The euro rose to eight-week high versus the U.S. dollar on hopes Greece is very close to securing a second bailout that would prevent the debt-mired nation from defaulting as early as March as it has to repay 14.5 billion euros of debt.
Talks between Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and three political party leaders on measures demanded by lenders to receive the bailout did not come up with full agreement as they agreed upon all points except for pension cuts which they said requires further elaboration and discussion. Thus, the agreement will be postponed till finance minister Evangelos Venizelos meets with euro area finance ministers today.
Venizelos said there are issues outstanding that must be resolved by the time the eurogroup meets, where the premier's office in Athens said this discussion will occur immediately so that it can be completed in light of the meeting of euro area finance ministers.
Moreover, markets may witness some changes after the ECB rate decision. Expectations refer that the ECB will keep interest rate at 1.00% in February, while may cut it in March, yet important notices may be given by ECB President Mario Draghi regarding the changes in the collateral that the bank will accept in its liquidity operations, in addition to other possible talks about the fiscal compact.
The ECB probably will wait this month to assess the impact of its monetary policies announced in December.
Concerning the EUR/USD pair, it rose today to trade around 1.3275, after recording a high of 1.3312 and a low of 1.3213.
The trading range for today is among key support at 1.3045 and key resistance at 1.3455.
The U.S. dollar, on the other hand, fell slightly against a basket of major currencies, where the dollar index slipped to a low of 78.40 compared with the day's opening level of 78.59.
The USD/JPY rose significantly for the third day, where the yen fell to one-week low versus the green currency, on technical movements and on expected interventions from the BoJ to halt the yen's advance which affected exporters.
Currently, the pair is trading around 77.12 after reaching a high of 77.23 and a low of 76.98, where the trading range for today is among key support at 76.10 and key resistance now at 78.30.
Later in the day, initial jobless claims for the week ended February 4 is set to rise to 370,000 from 367,000 a week before, according to median estimates.
Moving to the GBP/USD pair, it is showing some advance before the BoE's rate decision. Policy makers are expected hold interest rate at 0.50% while expanding the Asset Purchase Facility to 325 billion pounds from 275 billion pounds, which, if happened, may put downside pressure on the pound on expected oversupply in the markets.
The GBP/USD is meanwhile trading around 1.5843 after touching a high of 1.5860 and a low of 1.5790.
The trading range for today is among key support at 1.5585 and key resistance at 1.6075.