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03.02.2011 08:44

Forex: Wednesday's review

The yen weakened as a gain in Asian stocks and signs global growth is accelerating cut demand for the safety of Japan’s currency.
The pound rose against the dollar for third day as a Bank of England policy maker said borrowing costs should be increased. 
The euro climbed against the dollar on speculation European Central Bank policy makers meeting tomorrow will say they are prepared to act to counter quickening inflation. The single currency has added 3.5 percent this year against the greenback.
The pound strengthened, extending its third day of gains versus the dollar, after a report showed the U.K. construction industry returned to growth in January.
A gauge of building activity based on a survey of purchasing managers rose to 53.7 from 49.1 in December, Markit Economics Ltd. and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said today in an e-mailed statement in London. The median forecast of economists in a survey was for a reading of 49.5. A measure above 50 indicates expansion.
Report from payroll services firm ADP reported job growth for January that was much stronger than expected (+187,000). 

EUR/USD: the pair shown high in the field of $1.3860 then  decreased.
GBP/USD: on results of yesterday's session the pair was fixed above a mark $1.6100.
USD/JPY: the pair bargained within the limits of Y81.30-Y81.90.

This morning sees the release of the European state Services PMI releases with France at 0848GMT and Germany at 0853GMT, leading up to the release of EMU final services PMI at 0858GMT, which showed a preliminary reading of 55.2. EMU retail trade data for December is due at 1000GMT and is expected to come in at 0.4% m/m, 0.2% y/y. 
The main event comes at 1245GMT when the ECB announces it's policy decision, and at 1330GMT, when ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet gives the usual press conference in Frankfurt. 
UK CIPS Services PMI data is also due, at 0928GMT, and is expected to rise to a reading of 52.0.
US data includes Store Sales data, although scheduled data also starts at 1330GMT, with the latest Jobless Claims and Non-farm Productivity, Unit Labor Costs data. Initial jobless claims are expected to fall to a level of 425,000 in the January 29 week after surging on weather-related claims in the previous week, while non-farm productivity is expected to be +2.0% on the +3.2% in GDP output. Unit labor costs are forecasted to decrease by 0.1%, the same as it was in the third quarter. US data continues at 1500GMT with the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index and also Factory Orders.
The ISM non-manufacturing index is expected to decline just slightly to a reading of 57.0 in January from the unrevised 57.1 December reading, while factory new orders are expected to fall by 0.4% on the already-announced 2.5% drop in durable goods orders. The weekly EIA Natural Gas Stocks data then follows, at 1530GMT. At 1730GMT, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks to reporters at  the National Press Club. 

Market Focus

  • The eurozone started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to PMI survey data
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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