The dollar was mixed in the Thursday session, rallying against the Swissie to a 3-month high while slumping versus the euro. US equities maintained a buoyant tone with the Dow Jones edging higher by over 2.5% to recover above the key 7000-level, while the S&P 500 was up by nearly 3% to 743.
Economic reports released earlier saw weekly jobless claims jump to 654k versus 639k from a week earlier. Retail sales in February were better than expected with the headline figure posting a 0.1% decline versus a 1.0% increase in January and the excluding autos reading increasing by 0.7%, down slightly from 0.9% from January. The data slated for release on Friday include January trade deficit, expected to improve $38 billion from a month earlier at $39.93 billion. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey in March is seen drifting to 55.0, down from 56.3 while the expectations component is expected to decline to 49.0 versus 50.5 from February.
SNB Announces Intervention
The Swiss franc sold off sharply against the greenback, hitting its lowest level since December just shy of the 1.20-handle in a knee-jerk reaction to the SNB's policy announcement earlier in the session. The Swiss National Bank cut its three-month LIBOR target to 0.25%, its lowest on record. The catalyst for the plunge in the Swissie was the subsequent announcement from Bank spokesman Abegg stating the SNB will be implementing intervention in the foreign exchange market -- prompting the Swiss franc's largest one-day decline against the euro on record.
USDCHF has eased off its 3-month high at 1.1968 to trade beneath the 1.19-level. Support starts at 1.1830, followed by 1.1800 and 1.1750. Subsequent floors are seen at 1.1660, followed by 1.16 and 1.1570. On the topside, resistance begins at 1.19, followed by 1.1930 and 1.1970. Additional gains will target 1.20, backed by 1.2040 and 1.2080.