The euro came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.5535 level and was capped around the $1.5615 level. Most traders expect the Federal Open Market Committee will keep the overnight call rate unchanged at 2.00% today and signal that inflation poses more of a threat than a slowdown in economic growth. Some traders believe the FOMC will move rates higher this year while others believe the Fed will take a wait-and-see approach before adjusting borrowing costs. The Fed is also expected to acknowledge the beleaguered U.S. housing sector, ongoing credit market dislocations, and weakness in the employment sector. Data released in the U.S. today May durable goods orders unchanged m/m and off 0.1% y/y while the ex-transportation component was of 0.9% m/m. Also, May building permits were revised to -0.4% from -1.3% and May new home sales were off 2.5% to a 512,000 unit annualized pace. In eurozone news, the European Central Bank announced it will hold a press conference after its 7 August Governing Council meeting. The ECB traditionally holds a telephone conference after some summer rate-setting meetings and this has led to speculation that the presumed +25bps rate hike to 4.25% in July will not be a one-off move. ECB’s Wellink reported Dutch inflation may top 3% in Q3 while ECB President Trichet reiterated he does not envisage a series of increases (in official interest rates). ECB’s Noyer reported Issuance of credit remains dynamic and there is no concrete threat of a (further) credit crunch. Data released in the eurozone today saw EMU-15 April factory orders up 2.5% m/m and 11.7% y/y, the fastest growth pace in six months. Euro bids are cited around the $1.5230 level.
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