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Thursday October 18, 2007 - 16:08:57 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (18 October 2007)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4310 level and was supported around the $1.4195 level.  The common currency reached a new lifetime high as traders increasingly speculated the FOMC will be forced to reduce U.S. interest rates again. Weekly U.S. initial jobless claims were up 28,000 to 337,000, its highest level since late August while continuing jobless claims rose 19,000 to 2.53 million. The Fed’s monthly Beige Book released yesterday indicated “the pace of growth decelerated since August.”  Some traders believe the FOMC will reduce the federal funds target rate by another 25bps at the end of the month while other traders believe the Fed will wait until December to make a move.  Other U.S. data saw September leading indicators rise 0.3% m/m.  Traders await the release of the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index later today.  Traders await details from tomorrow’s meeting of G7 central bankers and finance ministers in Washington, D.C.  and are curious to see to what extent they mention exchange rates – and China – in their communiqué.  In eurozone news, ECB member Weber hawkishly reported “With risks having augmented due to recent developments, it is too early to dismiss the need for a future monetary policy response.” Germany’s four economic institutes reported growth will continue in the eurozone’s largest economy and data released in the eurozone today saw its August trade balance at a surplus of €1.3 billion, down from €5.7 billion in July.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4160 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥115.25 level and was capped around the ¥116.65 level. Technically, today’s intraday high and low were right around the 23.6% and 50.0% retracements of the move from ¥112.55 to ¥117.90.  Data released in Japan overnight saw September department store sales off 2.5% y/y.  Capital flows data saw Japanese accounts sell a net ¥72.1 billion in foreign stocks last week while foreign investors were net buyers of Japanese equities for the third consecutive week.  The yen gained ground overnight on heightened risk aversion as traders unwound short yen carry trades. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.89% to close at ¥17,106.09.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥114.75 level.  The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥164.80 level and was capped around the ¥166.10 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥236.15 and ¥98.65 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.5111 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.5154.  The government reported September CPI was up 6.2% y/y with Q3 GDP near H1’s growth rate of 11.5%.  PBOC officials reiterated full yuan convertibility is a “policy objective” and reiterated no timetable has been set. 



The British moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 2.0515 level and was supported around the $2.0380 level.  Cable reached its highest level since 26 July following negative U.S. dollar sentiment.  Data released in the U.K. today was not sterling-supportive. First, public sector net borrowing reached ₤6.9 billion in September, the highest level for that month since records began.  Second, September net mortgage lending fell to ₤5.8 billion according to the BBA while CML reported September gross mortgage lending was down 12% m/m. These data indicate the global liquidity crisis and continued monetary tightenings from BoE slowed demand for U.K. house financing.  These data were tempered by numbers that saw September retail sales register their highest annual growth rate in three years.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 2.0420 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6985 level and were supported around the ₤0.6960 level.

 

CHF

 

The Swiss franc appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.1660 level and was capped around the CHF 1.1805 level.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the ZEW October economic indicator improve to -16 from -26.7 in September. Also, the September trade surplus expanded to CHF 1.798 billion.  Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1750 level.  The euro and British pound fell sharply vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.6680 and CHF 2.3895 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$ 0.8955 level and was supported around the $0.8880 level. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8840 level. The New Zealand dollar gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the kiwi tested offers around the US$ 0.7550 level and was supported around the $0.7460 level.  New Zealand dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7420 level.

 

C$

 

The Canadian dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 0.9720 level and was capped around the C$ 0.9775 level.  Traders await the release of Bank of Canada’s Monetary Policy Report.  BoC official Dodge and Jenkins will speak after the release.  Notably, BoC’s current economic projections are utilizing an average exchange rate around C$ 1.0200.  Data released in Canada today saw foreigners sell a net C$ 3.73 billion of Canadian securities in August.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 0.9810/ 60 levels.

 

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