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Monday October 22, 2007 - 14:18:53 GMT
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Forex and Commodity Market Commentary and Analysis (22 October 2007)

The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4135 level and was capped around the $ 1.4350 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was just above the 23.6% retracement of the move from $1.3360 to $1.4395. Today’s intraday high represented a new lifetime high for the pair.  The G7’s communiqué was light on FX references, opting to focus on the yuan instead of the dollar or yen. A draft of the communiqué was leaked during Friday’s North American session and the euro’s weakness reflects turmoil in global equity markets during the past few sessions.  Traders are again preoccupied with recent sub-prime mortgage crisis and U.S. dollar-buying reflects safe-haven activity.  U.S. Treasury chief Paulson reiterated the U.S.’s official strong dollar policy.  The dollar’s short-term activity will likely be directed by the Fed’s interest rate decision and statement on 30-31 October.  Data released in the U.S. today saw the Chicago Fed’s national activity index print at -0.45, up from -0.68 in August.  Eurogroup member Juncker warned against “the risk of one-way bets.” Data to be released in the U.S. this week include existing home sales on Wednesday and new home sales on Thursday.  Fed Governor Kroszner speaks later in the U.S. session as does ECB boss Trichet.  In eurozone news, Bundesbank estimated economic growth accelerated in Q3 compared with H1.  Data released in the eurozone today the EMU-13 2006 deficit print at 1.5% of GDP, down from 2.5% in 2005.  ECB’s Weber warned “inflation risks have increased recently” and pledged to counter them should they materialize.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4045 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥113.25 level and was capped around the ¥114.30 level. The pair gapped lower about 40 pips from Friday’s close during the Australasian open today and stops were hit below the ¥113.85 level, representing the 76.4% retracement of the move from ¥112.60 to ¥117.90.  Traders unwound short yen carry trades as concerns about the sub-prime crisis were reignited and traders moved into perceived “safe-haven currencies.”  The government kept its assessment of the economy unchanged in its October monthly report. Notably, the government reduced its assessment on private consumption and lifted its assessment on industrial production. Most traders believe the BoJ will not lift the overnight call rate from 0.50% before the end of the year.  BoJ boss Fukui reported the economy is experiencing “moderate growth” while finance minister Nukaga said “fundamentals should surely be reflected in the value of the yen.” The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 2.24% to close at ¥16,438.47.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥112.60 level.  The euro fell sharply vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥160.45 level and was capped around the ¥163.75 level.  The British pound and Swiss franc came off vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥230.25 and ¥96.45 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.5086 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.5080.  Data released in China saw September urban registered unemployment at 4.0%.  PBOC Deputy Governor Wu talked about the yuan saying “To solely adjust the exchange rate in the absence of restructuring policies will hurt the real economy and global growth.” In contrast, ECB boss Trichet noted the G7’s communiqué was tougher on China with officials “stressing (China’s) need to allow an accelerated appreciation of its effective exchange rate.”

The British pound fell sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 2.0285 level and was capped around the $2.0545 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the 61.8% retracement of the move from $2.0655 to $1.9650.  Sterling fell on account of the flight to quality in the markets as traders unwound positions in currencies with positive yield differentials.  Dealers are closely watching meetings between business leaders and Chancellor Darling regarding the latter’s plan to increase the capital gains tax.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 2.0155 level.  The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.6995 level and was supported around the ₤0.6965 level.




The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.1600 figure and was capped around the CHF 1.1770 level.  The pair reached its weakest showing since March 2005.  The Swiss franc benefited from heightened risk aversion today as traders reduced speculative exposure to currencies with positive rate differentials.  Dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1835/ 1.1910 levels.  The euro and British pound came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.6630 and CHF 2.3790 levels, respectively. 




A$/ NZ$


The Australian dollar fell sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.8750 level and was capped around the $0.8915 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 23.6% retracement of the move from $0.7675 to $0.9075.  Data released in Australia today saw the Q3 producer price index up 1.1% q/q, exceeding expectations, and was up 2.4% y/y.  CPI data will be released on Wednesday could yield signals regarding Reserve Bank of Australia’s likely policy decision on Wednesday.  Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8585 level. The New Zealand dollar lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.7365 level and was capped around the $0.7500 figure. New Zealand dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.7305 level.




The Canadian dollar depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the C$ 0.9810 level and was supported around the $0.9655 level.  August retail sales numbers will be released tomorrow.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 0.9860 level.



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