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Thursday June 14, 2007 - 15:58:29 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (14 June 2007)

The euro came off marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3280 level and was capped around the $1.3325 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.3550 to $1.3260. Traders pushed the common currency lower following data that saw U.S. May headline producer price inflation rise 0.9%, up from +0.7% in April. The core ex-food and petroleum component was up 0.2%, as expected. These data suggest wholesale level inflation may be moderating and will be well-received by the Federal Reserve. Other data released today saw weekly initial jobless claims remain unchanged at 311,000 in the week ending 9 June while continuing jobless claims fell 43,000 to 2.49 million. Tomorrow’s consumer price inflation data will be closely watched. In eurozone news, EMU-13 May inflation was unchanged at 1.9% y/y while EMU-13 Q1 labour costs were up 2.2% y/y. Germany’s IfW economic institute upwardly revised its 2007 German GDP forecast to 3.2% from the previous estimate of 2.8%. The European Central Bank’s monthly economic report was released today in which it noted it will “monitor closely” all risks to price stability. The ECB reiterated the eurozone remains subject to “upside risks” and suggested borrowing costs could increase before the end of the year. Notably, however, the ECB did not characterize interest rates as moderate, an indication the ECB may not remain as hawkish as some traders believe. Other data released in Germany today saw final May consumer price inflation up 0.2% m/m and 1.9% y/y. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3245 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥123.10 level and was supported around the ¥122.55 level. The pair reached its highest level since December 2002 as traders continued to speculate that short yen carry trades will continue to flourish. Bank of Japan’s Policy Board is convening again tonight and most traders do not expect any change in interest rate policy. Any statements from BoJ Governor Fukui will be closely scrutinized, however, as will any indication that the monetary policy decision was not unanimous. The market is pricing in a small chance the BoJ will lift rates next month while there is a growing perspective the central bank will move on rates in August. Data released in Japan today saw foreign investors as net buyers of Japanese equities for the sixth consecutive week while Tokyo condominium sales were off 16.9% y/y in May with Osaka sales down 0.3%. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.62% to close at ¥17,842.29. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥122.35/ 119.00 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥163.70 level and was supported around the ¥122.55 level. The British pound and Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥242.35 and ¥98.85 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.6430 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.6360. Premier Wen indicated China should “appropriately” tighten monetary policy. Data released in China today saw industrial value-added output up 18.1% in the January – May period. The Bush administration yesterday reported China’s currency is undervalued but did not label China a currency manipulator. Four U.S. Senators yesterday introduced legislation that would refer China’s reputed currency manipulation to the World Trade Organization.

The British pound extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9655 level and was capped around the $1.9735 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 50% retracement of the move from $1.9180 to $2.0130. Data released in the U.K. today saw RICS house prices growth decelerate to 23.9% in May from +28.5% in April. Also, U.K. Mat retail sales were up +0.4% m/m and +3.9% y/y, an indication that final private demand remains fairly buoyant despite Bank of England’s continued monetary tightenings. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9545 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6765 level and was supported around the ₤0.6740 level.


The Swiss franc came off marginally 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 1.2430 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from CHF 1.2770 to CHF 1.1875. As expected, Swiss National Bank lifted interest rates by +25bps today, now targeting the midpoint of the central bank’s three-month Swiss franc LIBOR target range of 2.25% to 2.75%. SNB reported “renewed weakening of the franc has neutralized any impact intended from the tightening of monetary conditions” and additional rate tightenings will be warranted if the franc remains weak. The franc remains a funding vehicle for carry trades, as does the yen. 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 1.6585 level while the British pound weakened vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested bids around the CHF 2.4470 level.


The Australian dollar moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.8330 level and was capped around the $0.8405 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from US$ 0.8160 to $0.8475. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Stevens indicated the Australian inflation rate is likely to accelerate next year. Stevens reported “That is cause enough to err on the cautious side in setting policy, and to ask whether current settings are restrictive enough. On the other hand, the somewhat lower short-term inflation outlook means that the starting point for a future pick-up in inflation is likely to be a bit lower than earlier thought." Data released in Australia today saw June consumer inflation expectations rise to 17.4%. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8300 figure.


The Canadian dollar lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 1.0690 level and was supported around the C$ 1.0645 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just below the 23.6% retracement of the move from C$ 1.1170 to $1.0550. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0785 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested bids around the US$ 646.30 level and was capped around the $654.20 level. The pair moved lower after Swiss National Bank reported it plans to sell 250 tons of gold before the end of 2008, consistent with the second central bank gold agreement ratified in 2004. Silver gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 13.21 level and was supported around the $12.97 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for July delivery tested offers around the US$ 67.51 level and was supported around the $65.99 level. Data released in the U.S. yesterday saw gasoline stocks remain flat in the week to 8 June, below expectations of a 1.6 million barrel expansion. Additionally, extreme violence in the Gaza strip involving Hamas’s takeover of Fatah security apparatuses is keeping the pair bid on the notion the violence could move to other areas and possibly involved Israel.


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