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FOREX: As predicted by bank month-end models the USD came under additional
pressure into the 1600GMT fix allowing EUR/USD to extend gains to $1.1239 though
rate seen as a laggard as Cable gained main benefit. Sterling was bid across the
board, cable itself traded to $1.3253 into the fix, whilst EUR/GBP eased below
Gbp0.8500 to challenge support at Gbp0.8472. Sterling remained bid post fix,
cable edged on to $1.3275, EUR/GBP eased to Gbp0.8455. USD/CAD posted fresh YTD
lows of C$1.2962 at the end month/year fix after breaking its Jul19 low of
C$1.3016. AUD extended gains to $0.7030. JPY made decent gains through the day,
USD/JPY touching a low of Y108.47, but JPY reversed sharply into the fix
(positioning might have been over compensated for, one bank warning that the
signal to sell USD/JPY was weak 'mostly due to lower assumed Japanese hedge
ratios on foreign equities'-Citi). JPY crosses were seen in demand through the
fix, possibly led by GBP/JPY. DXY reflected the pressure on the USD as it eased
to 96.355, after breaking its recent low of 96.588, with next support noted at
96.251(Jul5). Most markets closed Wednesday for New Year, Tokyo remaining out
for the rest of the week.