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Tuesday September 4, 2007 - 15:29:25 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (4 September 2007)


The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3550 level and was capped around the $1.3625 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was just below the 50% retracement of the move from $1.3260 to $1.3850.  Traders are readying for this Friday’s August non-farm payrolls data in the U.S. with most forecasts focusing on job growth around 110,000 workers.  A weaker-than-expected non-farm payrolls number will add to the view that the recent global credit slump and job losses in the U.S. mortgage industry are impacting the overall economy more-than-expected.  The most likely scenario remains a 50bps reduction in the federal funds target rate by the Federal Open Market Committee on 18 September.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the August ISM manufacturing index decline to 52.9 from 53.8 in July while July construction spending was off 0.4%.  The Fed’s Beige Book is scheduled for release tomorrow and could evidence additional concern from policymakers about the state of the U.S. economy.  In eurozone news, many traders believe the European Central Bank will keep its main refinancing rate unchanged this week on account of global credit conditions while others believe the ECB will remain on track and lift the refinancing rate by +25bps.  Data released in the eurozone today saw EMU-13 GDP expand 0.3% q/q in Q2 and 2.5% y/y, unchanged from provisional estimates.  Also, the European Commission kept its growth forecasts unchanged and still estimates Q3 GDP growth between 0.3% and 0.8% and Q4 GDP growth between 0.2% and 0.8%.  Other data released today saw the July producer price inflation up 0.3% m/m and 1.8% y/y.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3530 level.


¥/ CNY


The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥115.30 level and was capped around the ¥116.00 figure.  Traders unwound short yen carry trades as risk aversion grew on speculation the global credit markets glut could worsen.  Data released in Japan overnight saw the August monetary base rise 0.7% y/y, the first increase in eighteen months.  The pair has traded in a relatively narrow ¥115.30 - ¥113.85 range over the past several trading sessions.  Most traders believe Bank of Japan’s Policy Board will lift the overnight call rate by +25bps to +0.75% by the end of the year.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.63% to close at ¥16,420.47.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥114.55 level.  The euro weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥156.55 level and was capped around the ¥158.00 figure.  The British pound and Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥231.95 and ¥95.05 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.5497 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.5443.  A government official reported the economy is not overheating but noted “the growth rate is high.”


The British shed ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 2.0075 level and was capped around the $2.0195 level.  Stops were hit below the $2.0090 level, representing the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.9180 to $2.0655.  Most traders believe Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will keep its repo rate unchanged at 5.75% on Thursday.  Notably, three-month interbank rates are trading around nine-year highs today for the second day in a row.  The three-month sterling London Interbank Offered Rate reached 6.798% today, the highest level since the demise of Long Term Capital Management in 1998.  The market rate is more than 100bps above the BoE’s base 5.75% repo rate.  Bank of England is one of the few major global central banks that did not supply additional liquidity to the money markets in the wake of the mortgage meltdown in the U.S. and the high market rates evidence the scramble to secure financing.  Traders want the central bank to clarify its policy stance given the liquidity crisis, especially in the context of its recently-issued August quarterly inflation report.  Data released in the U.K. today saw construction PMI rise to 64.8 in August from 61.8 in July, the highest level since February 1998.  Also, BRC like-for-like retail sales were up 1.8% in August. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9915 level.



The Swiss franc lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.2150 level and was supported around the CHF 1.2075 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the 50% retracement of the move from CHF 1.2470 to CHF 1.1815.  Data released in Switzerland today saw Q2 GDP up 0.7% q/q and 2.8% y/y.   Swiss National Bank officials have conceded the global liquidity crisis could impact the Swiss economy.  Most traders believe SNB will keep monetary policy unchanged this month.  Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2220 level.  The euro and British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6485 and CHF 2.4425 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$ 0.8270 level and was supported around the $0.8195 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 50% retracement of the move from $0.8865 to $0.7675.  Data released in Australia today saw Q2 GDP growth register 0.9% q/q and 4.3% y/y exceeding forecast.  Australian  dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8160 level.  The New Zealand dollar moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.6965 level and was capped around the $0.7045 level.  New Zealand dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.6760 level.




The Canadian dollar appreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.0515 level and was capped around the C$ 1.0565 level.  Bank of Canada is not expected to change interest rates when it releases its interest rate decision on Thursday.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0655 level.



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