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04.05.2012 08:40

Forex: Thursday’s review


Yesterday the euro strengthened versus the yen after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers didn’t discuss cutting interest rates at their meeting this week. The 17-nation currency fluctuated against the dollar after Draghi said at a press conference in Barcelona there has been “significant progress” on the fiscal front. The ECB kept its main refinancing rate at a record low 1 percent, as predicted. While the ECB still expects a gradual economic recovery this year, “downside risks” prevail and the outlook has become “more uncertain,” Draghi said.

The euro fell earlier as Spanish borrowing costs increased at a note sale. Spain auctioned 765 million euros of notes due in January 2017 at an average yield of 4.75 percent, versus 3.57 percent at a previous sale of five-year securities on Feb. 2. It auctioned three-year debt at an average rate of 4.037 percent, compared with 2.617 percent on March 1.

The yen pared losses against the dollar and euro after the Institute for Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing industries, which account for almost 90 percent of the U.S. economy, decreased to 53.5 in April from 56 a month earlier. The Tempe, Arizona-based group’s measure was projected to decline to 55.3. Readings above 50 signal expansion. The Japanese currency fell earlier against most major counterparts after the Labor Department said initial claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. declined by 27,000 to a one- month low of 365,000 in the week ended April 28.

New Zealand’s currency, known as the kiwi, dropped against all of its 16 most-traded counterparts after unemployment exceeded the most pessimistic forecast. The jobless rate climbed to 6.7 percent in the first quarter from a revised 6.4 percent in the previous three months, Statistics New Zealand said.

EUR/USD: yesterday the pair holds nearby $1.3150.

GBP/USD: yesterday the pair holds nearby $1.6180.

USD/JPY: yesterday the pair traded with increase.

This morning it is the turn of the European services PMIs to dominate the European data calendar. Italy at 0743GMT, then the final figures from France at 0748GMT, Germany at 0753GMT and the main EMU data at 0758GMT. Finally for Europe, at 1145GMT, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble delivers a speech at Ruhr University, in Bochum. UK data is mainly second-tier on Friday, starting at 0600GMT with the BDO High Street Sales Tracker. The main afternoon event is at 1230GMT when non-farm payrolls are forecast to rise 165,000 in April after the relatively modest 120,000 rise in March. The unemployment rate is forecast to stay at 8.2%. Hourly earnings are expected to rise 0.2%, while the average workweek is forecast hold steady at 34.5 hours. In Canada, the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index is due at 1400GMT. The, at 1425GMT, San Francisco Fed President John Williams speaks to the California Bankers Association 121st Annual Convention. Late US data sees the 1900GMT release of Treasury STRIPS data.

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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