Wednesday during early deals, the US dollar showed mixed trading against its major counterparts as investors look forward to the ADP employment report for March, which sheds light on non-farm private employment. The report is usually released two days prior to the Labor Department's employment report.
Private sector employment fell by more than economists had been expecting in the month of February, Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) revealed in its employment report on March 04.
ADP said that non-farm payroll employment fell by 697,000 jobs in February following a revised decrease of 614,000 jobs in January. Economists had expected employment to fall by 630,000 jobs compared to the drop of 522,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
The dollar tumbled to a 5-day low against the pound, while it eased from a 2-day high against the euro. On the other hand, the dollar remained higher against the franc, but it reversed recent losses against the yen and traded near a 4-week high.
In addition to ADP report, the Commerce Department is due to release its construction spending report at 10 am ET. The report is expected to show a 1.6% decline in spending for February.
At the same time, the results of the manufacturing survey of the Institute for Supply Management and the pending home sales are due out. Economists expect the ISM index to show a reading of 36 for March. The pending home sales is likely to show a 2% drop for February.
The Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly petroleum inventory report at 10:30 am ET.
Mixed trading was witnessed among the major markets in Asia-Pacific region today. Automakers advanced on speculation that the U.S. administration might allow the major U.S. automakers such as the General Motors (GM) and Chrysler to fall, which will increase the demand for their vehicles in the U.S.
However, the European stocks are trading lower today. Britain's top share index shed 1.8 percent in early trade today, pulled back by weakness in banks and commodity stocks. At 4:55 am ET, the FTSE 100 index .FTSE was 72.71 points lower at 3,853.93, after jumping 163.23 points, or 4.3 percent, on Tuesday.
U.S. President Barack Obama met with U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London today before the G-20 summit as the global economy mired in its first recession since World War II.
Obama, who wants member-states to pump more money into programs aimed at kick-starting their respective flagging economies, is expected to present a raft of proposals, including increased oversight for hedge funds and more powers to deal with troubled financial firms deemed too big to fail.
The dollar declined against the pound after hitting a high of 1.4276 at 1:50 am ET Wednesday. Currently, the dollar is trading at a 5-day low of 1.4415 against the pound with 1.464 seen as the next target level. The pound-dollar pair was worth 1.4329 at yesterday's close.
UK's housing equity withdrawal was estimated at minus GBP 8 billion in the fourth quarter, a quarterly report from the Bank of England revealed today. The negative number implies that individuals injected a net total of GBP 8 billion into housing equity in the fourth quarter. Economists had expected a negative balance of GBP 6.8 billion.
The dollar surged to a 2-day high of 1.3168 against the euro before losing ground at 2:00 am ET Wednesday. As of now, the euro-dollar pair is worth 1.3230, compared to Tuesday's closing value of 1.3256. On the downside, the dollar may likely target the 1.334 level.
Unemployment in the euro zone jumped more than expected in February to 8.5 percent, data showed today, underlining the speed of economic deterioration a day before the ECB meets on interest rates.
Joblessness in the 16 countries using the euro rose from January's upwardly revised 8.3 percent of the workforce, Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, said. Economists had expected a level of 8.3 percent for February.
But the speed of the rise in unemployment and its negative effects on demand are likely to add pressure on the European Central Bank, which meets on interest rates tomorrow, to cut borrowing costs by 50 basis points to 1.0 percent.
Amid expectations that the ECB will slash rates, the market is focusing on whether the central bank will open the door for quantitative easing as its counterparts in the United States, Britain and Japan have already done.
The dollar, which closed yesterday's trading at 1.1396 against the Swiss franc strengthened to 1.1471 in early deals on Wednesday. The next upside target level for the dollar-franc pair is seen at 1.155.
The franc slipped as a report showed that the Swiss SVME PMI stayed at a record low in March. The Swiss SVME Purchasing Managers' Index or PMI stagnated at a record low of 32.6 in March, a report from Credit Suisse showed today. Economists had expected the reading to rise to 33 in March. The index has not posted a further fall for the first time in 15 months.
The dollar jumped to near a 4-week high of 99.48 against the yen at 7:55 pm ET Tuesday. Although the dollar eased thereafter, it bounced back shortly and the pair is presently quoted at 99.13. If the dollar-yen pair moves up further, it may likely target the 99.69 level. At yesterday's New York session close, the pair was worth 98.95.
The yen fell across the board in early Asian trading today after a report showed that Japan's business confidence tumbled at its fastest pace ever in the first quarter to the worst on record.
The Bank of Japan's Tankan Survey revealed today said that Japanese sentiment among large manufacturers plummeted at a record rate in the first quarter of 2009, posting a diffusion index score of -58,. That was worse than analyst expectations for -55 following a score of -24 in the previous quarter.
It was the sixth straight quarter of decline, and the fall of 34 points from the previous survey in December marked the largest fall on record. It was also worse than the previous record low of -57 in June 1975. However, the large manufacturers' outlook for the June quarter posted a mild recovery, coming in at -51.
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