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Commodities : Financial Futures See-Saw

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From Associated Press

Financial futures prices see-sawed sharply Tuesday following Treasury Secretary James Baker’s congressional testimony on the dollar and world trade.

Most foreign currencies advanced strongly on his comments before closing lower; Treasury bonds and Eurodollars were sharply lower.

On other markets, cattle futures were higher while pork declined; wheat was lower but corn and soybeans were mixed, and energy futures were mixed.

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“Baker’s comments, as usual, were vague enough but disquieting enough to create sharp movement in currencies,” said Jill Cotter, an analyst with Prudential-Bache Securities Inc.

While the secretary seemed to say nothing new of significance, she commented, he expressed disappointment that the dollar’s decline hasn’t had much impact on the U.S. trade deficit. He also cautioned against expecting a solution to exchange rate problems from a meeting of the so-called Group of Five industrial nations.

“What he seems to have done is to create doubt in what we can expect from international meetings to discuss world growth and exchange rates,” Cotter said.

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