The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3745 level and was supported around the $1.3430 level. Traders are already focusing on Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls data for December. ADP reported U.S. private-sector employers shed 693,000 jobs in December, far worse-than-expected and considerably worse than the revised 476,000 private sector jobs lost in November. Many economists believe these weak ADP data may result in a non-farm payrolls loss of more than 650,000 on Friday. These types of results could result in additional monetary easing moves by the Federal Reserve. The Challenger layoffs survey released today indicated planned layoffs eased in December from November but were nevertheless up an annualized 275%. Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s December policymaking meeting were released yesterday in which policymakers indicated the economy faces substantial risks even though benchmark official interest rates have been reduced to near zero per cent. Fed officials concluded the economy likely contracted sharply in Q4 2008 and will do so again in Q1 2008, if not longer. The Fed also downwardly revised its 2009 forecasts for economic activity and is projecting a moderate recovery in 2010. Additionally, officials discussed new lending programs and acknowledged the Fed’s balance sheet will likely remain at elevated levels for some time as the Fed conducts quantitative easing measures to try and keep borrowing costs low. In eurozone news, EMU-15 November producer prices notched a record monthly decline, off 1.9% m/m and up 3.3% y/y. Most traders believe the European Central Bank could cut rates around 50bps next week but are mindful that ECB President said the bank’s cumulative 175bps of easing since October have not been fully felt. ECB member Gonzalez-Paramo said the ECB will continue to establish policy orientated towards its credibility in guaranteeing medium term price stability while ECB member Constancio yesterday said the ECB should preemptively reduce rates to prevent inflation falling too far below 2%. Data released in Germany today saw December unemployment rise for the first time since February 2006, up 18,000. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3055 level.