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19.01.2011 09:22

Asian session: The dollar fell

The dollar fell to a five-week low against the euro on speculation a sluggish recovery in U.S. housing and labor markets will deter the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates.
The U.S. currency dropped to the lowest in two weeks versus the yen before reports today and tomorrow forecast to show housing starts fell and continuing jobless claims increased. South Korea’s won rose the most in two weeks as the central bank said it may boost its forecast for economic growth. 
IntercontinentalExchange Inc.’s Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against the currencies of six major U.S. trading partners, dropped 0.5 percent to 78.579.
U.S. housing starts declined 0.9 percent to a 550,000 annual rate last month, according to a survey before today’s Commerce Department report. The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose to 3.99 million in the week ended Jan. 8 from 3.88 million the previous week, another survey showed before the data tomorrow.
The Federal Open Market Committee will keep interest rates unchanged at its next meeting on Jan. 25-26, according to all 87 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

EUR/USD: the pair become stronger in around  $1.3470. 
GBP/USD: the pair bargained above a mark $1.6000. 
USD/JPY: the pair decreased in areoundY82.20.

European data starts at 0900GMT with the ECB current account data and Eurozone balance of payments.  EMU data then continues at 1000GMT with construction output. 
UK data at 0930GMT sees labour market data, where the claimant count is expected to be unchanged in December, leaving the ILO measure of unemployment at 7.9%. Average weekly earnings data for November is expected to rise 2.2%.
 US data starts at 1200GMT with the weekly MBA Mortgage Application Index and is followed at 1245GMT by the weekly ICSC-Goldman Store Sales data. At 1330GMT, housing starts and building permits data are due, where the seasonally adjusted pace of housing starts is forecast to fall slightly to 550,000 in December. Builders remain cautious, as suggested 
by the December NAHB index, which held steady at a very low level. The weekly Redbook Average then follows, at 1355GMT.

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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