The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4535 level and was capped around the $1.4595 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just below the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.4015 to $1.4965. The common currency was pressured lower on account of a surprising fall in EMU-13 December industrial output of 0.2% m/m with the annual number up 1.3% y/y, down from 3.1% y/y in November. Some traders believe these weaker-than-expected data will cause the European Central Bank to reduce interest rates sooner than the markets thing, possibly as early as March. ECB Vice President Papademos called on the markets to enhance transparency and disclosure to avert financial crises. Traders are also paying close attention to IG Metall, Germany’s trade union that is threatening to expand several strike warnings tomorrow regarding wage increases in that country. Other data saw the German January wholesale price index rise 1.4% m/m and 6.6% y/y. In U.S. news, January headline retail sales were up +0.3% with the ex-autos component up +0.3% and are up 3.9% in the previous twelve months. Also, December business inventories were up +0.6 from November’s +0.4% rise. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4380 level.