The euro appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.4555 level and was supported around the $1.4405 level. The common currency was propelled higher on stronger-than-expected Chinese exports and imports data that helped support the view the global economy is continuing to recover. The U.S. dollar fell on these news under the premise that the global economy will become less dependent on the U.S. economy, including the U.S. dollar's net import balance. Additionally, the common currency moved higher on dovish remarks from St. Louis Fed President Bullard who noted U.S. interest rates may remain low for quite some time. Atlanta Fed President Lockhart speaks later in the North American session. Friday's weaker-than-expected and disappointing U.S. December non-farm payrolls data dented the view that the Fed may raise interest rates by the middle of the year. European Central Bank President Trichet called on global governments to reduce excessive budget deficits to satisfy investors. Trichet noted he sees a progressive normalization of the economy but called on market participants to strengthen risk management significantly. ECB member Nowotny said new risk-taking by some market participants is a concern for central bankers and regulators and that risk-taking needs to be limited by increases in capital requirements. Nowotny also confirmed there will be sluggish economic growth in the eurozone this year. Data released in the eurozone today saw French November industrial output climb +1.1% and October's print was upwardly revised. In U.S. news, Bullard also noted the U.S. should maintain its purchases of mortgage-backed securities to provide liquidity to the markets, and stressed quantitative easing programs administered by the Fed have supported the market. Data to be released in the U.S. tomorrow include November trade balance figures with estimates running around -US$ 34.5 billion. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3885 level.
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