The Dollar dropped to near 1-year lows against most of its major currency pairs yesterday as optimism about the global economy eroded the greenback's safe-haven appeal. By yesterday's close, the USD fell against the EUR, pushing the oft-traded currency pair to 1.4730. The Dollar experienced similar behavior against the GBP and closed at 1.6492.
Traders have sold the Dollar heavily this month as recovery hopes have diminished safe-haven demand. The prospect of low U.S. yields and concerns about the U.S. fiscal deficit also fueled Dollar selling. In addition, market participants increased bets on stocks and commodities, encouraged by better-than-expected U.S. consumer price index (CPI) and Industrial production data yesterday, while Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. recession was most likely over, though he also warned the recovery would be slow.
Today's Unemployment Claims and Building Permits releases are expected to have a strong impact on the U.S currency. Any result could be a surprise, and the Dollar could go either way as a result. In any case, traders are unsure how the market will react to today's data. A weak report could feed risk aversion, boost Treasuries and actually aid the U.S Dollar. Then again, a better than expected result might be seen as a sign of relative U.S. economic strength, and lift the Dollar. Or it could also encourage risk-taking and aid commodities and higher-yielding currencies at the Dollar's expense.