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Monday October 1, 2007 - 16:51:51 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (1 October 2007)

The euro weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4210 level and was capped around the $1.4280 level.  The common currency reached another new lifetime high before paring some recent gains.  The verbal intervention from eurozone officials grew louder over the weekend and today.  European Central Bank President Trichet said the ECB notes with “extreme attention” that U.S. officials have reiterated the U.S.’s long-standing strong-dollar policy. Similarly, European Union Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Alumnia said he “looks forward to the next G7 statement,” implying officials may mention exchange rates in their communiqué.  Also, the European Commission reported it is “concerned” about the euro’s strength while eurogroup chairman Juncker reported “The strong euro, as long as it stays on its path, tends to worry us a lot.” Data released in the eurozone saw final September final manufacturing PMI print at 53.2, unchanged from the previous estimate and its lowest showing since November 2005.  Also, German September manufacturing PMI printed at 54.9.  In U.S. news, the September ISM manufacturing activity index weakened to 52.0 from 52.9 in August and 53.8 in July.  The prices paid index fell to 59.0 in September from 63.0 in August and the new orders, production, and inventories indices all decelerated.  Traders are eyeing this Friday’s September non-farm payrolls report with many economists expecting about 100,000 jobs were added to the economy last month.  Traders will also pay close attention to revisions for July’s and August’s non-farm payrolls tallies.  Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan spooked the markets by saying “Disinflationary pressures are gradually dissipating and inflationary pressures are beginning to mount.”  Many traders believe the Federal Open Market Committee will reduce the federal funds target rate by 25bps at the end of the month while other traders see a 25bps or 50bps move lower in December.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4120 level. 


¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥116.05 level and was supported around the ¥114.70 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from ¥109.00 to ¥124.15.  The quarterly Bank of Japan Tnkan survey that was released overnight saw confidence among large manufacturers remain flat for the second consecutive quarter in Q3 with the headline reading at +23.  Companies are forecasting renewed weakness in Q4 and results for smaller manufacturers and non-manufacturers were not as strong as expected.  Additionally, the combined capital expenditures plans in the “all-industries” category is expected to improve to 4.9% in the year to March 2008, above the 3.1% that was anticipated in the June Tankan survey.  Most traders believe the Tankan data will not have a major impact on Bank of Japan’s monetary policymaking with most traders seeing less than a 50% chance the central bank will lift the overnight call rate by 25bps to +0.50% by the end of the year.  Other data released in Japan overnight saw August average overall income rise +0.1% y/y in August, the first rise in nine months.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.36% to close at ¥16,845.96. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥114.55 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥165.05 level and was supported around the ¥163.70 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥236.95 and ¥99.30 levels, respectively.  In Chinese news, China formally launched its state-owned foreign reserves investment company that will be responsible for managing about US$ 200 billion in foreign reserves.  China recently announced its foreign reserves totaled US$ 1.4 trillion at the end of August.



The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 2.0375 level and was capped around the $2.0495 level.  Sterling pared some of its recent gains following last week’s strong move higher.  Many data were released in the U.K. today. First, August final M4 money supply was up an annualized 13.5%. Second, August consumer lending fell to ₤9.5 billion from ₤10.0 billion in July.  Third, Hometrack reported U.K. September house prices were unchanged m/m for the second consecutive month and were up +5.0% y/y. Fourth, the U.K. September CIPS manufacturing PMI survey fell back to 55.1 from 55.7 in August.  Fifth, Bank of England reported Q2 housing equity withdrawal fell back to ₤10.0 billion from a revised ₤13.1 billion in Q1.  BoE also noted that the number of mortgage approvals fell to 109,000 in August from 115,000 in July and net mortgage lending fell to ₤8.5 billion from ₤8.9 billion during the same time frame.  Liquidity conditions continue to improve in the U.K. money market sector as the three-month sterling Libor rate fell to 6.28% from 6.30% on Friday and the overnight fixing rate fell to 5.80% from 6.00% on Friday.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 2.0270 level.   The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6945 level and was capped around the ₤0.6980 level.




The Swiss lost appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.1720 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1620 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw September PMI fall to 57.6 from 65.1 in August.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1760 level.  The euro and British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested offers around the CHF 1.6665 and CHF 2.3970 level, respectively.


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