Overall: The majors moved lower in the Asian session, but looked to have found a bottom at the start of European trading. This happened despite the S&P futures and the yen moving lower, something that denotes risk-aversion. Futures headed lower into the Wall Street open, taking the dollar higher in the process. After opening lower, stocks made several attempts to climb off the November lows, but traders took any increase in price as a signal to sell. The volatile movement in stocks moved the dollar lower across the board, although the ride was wild to say the least.
The Euro (Eur/Usd) fell to TheLFB S1 (1.2560) in the Asian session, but could not move any lower from there. During the London open, the euro struggled to break lower as large trades protected the pivot point. The euro managed to tread water in the European session, even though the S&P futures plunged. The pair rose fairly steadily in N.Y., peaking on 1.2745. from its open from 1.2562.
The European PMI service shows that both the service and manufacturing side of the economy are still in a contraction phase. This is the ninth consecutive month when the two indexes have shown a read below the 50.0 level, which separates contraction from growth. The German service PMI was released at 41.6, showing the industry has contracted during the last five months, while the manufacturing index came at 32.2, as expected. It seems that the manufacturing side of the economy is being affected much more by the global slowdown than the service side
The Pound (Gbp/Usd) fell 70 pips in the early part of the Asian session, but soon after developed a tight range. The pair was able to break that range only after the London open, when the pair re-tested the 1.4150 area, the low of the last few days of trading. However, the pound soon surged higher. Once in N.Y., the pair rose to a peak on 1.4480 before falling back as the S&P moved to fresh lows.
Retail sales in U.K. rose unexpectedly in January, for a second consecutive month. Between December and January, total sales volume increased by 0.7%. Sales volume in predominantly food stores fell by 0.1%. Sales volume for predominantly non-food stores rose by 1.6%. Sales volume for the non-store retailing and repair sector decreased by 1.7% in January
The Aussie (Aud/Usd) moved lower from the day's start, dragged lower by investors that sold every asset perceived as risky. The pair plunged nearly 110 pips, below TheLFB S1 (0.6370), the same area where the aussie bottomed in the last four days of trading. The pair rose once Wall Street opened but moved with more volatility than the euro and pound to peak just shy of 0.6500. Towards the latter half of the afternoon, it was little changed.
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens addressed the House of Representatives today in Canberra. The Governor highlighted several important topics to take note of: the RBA believes that the worst of the turmoil was short-lived but that the events had a severe impact on the outlook of the global economy; Governor Stevens believed that the amount of liquidity provided to banks helped in stabilizing what could have been a catastrophic meltdown of the global financial system.
The Cad (Usd/Cad) advanced 70 pips during the Asian and European sessions, but topped near TheLFB R1 (1.2615), where it also topped one day earlier. In the overnight session, the cad pared declines seen during the previous day of trading. The pair fell from the N.Y. open even as oil declined on the day, but found a base on 1.2421 and rose thereafter.
The Swissy (Usd/Chf) reached the highest value in the last two months during the overnight session. The pair rose more than 120 pips since the new trading day began, helped by risk-aversion. Once in N.Y., the pair fell in every 30 minute period and by over 300 pips, an unusual move for a currency which normally moves much more slowly.
The Yen (Usd/Yen) dropped during the European trading session, after bouncing off the 100-day simple moving average. The pair traded flat in the Asian session, even though the S&P futures were pointing lower. However, the pair started to move lower shortly after the London open, when an increased volume of short orders hit the pair. The pair rose steadily in N.Y. even as stocks declined, but began a descent in the afternoon as the S&P headed towards the Nov. 20 closing low.