US Non Farm Payrolls Ahead

U.S. Dollar Trading (USD) was strong even as stock markets remained positive as the EUR/USD slumped after the ECB announcement and USD/JPY rallied on increasing US Bond Yields. Weekly Jobless Claims improved to 469k vs. 496k. January Pending Home Sales fell -7.2% tracking a broad set of weak housing data in January. In US stocks, DJIA +47 points closing at 10396, S&P +4 points closing at 1122 and NASDAQ +11 points closing at 2292. Looking ahead, February NonFarm Payrolls forecast at -50k vs. -20k previously and the Unemployment rate is forecast at 9.8% vs. 9.7%.

The Euro (EUR) lost ground after the ECB held rates at 1.0% and described the current levels as appropriate with economic growth uneven. EUR/JPY held its own as stock markets improved but EUR/AUD slumped back close to the key 1.50 handle. Also released, Q4 GDP confirmed at 0.1%. Overall the EUR/USD traded with a low of 1.3551 and a high of 1.3714 before closing at 1.3570. Looking ahead, January Factory Orders are forecast at 1.5% vs. -2.3% m/m.

The Japanese Yen (JPY) suffered a major reversal of fortune against the USD with the 3 month Libor turning to the dollars favor for the first time since August 2009. General USD strength and solid crosses also underpinned. GBP/JPY is beginning to rally from 9 month lows at Y132. Overall the USDJPY traded with a low of 88.12 and a high of 89.27 before closing the day around 89.10 in the New York session.

The Sterling (GBP) rallied on heavy GBP/JPY buying in New York to trade above 1.5100 but this was short lived as the Euro fell back late in the day and the pair ended on a slightly weakish footing. EUR/GBP moved lower but is still contained inside the 90-91 range. The BOE held at 0.5% and kept the Asset Purchase Program at 200bn. Overall the GBP/USD traded with a low of 1.5004 and a high of 1.5139 before closing the day at 1.5040 in the New York session. Looking ahead, February PPI input is forecast at 0.25 vs. 2% previously m/m.

The Australian Dollar (AUD) tracked the EURO lower as AUD/JPY broke down through Y80 in early Europe before heavy buying emerged later in New York to keep the AUD/USD near the 0.9000 level. January Trade Balance was at -1.2bn vs. -1.5bn forecast. Overall the AUD/USD traded with a low of 0.8977 and a high of 0.9056 before closing the US session at 0.9040.

Oil & Gold (XAU) fell back as the strong USD discouraged commodity buying. Overall trading with a low of USD$1125 and high of USD$1142 before ending the New York session at USD$1132 an ounce. Held ground as the improving sentiment countered the stronger dollar. Crude Oil was down -$0.30 ending the New York session at $80.60.

TECHNICAL COMMENTARY

       

Currency

Sup 2

Sup 1

Spot

Res 1

Res 2

EUR/USD

1.3436

1.3552

1.3580

1.3736

1.3788

USD/JPY

87.37

87.74

89.10

89.50

90.36

GBP/USD

1.4855

1.4959

1.5030

1.5136

1.5209

AUD/USD

0.8863

0.8936

0.8995

0.9086

0.9147

XAU/USD

1121.00

1125

1132.00

1144

1161.00

OIL/USD

78.00

80

80.50

82.00

82.50

Euro - 1.3580

Initial support at 1.3552 (Mar 4 low) followed by 1.3436 (Mar 2 low). Initial resistance is now located at 1.3732 (Mar 3 high) followed by 1.3788 (Feb 17 high)

Yen - 89.10

Initial support is located at 87.74 (Dec 10 low) followed by 87.37 (Dec 9 low). Initial resistance is now at 89.50 (Feb 26 high) followed by 90.36 (Feb 23 high).

Pound - 1.5030

Initial support at 1.4959 (Mar 3 low) followed by 1.4855 (Mar 2 low). Initial resistance is now at 1.5136 (Mar 4 high) followed by 1.5209 (Mar 1 low).

Australian Dollar - 0.8995

Initial support at 0.8936 (Mar 1 low) followed by the 0.8863 (Feb 26 low). Initial resistance is now at 0.9086 (Mar 3 high) followed by 0.9147 (Jan 21 high).

Gold - 1132

Initial support at 1125 (Mar 4 low) followed by 1111 (Mar 1 low). Initial resistance is now at 1144 (Mar 3 high) followed by 1161 (Jan 11 high).

Oil - 80.50

Initial support at 80.00 (Intraday Support) followed by 78.00 (Intraday Support). Initial resistance is now at 82.00 (Intraday Resistance) followed by 82.50 (Intraday Resistance).