The euro recorded moderate gains against most of its major counterparts, as market participants appeared somewhat optimistic after the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) completed another round of bond auctions. Greece’s central bank issued a report forewarning that the country must execute the austerity plan to reestablish confidence. Furthermore, it warned that GDP will contract by 4.5% this year, and unemployment may surpass 19%. Meanwhile, Netherland’s budget deficit has been reset higher to 4.6%, with its debt-to-GDP ratio expected to reach 76% by 2015. These developments highlight the obstacles eurozone will face on its path fiscal harmony. Against the US dollar, the single currency rose to 1.3237 from 1.3229. Versus the Swiss franc, the euro hovered around the 1.2060 level. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released an interesting report, encouraging the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to remove the 1.20 floor set on EURCHF as soon as inflation is at comfortable levels, and growth accelerates.
The US dollar produced gains versus a basket of currencies as Building Permits for February came out higher than expected. Later today at 13:30 GMT, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke is due to testify, along with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on the eurozone debt crisis before the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform. Investors worldwide are expected to carefully analyse this testimony in search of hints for future policy. Versus the Japanese yen, the US dollar rose to 83.66 from 83.36.
Oil prices plunged to 106.04 from 107.84 dollars a barrel. Gold dropped to 1650 from 1663.11 US dollars an ounce. Against the euro, gold dived to 1248.28 from 1257.39 an ounce. Silver fell to 32.06 from 32.8853 dollars an ounce.
|EURUSD||1.3210||LONG @ 1.3210||35% of deals buy EUR|
|USDJPY||83.30||LONG @ 83.30||64% of deals buy USD|
|GBPUSD||1.5840||LONG @ 1.5840||30% of deals buy GBP|
|AUDUSD||1.0540||LONG @ 1.0540||65% of deals buy AUD|
|GOLD||1658||LONG @ 1658||69% of deals buy GOLD|
|OIL||108.60||SHORT @ 108.60||66% of deals buy OIL|
|CAD||12:30||Leading Indicators for February||0.6%|
|USD||14:30||Crude Oil Inventories for past week||2.4 mil|
|NZD||21:45||4th quarter GDP y/y||2.2%|
|FTSE 100||-1.17%||S&P 500||-0.30%||NIKKEI||-0.55%|