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Thursday July 12, 2007 - 15:27:59 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (12 July 2007)

The euro established a new lifetime high vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3800 figure and was supported around the $1.3740 level. The common currency was driven higher by an upward revision to Q1 GDP growth that saw the economy expand +0.7% q/q and 3.1% y/y while May industrial output reversed April’s decline of 0.9% by notching a +0.9% m/m and 2.5% y/y gain. Most of the euro’s recent gains have been precipitated by U.S. subprime mortgage woes but today’s strong EMU-13 economic data underscore the strength of the eurozone economy. Many traders believe European Central Bank will be forced to lift its main refinancing rate to 4.50% by January. The ECB’s July monthly bulletin released today did not reveal much in the way of plans for monetary policy but reiterated borrowing costs remain “on the accommodative side” even after its +25bps hike on 6 June. The European Commission’s GDP forecasts for Q2 and Q3 were left unchanged at +0.4% to +0.8%. In U.S. news, the May trade deficit expanded by 2.3% to US$ 60.04 billion from April’s revised US$ 58.67 billion. Weekly initial jobless claims were off 12,000 to 308,000 while continuing jobless claims were off 4,000 to 2.554 million. Anecdotal evidence from U.S. retailers revealed that U.S. consumers spent in a lackluster fashion in June with twelve key retailers meeting expectations while sixteen missed expectations. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3670 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥121.85 level and was capped around the ¥122.50 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 50% retracement of the move from ¥120.75 to ¥124.15. As expected, Bank of Japan’s Policy Board voted to keep the overnight call rate unchanged at +0.50% overnight. Policy Board member Mizuno was the sole rate-setter who called for a +25bps hike and BoJ Governor Fukui reported the Board would “adjust the level of interest rates gradually in accordance with improvements in the economy and the price situation.” Fukui noted most policymakers want to evaluate more economic data before voting for higher rates. This month’s parliamentary elections could pave the way for the central bank to lift rates next month, especially if the Liberal Democratic Party wins the election. The Nikkei reported the government will upgrade its assessment of personal spending in its July economic report and maintain its assessment of the overall economy for the third consecutive month. Likewise, BoJ today kept its assessment of the economy unchanged today. Data released in Japan today saw May revised industrial output off 0.3% m/m. Capital flows data saw foreigners sell a net ¥324.8 billion in bonds last week and were net buyers of Japanese equities for the second consecutive week. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.36% to close at ¥17,984.14. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥121.55/ 120.70 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥168.65 level and was supported around the ¥167.80 level. The British pound came off vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥247.70 level while the Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥101.80 level. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.5673 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.5633. The government reported actual foreign direct investment was US$ 31.89 billion in H1 2006, up 12.17% y/y.

The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 2.0275 level and was capped around the $2.0365 level. Stops were reached below the $2.0290 level, representing the 23.6% retracement of the move from $2.0055 to $2.0365. Data released in the U.K. today saw BRC confirm the manufacturing sector evidence a “major improvement” in activity during Q2 with orders at a twelve-year high. Also, RICS reported a net balance of 10.6% of surveyors reported house price gains in June, down from 22.5% in May – the lowest since January 2006. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 2.0195 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6790 level and was supported around the ₤0.6760 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.2005 level and was capped around the CHF 1.2065 level. The pair continues to hover just above 2007 lows. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2105 level. The euro and British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.6560 and CHF 2.4395 levels, respectively.

A$/ NZ$

The Australian dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.8645 level and was supported around the $0.8605 level. The pair established a fresh, multi-decade high and is nearing the $0.8650 level. Data released in Australia today saw the June jobless rate climb to 4.3% from 4.2% in May with employment growth of a mere 2,500 last month. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8570 level.


The Canadian dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.0465 level and was capped around the C$ 1.0530 level. Data released in Canada today saw the May new house price index rise 1.1% m/m and 8.6% y/y. Also, the May trade surplus narrowed to C$ 5.9 billion. Traders await today’s monetary policy report from Bank of Canada. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0615 level.

Gold/ Silver

Gold moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the yellow metal tested offers around the US$ 669.10 level and was supported around the $660.85 level. Additional intraday weakness in the U.S. dollar led to gains in precious metals, and escalating oil prices contributed to the pair’s gains. Silver moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the pair tested offers around the US$ 13.09 level and was supported around the $12.85 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$ 73.78 level and were supported around the $72.39 level. Traders remain concerned over refinery utilization rates, especially after yesterday’s weekly U.S. inventories data evidenced a steeper-than-expected decline in crude stocks. Production issues involving North Sea installations and geopolitical pressures involving Iran and Nigeria also continue to pressure energy prices higher.


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