The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.3205 level and was supported around the $1.2860 level. The common currency moved higher after eurozone data printed better than expected. The German January Ifo business confidence index rebounded slightly to 83.0 from 82.7, the first improvement in eight months. Also, the November current account balance was in deficit by €16.0 billion, the largest every for the eurozone since 1999. European Central Bank President Nowotny reported there is no room for a wait and see approach, adding ECB policymakers have are having a big discussion about how to avoid deflation. The goal of the ECB is inflation not more than but also close to 2 per cent...We are very actively fighting inflation but also very actively fighting deflation. ECB’s Quaden added We are probably ready to cut further. But I am launching an appeal to the banks to pass on the impact on rates that they impose on investors and consumers… The fourth quarter in particular was truly catastrophic with negative quarterly growth of at least minus 1 per cent. The German government reported 2009 borrowing may exceed €36.8 billion. In U.S. news, Geithner’s nomination was approved by the Senate and he is now the new U.S. Treasury Secretary. Geithner is likely to spearhead the manner in which the next US$ 350 billion TARP injection is appropriate and oversee the proposed US$ 825 billion fiscal stimulus. He is also expected to announce new measures to ease credit strains in the next couple of weeks. Traders await the Federal Reserve’s interest rate announcement tomorrow with many wondering what additional credit easing facilities the Fed can creatively conjure and implement. Data released in the U.S. today saw the S&P/ Case-Shiller November house price index fall a record 18.2% y/y. Also, January consumer confidence fell to 37.7 from a revised 38.6 in December while the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index improved to -49. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2475 level.
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