The euro depreciated vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4735 level and was capped around the $1.4795 level. The common currency was dented by stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data that saw December headline durable goods orders increase 5.2% with the ex-transportation component up 2.6% and Novemberâ€™s print upwardly revised. Also, the December non-defense capital goods orders ex-aircraft component â€“ deemed a close proxy for business investment â€“ was up 4.4%. Other data released today saw January consumer confidence print at 87.9, down from a revised 90.6 in December, but not a bad result given all of the uncertainty with the economy and financial markets lately. Also, the expectations index fell to 69.6 from 75.8. The Federal Reserve began its two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting today and most traders expect a 50bps monetary easing will be announced tomorrow. After todayâ€™s economic data, fed funds futures are discounting about an 80% chance of a half-point cut tomorrow. It was also reported that December U.S. foreclosures reached 2.2 million in 2007 and were up 75% from 2006. In eurozone news, the EMU-13 November current account surplus fell to â‚¬700 million from â‚¬3.1 billion in October. Also, German plant and machinery production rose 11% in 2007 while French confidence data came in weaker-than-expected. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4685 level.
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