The euro appreciated vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4735 level and was supported around the $1.4590 level. Stops were reached above the $1.4710 level, representing the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.4920 to $1.4365. The common currency scored gains after the German January Ifo business climate index improved to 103.4 from 103.0 in December, more-than-expected, with the business assessment sub-index and the business expectations sub-index both stronger. The euro largely shrugged off news that a single trader at Societe Generale committed a massive â‚¬4.9 billion fraud. Spanish finance minister Solbes said there is significant debate within the ECB on whether to cut interest rates while ECB member Bini-Smaghi said the eight Mediterranean countries that form the majority of the fifteen-member ECB are more at risk from an economic slowdown than Germany and the Benelux countries. In U.S. news, the fed funds future market is pricing in about an 81% chance the Fed will reduce its federal funds target rate another 75bps next week to 2.75% following this weekâ€™s 75bps intermeeting cut. There is about a 122% chance the Fed will cut by 50bps according to the future market. Data released in the U.S. today saw weekly initial jobless claims fall 1,000 to 301,000 while continuing jobless claims fell 75,000 to 2.672 million. Also, December existing home sales fell 2.2% m/m to an annualized rate of 4.89 million units and were down 22.0% y/y. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4355 level.
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