The evidence suggests that the dollar will find it more difficult to gain any defensive support against the Euro if there is a very weak payroll report

The Euro was unable to hold above the 1.26 level ahead of the European interest rate decisions on Thursday and weakened back towards 1.2550. As expected, the ECB cut interest rates by a further 0.50% to a record low 1.50% at the latest council meeting. There was a sharp downgrading of economic prospects in the updated staff projections with the economy expected to contract between 2.2% and 3.2% for 2009

The US jobless claims data was slightly lower than expected with a decline in initial claims to 639,000 in the latest week from a revised 670,000 previously and this will maintain some hopes that the Friday payroll data may not match the most pessimistic expectations. The factory orders data was also slightly stronger than expected, but the underling stresses were illustrated by the fact that mortgage delinquencies rose to record highs near 8% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The dollar is liable to lose some ground against the Euro if the Friday data is better than expected while increased fear would underpin the US currency. The Euro pushed back to near 1.27 on Friday with the US currency finding it more difficult to gain defensive support following a warning over possible bankruptcy by GM and continuing fears over the banking sector.