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Monday August 13, 2007 - 15:46:22 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (13 August 2007)

 

The euro lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3610 level and was capped around the $1.3705 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.3260 to $1.3850.  The Federal Reserve injected US$ 2.0 billion of liquidity today, taking its total liquidity injections to US$ 64.0 billion over the last three business days.  The New York Fed reported it will evaluate liquidity needs later in the day and is prepared to conduct additional open market operations if needed.  Data released in the U.S. today saw June business inventories rise 0.4% while July retail sales were up 0.3% at the headline level and +0.4% excluding autos.  On an annualized basis, retail sales were up 3.2% y/y on the headline, up 4.4% on the ex-autos component, and up 5.2% on the ex-autos and ex-gasoline components.  In eurozone news, the European Central Bank drained some of the liquidity it injected last week, leading many traders to speculate it is cautiously optimistic about global credit conditions.  The ECB also injected €47.665 billion today.  Data released in Germany today saw the July wholesale price index up 0.4% m/m and 2.6% y/y.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3555 level.

 

¥/ CNY

 

The yen appreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥117.65 level and was capped around the ¥118.50 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from ¥115.15 to ¥124.15.  Bank of Japan injected ¥600 billion into the banking system to counter global stresses on the financial markets and this follows Friday’s injection of ¥1 trillion in liquidity.  Data released in Japan today saw Q2 GDP up 0.1% with annualize growth at 0.5%, below forecast.  Many traders believe the softer-than-expected GDP number and uncertain global liquidity conditions may delay Bank of Japan’s expected +25bps rate hike this month.  Moreover, the mixed political landscape in Japan may be another inhibition the central bank has to consider before taking the overnight call rate higher to +0.75%.  Other data released today saw July condominium sales off 10.0% and 22.6% in Tokyo and Osaka, respectively.  The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.21% to close at ¥16,800.05.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥117.25 level.  The euro weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥160.60 level and was capped around the ¥162.20 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥236.45 and ¥98.10 levels, respectively.  In Chinese news, the yuan’s central parity rate vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar was set at CNY 7.5787 vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar, up from CNY 7.5698.  Data released in China today saw July CPI up 5.6% y/y, the highest level since February 1997 and these data will likely result in additional monetary tightening from People’s Bank of China.  Other data released in China today saw actual foreign direct investment at US$ 36.93 billion between January and July, up 12.9% y/y. Additionally, property prices in 70 major Chinese cities were up 6.3% y/y in Q2.  In other PBOC news, the central bank reiterated U.S. dollars are an important component of its foreign reserves and announced it will permit companies to retain all foreign exchange held on the current account, a measure to balance external payments.

 

 

The British pound lost significant ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the US$ 2.0085 level and was capped around the $2.0260 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.9620 to $2.0655.  Data released in the U.K. today saw producers’ output prices rose 0.2% m/m, the weakest gain since December 2006.  On an annualized basis, output prices were up 2.4%, down from 2.5% in June. Core output prices were up 0.2% m/m and up 2.3% y/y in July.  Input prices were off 0.5% m/m and were up 0.1% y/y, the weakest gain since April.  Collectively, these data suggest inflationary pressures are easing in the U.K. and may reduce pressure on Bank of England to tighten monetary policy later this year.  Other data released in the U.K. today saw June annual house price inflation up 12.1% while central London July retail sales were up 11.6% y/y.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 2.0015 level.  The euro came off marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6760 level and was capped around the ₤0.6795 level.

 

 

CHF

 

The Swiss franc lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2065 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1970 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 38.2% retracement of the move from CHF 1.2470 to CHF 1.1815.  Swiss National Bank injected a total of CHF 3.1 billion into the financial markets on  Thursday and Friday.  Some traders believe SNB may delay its expected +25bps rate hike next month if credit conditions remain stressed or if the European Central Bank delays its next monetary tightening. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2140 level.  The euro and British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6440 and CHF 2.4295 levels, respectively.


A$/ NZ$

 

The Australian dollar lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.8405 level and was capped around the $0.8505 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 50% retracement of the move from US$ 0.8160 to $0.8870 level.  Reserve Bank of Australia’s quarterly monetary policy statement was released today and was more hawkish-than-expected as the central bank lifted its inflation forecast to the top end of its 2% to 3% range.  RBA last week raised its cash target rate by +25bps to 6.50% and today’s report suggests the central bank will remain on the offensive. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8330 level.  The New Zealand dollar lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.7360 level and were capped around the $0.7475 level.  New Zealand dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7250 level.


C$

 

The Canadian dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.0485 level and was capped around the C$ 1.0565 level.  Traders await tomorrow’s international merchandise trade numbers.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0655 level.

 

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