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Tuesday July 10, 2007 - 15:57:39 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (10 July 2007)



The euro gained strong ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3715 level and was supported around the $1.3595 level. The common currency eclipsed the lifetime high of $1.3680 it established on 27 April as traders reacted nervously to negative dollar sentiment. U.S. housing retailer Home Depot slashed its earnings outlook on account of “challenging” housing market conditions, underscoring the problems in the U.S. housing sector. Data released in the U.S. today saw May wholesale inventories up +0.5%, an improvement over April’s +0.3% gains. Traders await a speech today from Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke about inflation. In eurozone news, the German June wholesale price index was up 0.1% m/m and 1.9% y/y. Traders continue to monitor the budget deficit plans of France and Italy, especially after French President Sarkozy’s controversial plans that were discussed at yesterday’s Ecofin meeting. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3625 level.


¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥122.15 level and was capped around the ¥123.45 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was just above the 61.8% retracement of the move from ¥120.75 to ¥124.15. The yen’s gains were largely precipitated by strong intraday gains in the Chinese yuan as the yen sometimes serves as a proxy for the yuan. Bank of Japan Policy Board’s interest rate meeting begins overnight and most traders believe the central bank will keep interest rates unchanged until at least next month when many believe the overnight call rate will be lifted by +25bps to +0.75%. Traders are closely monitoring this month’s parliamentary elections in Japan and if the Liberal Democratic Party retains its majority, it will likely provide an extra impetus for higher interest rates. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.05% to close at ¥18,252.67. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥121.55 level. The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥167.50 level and was capped around the ¥168.35 level. The British pound and Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥247.05 and ¥101.15 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback closed at CNY 7.5810 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.6015 and a post-July 2005 yuan revaluation low for the pair. Data released in China overnight saw its June trade surplus expand more-than-expected to US$ 26.9 billion. Deutsche Bank reported June consumer price inflation is expected to exceed 4%.



The British pound charged higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 2.0270 level and was supported around the $2.0120 level. The pair established a fresh, multi-decade high after stops were triggered above the $2.0200 figure. Data released in the U.K. today saw BRC like-for-like retail sales rise 3.0% y/y in June, the highest level since March. Also, Nationwide reported that Q2 house prices were up an annualized 10.2%, up from 9.5% in Q1. Bank of England Deputy Governor Gieve spoke today and reported “When the RPI went up sharply (to 4.8 pct in March), we worried that would come through in wage settlements but it hasn't, nor has it come through in the southeast.” He added “We have increased interest rates five times in a year and we have to assess month by month whether that is sufficient, whether the economy is slowing down, whether inflation is now set on a sustainable course or not” and intimated consumer may be becoming “a bit more cautious.” Cable bids are cited around the US$ 2.0115 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6785 level and was supported around the ₤0.6750 level.

CHF

The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2045 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2195 level. The pair reached its lowest level since 30 April. UBS reported its sees Swiss economic growth around 2.8% in Q2 and Q3 2007, noting the economy is “powering ahead” with capacity utilization around 90.7%. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2145 level. The euro and British pound came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.6535 and CHF 2.4380 levels, respectively.

A$/ NZ$

The Australian dollar advanced higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.8615 level and was supported around the $0.8560 level. The pair established a new multi-year high. Data released in Australia today saw the NAB business confidence index remain unchanged in June from May at 15.0 points while the overall business conditions index fell to 16.0 in June from 17.0 in May. Also, May housing finance by volume rose 0.1% m/m. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8545 level. The New Zealand dollar came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.7735 level and was capped around the $0.7810 level. Data released in New Zealand today saw the Q2 NZIER survey of business expectations evidence greater pessimism about the outlook over the next six months. New Zealand dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7690 level.

C$

The Canadian dollar lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.0475 level and was capped around the C$ 1.0545 level. As expected, Bank of Canada lifted its key lending rate by +25bps to 4.50% and in its policy statement noted it may expand borrowing costs a little bit more to counter inflationary pressures. This represented the central bank’s first monetary tightening in thirteen months. Data released in Canada today saw June housing starts fall to 226,000 from 229,700. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0615 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 664.85 level and was supported around the $658.85 level. The U.S. dollar’s intraday losses contributed to the pair’s gains, as did elevated energy prices. Silver moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 13.00 figure and was supported around the $12.71 level.

Crude Oil

Crude oil extended recent gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as light, sweet NYMEX crude oil futures for August delivery tested offers around the US$ 72.93 level and was supported around the $71.63 level. Traders await tomorrow’s key U.S. energy inventories data to see if there have been draws on crude and gasoline stocks during the driving-intensive summer period. Continued kidnappings in Nigeria, scheduled North Sea maintenance, and unplanned production disruptions at Valero and Chevron facilities are adding to the pair’s gains.

 

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