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Wednesday August 15, 2007 - 17:36:52 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (15 August 2007)


The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3460 level and was capped around the $1.3540 level.  Stops were hit below the $1.3485 level, representing the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.3260 to $1.3850.  The Federal Reserve injected US$ 7 billion in overnight liquidity today, an indication that policymakers still have some concerns about the orderly functioning of the markets and ongoing liquidity issues in the credit markets.  One indication of ongoing market nervousness if the fact that US$ Libor remains about +25bps above the Fed’s federal funds target rate of +5.25% and this suggests financial institutions are still paying a premium for U.S. dollar borrowings.  Many data were released in the U.S. today. First, July consumer prices were up 0.1% m/m, the smallest gain since last November, while core inflation was up 0.2% m/m. These data suggest inflation pressures may be waning and if the trend continues, the development may afford the Fed some room to expand monetary policy. Second, July industrial output was up 0.3% m/m, down from June’s +0.6% expansion, while July capacity utilization printed at 81.9%.  Third, U.S. existing home sales fell nearly 11% y/y in Q2.  Fourth, net foreign capital inflows totaled US$ 58.8 billion in June, below expectations and much smaller than May’s revised US$ 107.3 billion.  Fifth, the August Empire state manufacturing index printed at 25.1, up from 18.5.  In eurozone news, the € Libor overnight rate fell to 4.04% from 4.20% yesterday and 4.32% last week.  Germany’s DIW institute now sees Q3 GDP up 0.4% and estimates 2007 GDP growth will be below 2006’s level of 3.0%.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3400 figure.


¥/ CNY


The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥116.60 level and was capped around the ¥117.65 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from ¥109.00 to ¥124.15. Bank of Japan drained ¥2 trillion in money market liquidity today following yesterday’s drainage of ¥1.6 trillion, an indication the central bank is more comfortable with liquidity conditions in the market.  The yen has been well bid on its crosses over the last few sessions, particularly vis-à-vis the highest yielding currencies – an indication that some carry trades are being unwound.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 2.19% to close at ¥16,475.61.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥114.80 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥157.10 level and was capped around the ¥159.20 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥231.65 and ¥95.90 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.5858 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.5760.  Data released in China saw industrial value-added output up 18.5% y/y in the January – July period.  Also, a government think tank lowered its 2007 CPI forecast to 4%.



The British pound extended recent losses vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9855 level and was capped around the US$ 1.9970 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 76.4% retracement of the move from $1.9620 to $2.0655.  Sterling has not been this week since 19 June.  Data released in the U.K. today saw earnings growth fall unexpectedly in the three months to June, decelerating to +3.3% and the weakest showing since June 2003.  Also, the July claimant count of unemployment fell by 8,500 and the unemployment rate came in at 2.6%.  In contrast, the ILP measure of unemployment printed at 5.4% in the three months to June.  Minutes of Bank of England’s August Monetary Policy Committee meeting revealed a unanimous 9-to-0 vote to keep the repo rate unchanged at 5.75%.  Notably, the ₤ Libor rate peaked at 6.50% yesterday and traded around 6.02% today, still above the central bank’s base rate of 5.75%. Collectively, today’s data will reduce the pressure on the MPC to lift borrowing costs but the BoE is still expected to lift the repo rate by +25bps to +6.00% by the end of the year.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9675 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6755 level and was capped around the ₤0.6790 level.



The Swiss franc lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2195 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2105 level.  The pair traded at its highest level since 6 July.  Data released in Switzerland today saw June retail sales rise 5.1% y/y. Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2220/ 1.2315 levels. The euro and British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6435 and CHF 2.4295 levels, respectively.


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