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16.05.2012 08:01

Asian session: The euro fell to the lowest level in almost four months


00:30 Australia Westpac Consumer Confidence May -1.6% 0.8%

01:30 Australia Wage Price Index, q/q Quarter I +1.0% +0.9% +0.9%

01:30 Australia Wage Price Index, y/y Quarter I +3.6% +3.5% +3.6%

The euro fell to the lowest level in almost four months after Greece’s political leaders failed to form a ruling coalition, deepening speculation the country will have to leave the currency bloc. Demand for the euro was damped before Greek leaders seek agreement today on an interim government that will schedule new elections. New elections in Greece may be scheduled as early as June 10 after President Karolos Papoulias failed to broker a governing coalition in meetings yesterday with Pasok party head Evangelos Venizelos and other political leaders. The new ballot will follow an inconclusive May 6 vote that produced no clear majority.

The Dollar Index extended its longest stretch of daily advances on record as Asian stocks continued a global rout and before the Federal Reserve releases minutes of its April meeting.  The Fed will release minutes of its April 25 meeting later today. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said after the most recent meeting of policy makers that he’s prepared to “do more” to boost the economic recovery and ensure that inflation remains close to target. Officials have said borrowing costs are likely to remain “exceptionally low” at least through late 2014.

The yen extended yesterday’s decline against the dollar after data from Japan’s Cabinet Office showed machinery orders decreased 2.8 percent in March after climbing a revised 2.8 percent in the previous month. The median economist estimate signaled at 3.5 percent drop. Orders can swing between gains and declines depending on the timing of major projects.

The New Zealand dollar declined for a fourth day versus the greenback after after Auckland-based Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd., the world’s largest dairy exporter, said prices for whole- milk powder for July delivery fell to the lowest since August 2009, according to a trade-weighted index. The so-called kiwi lost 0.5 percent to 76.57 U.S. cents.

EUR/USD: the pair lowered to $1.2700.

GBP/USD: the pair continued yesterday's falling.

USD/JPY: the pair gain above yesterday's high.

European data for Wednesday starts at 0600GMT with German wholesale prices data and also ACEA new car registrations data. EMU data at 0900GMT includes the March trade balance as well as the final reading for April HICP. At 1300GMT, ECB President Mario Draghi is due to give the welcome address at an ECB colloquium in honour of Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo, in Frankfurt. The Bank of England Quarterly Inflation Report is due at 0930GMT with Governor Mervyn King leading the usual press conference. US data starts at 1100GMT with the weekly MBA mortgage applications data, while at 1230GMT, the pace of housing starts is expected to rise to 685,000 in April after slowing in the previous two months. Canadian manufacturing data is due at the same time. US data continues at 1315GMT when industrial production is expected to rise 0.6% in April after holding steady in February and March. The weekly EIA weekly crude oil stocks data is then due, at 1430GMT. At 1545GMT, World Bank President Robert Zoellick speaks at the Economic Club of Washington, while at 1630GMT, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks at the Lousiville branch of the Bank on the subject of "The U.S. Economy and Monetary Policy." Later, at 1800GMT, the latest Federal Open Market Committee Minutes are released.

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