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Wednesday August 22, 2007 - 14:02:59 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (22 August 2007)


The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3505 level and was supported around the $1.3450 level.  Traders continue to adjust their expectations regarding the Federal Reserve’s likely course of action to address the ongoing liquidity crisis in the financial markets.  Federal funds futures are pricing in a monetary easing from the Federal Reserve no later than the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on 18 September.  The federal funds target rate currently stands at 5.25% and the yield on the 10-year Treasury Note is below 4.75%.  Many Fed-watchers believe the FOMC will take the federal funds target rate lower by 50bps to 4.75%.  As of last night, the federal funds target rate was also pricing in a 40% chance the federal funds target rate would be at 4% by the end of the year.  One important measure of liquidity involves companies’ abilities to raise cash in the asset-backed commercial paper market.  The seven-day prime asset-backed commercial paper rate was 6.03%, above the non-asset backed commercial paper rate of 5.23%.  In contrast, these rates were around 5.3% in June and this evidences the decrease in funding options for some companies.  In the week that ended 15 August, asset-backed commercial paper outstanding fell to US$ 1.135 trillion, about 4.1% below the prior week’s level.  Problems have arisen in Europe also where around US$ 22.6 billion in asset-backed commercial paper matured on Monday and only $4.6 billion in new paper was issued. In eurozone news, EMU-13 June industrial orders were up 4.4% m/m and 13.8% y/ while the eurozone current account surplus printed at €5.9 billion in June, up from May’s deficit of -€7.8 billion.  The German government announced its sees an upturn in global growth in H2 2007.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3400 figure.





¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today
as the greenback tested offers around the ¥115.30 level and was supported around the ¥113.95 level.  The pair moved higher on growing speculation that Bank of Japan’s Policy Board would keep interest rates unchanged after its current two-day policy deliberation meeting ends.  The central bank was widely expected to lift the overnight call rate by +25bps to +0.75% before the global liquidity crisis emerged and is now expected to make that move by the end of the year.  The BoJ did not inject liquidity into the money markets today, the first time in five working days it has not provided liquidity.  Short-term money rates are trading around 0.50% to 0.51%, just above the central bank’s current target rate of 0.50%.  Data released in Japan overnight saw the July trade surplus recede 21.1% to ¥671.22 billion, its first decline in nine months.  The Nikkei 225 stock index was down fractionally, just below 0.00%, to close at ¥15,900.64.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥114.60 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥155.55 level and was supported around the ¥153.35 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥229.15 and ¥225.70 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.6000 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.5906.  Goldman Sachs reported China is likely to maintain strong growth despite U.S. subprime problems.


The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9905 level and was supported around the $1.9800 figure.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.7045 to $2.0655.  Data released in the U.K. today saw the CBI orders books balance print at a balance of +9, up from July’s reading of -6 and their highest level in more than twelve years.  Most traders believe Bank of England will lift the repo rate another +25bps to 6.00% in the next couple of months. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9530 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6775 level and was capped around the ₤0.6800 figure.



The Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2110 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2045 level.  Swiss National Bank member Hildebrand reported the current global financial market crisis is likely to impact Switzerland.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the KOF survey predict “continued strong growth in the third quarter in Switzerland.”  Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2015 level.  The euro and British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6330 and CHF 2.4090 levels, respectively.


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