The US dollar returned some of its recent FX trading gains as traders booked profits ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays. Data from the US came in weaker than expected yesterday, with the Empire State manufacturing index falling from 10.0 to 7.8, worse than the estimated drop to 8.9. The NAHB housing market index also saw a decline from 57 to 55 instead of improving to the projected 58 reading. Up ahead, US building permits and PPI figures are due, along with the industrial production and capacity utilization data. The bigger mover for the dollar, however, might be the FOMC minutes release much later on. The Fed statement was more hawkish than usual, which suggests that officials might have a positive assessment and outlook for the economy.
The euro struggled to hold its ground in recent FX trading as the new Greek government appear to be showing no signs of backing down from their refusal to extend their bailout. They have been given an ultimatum by the EU to carry on with the bailout by Friday or risk defaulting on its debt and possibly exiting the euro zone. There are no major reports lined up from the euro zone today, leaving traders to focus on the developments in Greece.
FX Trading News
The pound suffered a bit of weakness after its recent FX trading rallies as traders saw mixed inflation readings. As expected, the headline CPI fell from 0.5% to 0.3% but the core CPI managed to show a gain from 1.3% to 1.4%. Underlying inflation figures such as the PPI and RPI came in short of expectations, hinting that further weakness in price pressures are likely. Up ahead, the BOE minutes and the UK claimant count change are up for release, which could mean more pound volatility. Hawkish remarks and an upbeat jobs report could mean more gains for the UK currency, as the claimant count could indicate a 25.2K drop in joblessness.
The franc showed a bit more FX trading action in the past few hours after SNB head Thomas Jordan reiterated that they might take action if a Grexit takes place and results to massive euro declines. Swiss ZEW economic expectations is up for release today and an improved reading might support the franc.
The yen gave up ground in recent FX trading, as traders priced in the possibility of seeing further easing from the BOJ or at least hearing dovish remarks. Data from Japan has been weakening, which might mean that the central bank needs to do more to shore up inflation and growth.
The comdolls managed to advance against most of their counterparts, thanks to a pickup in commodity prices. In New Zealand, the dairy auction marked another strong increase of 10.1% and led to more Kiwi gains. Canada’s wholesale sales report is up for release later on while New Zealand will report its quarterly PPI figures in the next Asian session.
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