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07.04.2011 12:11

EU session review: ECB hiked its rate; euro recovers

Data released:
10:00     Germany     Industrial production (February) seasonally adjusted    1.6%    0.6%    2.0 (1.8)%
10:00     Germany     Industrial production (February) not seasonally adjusted, workday adjusted Y/Y    14.8%    11.2%    12.7 (12.5)%
11:00     UK     BoE meeting announcement    0.50%    0.50%    0.50%
11:45     EU(17)     ECB meeting announcement    1.25%    1.25%    1.00%

As expected the ECB hiked its main rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 percent today.
Earlier the EU currency fell after Prime Minister Jose Socrates said late yesterday that Portugal was seeking assistance from the European Union. A rescue package for Portugal may be worth as much as 75 billion euros ($107 billion), two European officials with knowledge of the situation said.
Europe’s currency has gained 6.8% versus the dollar this year as surging economic growth in Germany and accelerating inflation spurred investors to raise bets that rates would be increased to curb consumer prices, which reached a two-year high of 2.6% in March.
“We definitely see further upside potential in the euro,” said Chris Scicluna at Daiwa Capital Markets Europe in London.
The pound slipped versus the dollar as the Bank of England held rates steady at 0.5%.
Japan’s yen rose for the first time in 11 days versus the dollar. The currency was lifted on bets Japanese exporters took advantage of the slide to purchase yen.
“The yen looks oversold and exporters are apparently buying the currency to capitalize on its rapid weakness,” said Lee Wai Tuck, a foreign-exchange strategist at Forecast Pte. “The near-term bias for the yen is likely to be positive.”
Australia’s dollar rose for a second day versus the greenback after statistics showed the unemployment rate fell to 4.9% in March from 5% the previous month. Employers added 37,800 workers in March from the previous month, the statistics bureau said.
“The jobs number was very strong,” said Sean Callow, a senior currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp.. “This will only encourage the Aussie bulls. If you’re bearish the U.S. dollar and looking for an alternative, then the Aussie remains very attractive.”

EUR/USD slowly weakened from $1.4330 to $1.4260 before ECB rate decision, After the announcement euro recovered to $1.4293.

GBP/USD fell after BOE left rate unchanged. Pound matched lows around $1.6397 before it was back to $1.6310.

USD/JPY fell to the lows around Y84.89. Later rate recovered to Y85.22.

Now the focus is on Trichet' press-conference.
US data starts at 12:30 GMT with the initial jobless claims. Market expects clains to fall 3,000 to 385,000 in the April 2 week after falling 6,000 in the previous week.

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