The euro moved marginally higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2850 level and was supported around the $1.2705 level. Traders are closely watching negotiations in the U.S. Senate on President Obama’s proposed US$ 819 billion fiscal stimulus program. Dealers are also considering the likelihood a bad bank will be unfurled in the U.S. to purchase toxic assets from banks’ balance sheets. Dallas Federal Reserve President Fisher warned the Buy America program in the proposed fiscal stimulus is too protectionist. Data released in the U.S. today saw December consumer spending fall 1.0% after declining a revised 0.8% in November while personal income was off 0.2%. The December core personal consumption expenditure prices index was unchanged in December and up 1.7% y/y. Also, the ISM January national factory activity index rose to 35.6 from 32.9 in December. In eurozone news, European Union officials reported all European countries may establish bad banks to absorb toxic assets. Data released in France today saw the December jobless total rise about 45,000. Also, the EMU-16 January purchasing managers’ index improved to 34.4 from 33.9 in December. EU’s Alumnia reported there is zero chance that any eurozone country will leave the euro. Most traders believe the European Central Bank will not reduce interest rates this week with next month the most likely time for a monetary easing. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2475 level.
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