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17.02.2011 08:50

Forex: Wednesday's review

The dollar fell against most of its major counterparts after U.S. builders began work on more homes at an annualized rate than forecast in January and manufacturing rose, fueling appetite for higher-yielding assets.
U.S. builders broke ground on 596,000 homes at an annualized rate last month, according to Commerce Department data. The median forecast was for a rate of 539,000.
Manufacturing rose 0.3 percent in January, data from the Federal Reserve showed. Overall industrial production unexpectedly declined 0.1 percent as utilities, which had a decline in demand because of milder temperatures, and mining fell, the figures showed. 
The Swiss franc briefly gained versus the euro after Israel said two Iranian warships plan to sail through the Suez Canal and called the move a “provocation.” The pound slid against all of its most-traded counterparts after Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said inflation will peak this year and ease in 2012, damping speculation interest rates will rise.
Staff economic ests were revised up and members "expressed greater confidence that the econ recovery would be sustained and would gradually strengthen." Some 
said strength in winter data, such as more exports and auto sales, could prove temporary, thus medium term econ to remain restrained. Some worry about energy/commodities as upside inflation risks, but others said pass-thru is small and large resource slack will restrain prices.
FOMC central tendency ests for econ & inflation were rev up, as mkt expected, but at expense of '12 ests. 2011 real GDP now +3.4%-3.9% (vs 3.0%-3.6% in Nov est); 2012 real GDP now +3.5%-4.4% (vs +3.6%-4.5% Nov). 
Unemployment rate now 8.8%-9.0% in '11 (vs 8.9%-9.1% Nov est) and 7.6%-8.1% in '12 (vs 7.7%-8.2% Nov), still gradually declining. PCE core inflation seen +1.0%-1.3% in '11 (vs 0.9%-1.6% in Nov est) and +1.0%-1.5% in '12 (vs 1.0%-1.6% Nov), up a tad but little changed overall.

EUR/USD: on results of yesterday's session the pair become stronger in around $1.3560.
GBP/USD: the pair shown low in the field of $1.5980, however by the end of session could restore a part of the lost positions. 
USD/JPY: the pair bargained within the limits of Y83.50-Y84.00.

European data is thin on the ground Thursday, kicking off at 0900GMT with the release of the EMU December current account data. Further EMU data is released at 1000GMT, with the release of the December construction output data.
At 1100GMT UK CBI Industrial Trends survey is released.
A busy US calendar starts at 1330GMT, with the release of 12 Feb week Jobless Clains and the January CPI data. Initial jobless claims are expected to rise 22,000 to 405,000 in the February 12 employment survey week after falling in the previous two weeks. Claims were at a level of 403,000 in the January 15 employment survey week.  Consumer prices are 
expected to rise 0.3% in January. Core CPI is forecast to rise only 0.1% as pricing power remains very weak, keeping the annual rate soft.
At 1500GMT, the February Philly Fed survey is released, along with the January leading indicator data. The Philadelphia Fed index is expected to rise to a reading of 21.0 in February after falling slightly in January. The index of leading indicators is forecast to rise only 0.1% in January. Positive contributions are expected from slower deliveries, higher stock prices, a steeper yield curve, and rising expectations. These should be offset by the negative impact of higher jobless claims and the shorter manufacturing workweek. Also at 1500GMT,  Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke is to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Dodd-Frank reforms, with other regulators. 

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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