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Tuesday September 11, 2007 - 14:24:05 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (11 September 2007)


The euro strengthened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3840 level and was supported around the $1.3775 level.  Traders await remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke from Berlin later today.  Comments from Fed officials yesterday evidenced a wide range of opinions concerning the effects of the current global credit crunch on the U.S. economy.  Fed Governor Mishkin reported that if “heightened uncertainty” leads to further pullbacks in household and business spending, “it poses an important downside risk to economic activity.”  The Federal Open Market Committee convenes one week from today and many traders believe the Fed will reduce the federal funds target rate by up to 50bps.  In contrast to Mishkin’s remarks, Dallas Fed President Fisher suggested a steady course of action would be sensible saying “having a steady hand rather than an itchy trigger finger” is what guides him.  Fisher added “I set aside the passions of the moment and the conventional wisdom in the markets and keep a steady focus on the Fed's mission.  Conducting monetary policy is not a popularity contest.”  Data released in the U.S. today saw the July trade balance narrow to –US$ 59.2 billion, down 0.3% from the upwardly revised –US$ 59.4 billion in June.  In eurozone news, the European Commission reduced its EMU-13 growth forecast to +2.8% from its previous projection of +2.9%.  Likewise, the EC now sees 2007 inflation at 2.0% compared with earlier forecasts of 1.9%.  Also, the German August wholesale price index was up 0.5% m/m and up 2.5% y/y.   Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3620 level.


¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today
as the greenback tested offers around the ¥114.05 level and was supported around the ¥113.35 level.  Bank of Japan released a report today that indicated recent credit market turmoil is “unlikely to significantly affect the stability of Japan's financial system.”  Data released in Japan overnight saw July core private sector machinery orders rise at their fastest pace since October 2003. 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.  Data to be released tonight include the corporate goods price index, current account, and trade balance.  The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.71% to close at ¥15,877.67.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥112.55 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥157.55 level and was supported around the ¥156.30 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥231.65 and ¥96.10 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.5232 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.5214.  Data released in China saw the August consumer price index up 6.5% y/y, the highest level since December 1996.  These data will likely result in additional monetary tightenings from People’s Bank of China again this year.  Other data released today saw the August trade surplus print at US$ 24.97 billion, up from US$ 24.36 billion in July.



The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 2.0335 level and was supported around the $2.0235 level.  Money market turmoil continues in the U.K. as the three-month sterling Libor rate rose to 6.90375%, some 115bps above the central bank’s repo target rate.  Most traders expect Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will lift the repo rate by +25bps to +6.00% by the end of the year.  Data released in the U.K. today saw the July trade balance worsen more than expected to -₤7.1 billion from June’s -₤6.5 billion pace.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 2.0160 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6810 level and was supported around the ₤0.6795 level.




The Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.1840 level and was capped around the CHF 1.1895 level.  Traders await Swiss National Bank’s interest rate decision on Thursday and many believe the SNB may postpone their next monetary tightening.  Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.2120 level.  The euro and British pound gained ground vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6400 and CHF 2.4120 levels, respectively.


A$/ NZ$


The Australian dollar moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.8290 level and was supported around the $0.8235 level.  NAB’s August survey of business sentiment fell to +10 from +12.  Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8130 level.  The New Zealand dollar moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.6985 level and was supported around the US$ 0.6920 level.  New Zealand dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.6760 level.




The Canadian dollar made strong gains vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.0425 level and was capped around the C$ 1.0530 level.  Data released in Canada today saw the July trade surplus fall to C$ 3.66 billion, down from June’s C$ 4.33 billion level. Other data released today saw August housing starts rise 5% to an annualized 226,500.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0655 level.


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