The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥162.75 level and was supported around the ¥161.50 level. The British pound and Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥241.40 and ¥98.35 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.6360 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.6436. Today’s U.S. Treasury report on currency manipulation is likely precipitate additional threats of legislation from U.S. Senators who are trying to force China into liberalizing its yuan currency further. Data released in China today saw May retail sales up 15.9% y/y while May actual foreign direct investment was up 8.65% y/y at US$ 4.899 billion.

The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9675 level and was capped around the $1.9760 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was just below the 76.4% retracement of the move from US$ 1.9545 to $2.0130. Sterling came off after data showed average earnings growth including bonuses decelerated to 4.0% y/y in the three months to April from March’s downwardly revised 4.4% rise. These data were below expectations. Also, the May claimant count of unemployment fell 9,300 after declining an upwardly revised 16,000 in April. Traders are still digesting comments from Bank of England Governor King the other night in which he remained hawkish regarding the U.K. interest rate outlook. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9545 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6750 level and was supported around the ₤0.6710 level.


The Swiss franc lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2465 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2415 level. Traders await tomorrow’s interest rate decision from Swiss National Bank and most expect the central bank will lift the three-month Swiss franc LIBOR target by +25bps. Enduring weakness in the Swiss franc has seen considerable verbal intervention from SNB officials who are concerned imported price inflation could materialize. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2555 level. The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.6550 level while the British pound came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 2.4490 level.


The Australian dollar was little-changed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.8425 level and was supported around the $0.8360 level. Data released in Australia today saw the Westpac June consumer sentiment index down 2.0 index points from May while HIA reported new home sales rose 7.1% in April. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8330 level.


The Canadian dollar lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.0740 level and was supported around the C$ 1.0660 level. Data released in Canada today saw April manufacturing shipments fall to -0.6% from +2.8% in March. Traders await remarks from Bank of Canada Governor Dodge today. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0785 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 650.00 figure and was supported around the $643.63 level. Traders cited physical demand from Asian accounts overnight and some believe the pair will test the psychologically-important US$ 700 figure this year. Silver gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 13.11 level and was supported around the $12.84 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil slumped vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for July delivery tested bids around the US$ 64.96 level and were capped around the $65.35 level. Traders await weekly U.S. energy inventories data.


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