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Wednesday July 4, 2007 - 11:48:45 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (4 July 2007)

The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3630 level and was supported around the $1.3605 level. The U.S. Independence Day holiday may limit the common currency’s ability to expand its range today. Tomorrow’s European Central Bank meeting is expected to result in unchanged interest rates with many traders anticipating at least one more +25bps monetary tightening from ECB policymakers this year. Data released in the eurozone today saw May retail sales off 0.5% m/m and up 0.4% y/y while the EMU-13 June PMI services survey printed at a twelve-month high of 58.3. All eyes will be on the U.S. June non-farm payrolls report on Friday and that will be preceded by tomorrow’s ADP private jobs report. Many economists are predicting that 120,000 new jobs were created last month. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3550 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen weakened marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥122.50 level and was supported around the ¥122.20 level. Today’s range was expected to remain thin into the U.S. Independence Day holiday. Traders continued to sell the yen as they pushed global equity markets higher, highlighting the ongoing significance of the short yen carry trade. Chief cabinet secretary Shiozaki said it is “undesirable” to invest Japan’s foreign reserves in a manner that affects the markets or exchange rates after another official yesterday suggested Japan may seek higher returns on its assets. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.10% to close at ¥18,168.82. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥121.55 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥166.85 level and was supported around the ¥166.35 level. The British pound and Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥247.30 and ¥100.75 levels, respectively. In Chinese news, the central parity rate of the U.S. dollar vis-à-vis the yuan was at CNY 7.6007, up from CNY 7.5951.

The British pound gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 2.0200 figure and was supported around the $2.0155 level. Today’s intraday high represents the pair’s strongest showing in about 25 years and followed the released of the June PMI services survey that saw an improvement to 57.7 from 57.2 in May. Sterling continues to be bid higher on the premise the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will tighten monetary policy by +25bps tomorrow. Most traders believe a total of +50bps to +75bps of tightening will be effected this year. Other data released in the U.K. today saw BoE Q1 housing equity withdrawal at ₤13.2 billion while June shop prices were up 0.5% y/y and Halifax June house prices were up +0.4% m/m and +10.7% y/y. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 2.0090 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 ₤0.6740 level.


The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2165 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2145 level. Today’s range was very tight on account of decreased liquidity in the U.S. The June unemployment rate will be released on Friday. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2235 level. The euro and British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6565 and CHF 2.4550 levels, respectively.


The Australian dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.8585 level and was supported around the US$ 0.8540 level. As expected, Reserve Bank of Australia left its monetary policy unchanged today. Data released in Australia today saw the trade deficit fall to –A$ 807 million in May. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8490 level.


The Canadian dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.0555 level and was capped around the C$ 1.0615 level. May building permits and the June PMI survey will be released tomorrow. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0635/ 1.0735 levels.

Gold/ Silver

Gold gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 655.00 figure and was supported around the $653.38 level. Silver came off marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the pair tested bids around the US$ 12.56 level and was capped around the $12.62 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil weakened slightly vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for August delivery tested bids around the US$ 70.99 level and were capped around the $71.43 level. Prices are near ten-month highs, underpinned by sagging oil inventories in the U.S., the U.S. summer driving season, and the risk premiums that followed last week’s attempted terror attacks in the U.K. Also, news emerged that Nigeria’s main militia group has ended its truce with the government and will continue to attack oil facilities there.


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