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12.01.2012 08:44

Forex: Wednesday’s review

Yesterday the euro weakened to a 16-month low versus the dollar and dropped for the first time in three days against the yen amid speculation France’s credit rating may be downgraded and Europe’s sovereign debt crisis will worsen. The shared currency declined against 14 of its 16 most- traded peers even after French Finance Minister Francois Baroin denied having been notified by a ratings company that the nation’s top rating will be cut. The euro extended losses as leading members of the European Parliament objected to a planned German-led euro fiscal treaty.

Sterling was the worst performer against the dollar after data showed the U.K. trade deficit increased more than forecast. British retail-store inflation also slowed to the least in 16 months, fueling bets the Bank of England will need to add stimulus to aid the economy.

The pound dropped 1 percent to $1.5303 and fell 0.3 percent to 82.76 pence per euro.

The U.S. currency rose against most of its major peers as investors sought the safety of Treasuries. Yields on 10-year notes dropped to the lowest level in two days, 1.92 percent.

The Dollar Index (DXY), which IntercontinentalExchange Inc. uses to track the greenback against the currencies of six major U.S. trading partners, gained as much as 0.7 percent to 81.493, approaching Jan. 9’s 81.503, the highest since September 2010.

EUR/USD: yesterday the pair fell and has updated a monthly’s low.

GBP/USD: yesterday the pair has lost one and a half figure.

USD/JPY: yesterday the pair has a little grown.

European data starts at 0630GMT with France HICP, which is followed by German final HICP at 0700GMT and then France balance of

payments and central government deficit data at 0745GMT. At 0900GMT, ECB Governing Council member Jens Weidmann, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all attend a New Year's reception of the German President, in Berlin. EMU data at includes  industrial output at 1000GMT and the OECD leading indicator at 1100GMT. UK data at 0930GMT sees the Index of Production as well as Industrial Production and Manufacturing Output data. Manufacturing output plunged on the month in October, and unless there is a sharp rebound in November and December the sector will end up making a negative contribution to Q4 GDP. US data starts at 1330GMT with both initial jobless benefit claims and retail sales data. At 1500GMT, US business inventories are expected to rise 0.5% in November after the 0.8% increase in October. Factory inventories were already reported up 0.5%. Late US data sees the 2130GMT release of Money Supply.

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