Friday, February 16, 2007


Markets Cautious Ahead Of Holiday

The Associated Press reports on currencies. "The dollar lost some ground against the euro and yen Friday as investors scrambled for position ahead of a three-day break. After seesawing in narrow ranges throughout the New York session, the dollar exited slightly lower versus its two big rivals. Another mixed bag of U.S. economic data didn't offer the dollar much support, but didn't appear to hurt it much, either."

"Late Friday afternoon in New York trading, the euro stood at $1.3134 from $1.3143 late Thursday, while the dollar was at 119.33 yen from 119.43 late Thursday. The euro traded at 156.75 yen from 156.96 Thursday. The dollar was at 1.2344 Swiss francs from 1.2340, while the U.K. pound was at $1.9498 from $1.9539 late Thursday."

"'The big surprise was really the housing numbers...and the market's reaction in general was knee-jerk negative,' said Michael Woolkfolk, senior currency strategist at the Bank of New York. But after traders 'had a couple of minutes to digest the numbers, they were more willing to look at a three-month moving average,' he said of the housing data in particular."

"'Clearly the housing market in America continues to slide, but at a moderate pace,' Woolkfolk noted."

"The producer price index for finished goods fell 0.6 percent in January, matching economists' forecasts, the Labor Department said Friday, after rising 0.9 percent in December and 1.8 percent in November. But the core PPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, increased 0.2 percent, also in line with economists' forecasts."

From MarketWatch. "Gold futures closed higher on Friday, reversing early losses, as a recovery in the crude-oil market boosted demand for the precious metal. Gold for April delivery closed up $1.40 at $672.80 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold posted slight gains on the week."

"Crude-oil futures rose Friday, as energy traders were unwilling to leave positions uncovered ahead of the three-day President's Day weekend in the United States. Crude for March delivery closed up $1.40 at $59.39 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange."

"'Firm oil, dollar dissatisfaction, low mine output, and geo-political tensions should keep gold underpinned,' said James Moore, an analyst at"

"Other metals prices were mixed. March silver closed up 2.8 cents at $13.99 an ounce. 'I continue to believe speculative players may look to push silver higher in the coming session in order to generate a rally in gold,' Moore said."

"April platinum ended down $6.50 at $1,210.40 an ounce, and March palladium dropped $1 at $341.80 an ounce."

"The London Bullion Market Association released clearing statistics for January and the daily average was 17.1 million ounces of gold, down 14%, significantly lower than the daily turnover levels we saw from April to the end of 2006, said Neal Ryan, director of economic research at Blanchard. Similar reductions of trading volumes took place in silver in January as well, with transfers down over 8%."

"'It will be interesting to see if this trend of fewer ounces moving around in London continues,' Ryan said. 'The physical metals activity on the LBMA OTC dominates the gold market and this is potentially a very bullish signal if ounces transferred continue to fall again after spiking in 2006.'"

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