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02.02.2012 08:42

Forex: Wednesday’s review

Yesterday the
euro rose against the dollar for the first time in three days as a purchasing managers’ index of manufacturing output in the region beat analysts’ estimates, adding to signs Europe’s economy is stabilizing. The euro reversed an earlier decline after Markit Economics said its manufacturing gauge based on a survey of purchasing managers in the euro region rose to 48.8 in January from 46.9 in December. In Germany, the output gauge reached the highest in six months. The euro appreciated 1 percent against the dollar last month as Italian and Spanish bonds outperformed their German counterparts amid speculation policy makers are bringing the region’s debt crisis under control. European economic confidence increased in January and German unemployment dropped more than economists estimated from the previous month. In discussions late last week in Athens, bondholders negotiating a debt swap with Greece lowered their demands for an average coupon on the new 30-year securities they would receive to as little as 3.6 percent from 4.25 percent after European officials demanded they take steeper losses, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

The greenback fell versus 14 of its 16 most-traded peers after manufacturing in China and the U.S. also rose, damping demand for safer assets. The official Chinese purchasing managers’ index increased to 50.5 from 50.3 in December, though the data may have been distorted by a weeklong holiday. U.S. manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace since June. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose to 54.1 in January from 53.1 in December, the group said today. Companies in the U.S. added 170,000 workers in January, reflecting job gains in services and at small businesses, according to a private report based on payrolls.

The yen appreciated for a fifth day against its U.S. counterpart, adding to speculation Japan’s central bank may sell the currency to stem its appreciation.

Switzerland’s franc climbed to a four-month high against the euro, approaching the Swiss National Bank’s ceiling.

EUR/USD: yesterday the pair has grown on a floor of a figure and closed day above $1.3100.

GBP/USD: yesterday the pair rose, updated monthly high.

USD/JPY: yesterday the pair decreased, updated a monthly low.

Core-European data for Thursday includes German car registrations data and then, at 0900GMT, machine orders, which are followed by EMU PPI data at 1000GMT. Challenger Layoffs starts UK data at 1230GMT, while at 1330GMT, the weekly jobless claims are expected to fall 7,000 to 370,000 in the January 28 week after see-sawing in recent weeks. The weekly Bloomberg Comfort Index is due at 1445GMT along with the ISM-New York Business Index. Weekly EIA Natural Gas Stocks data is due at 1530GMT. Late US data then sees the 2130GMT release of M2 Money Supply.

Market Focus

  • The Bank of Japan decided by a 7-2 majority vote to hold the interest rate at -0.10%
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 4.7 million barrels from the previous week
  • Australian unemployment rate stable at 5.6% in June
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