The euro depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bisa around the US$ 1.3685 level and was capped around the $1.3775 level. The Federal Open Market Committee is not expected to make any significant changes to monetary policy tomorrow when its interest rate decision is announced. The Obama administration is said to favour San Francisco Fed President Yellen to replace retiring Vice Chairman Kohn. It is believed Obama may stack the Fed Board with so-called monetary doves to retain a downward bias on interest rates. Data released in the U.S. today saw February capacity utilization rise to 72.7% from 72.5% while February industrial production fell to +0.1% from the prior reading of +0.9%. Also, January total net Treasury International Capital flows printed at -US$ 33.4 billion, down from a revised +US 53.6 billion for December. Net long-term TIC flows tumbled to US$ 19.1 billion from the prior reading of US$ 63.3 billion. These data mean the U.S. did not cover its trade deficit in January through foreign investment inflows. Other data released today saw the March Empire State manufacturing index decline to +22.86 from the previous reading of +24.91. Dealers await the March NAHB housing market index later in the day and details about new financial services regulation legislation making its way through Congress. In eurozone news, EMU-16 Q4 unemployment was off 0.2% q/q and 2.0% y/y. Eurozone CPI data will be released tomorrow along with German ZEW data. Traders remain fixated on Greece, especially as French finance minister Lagarde and other eurozone officials have intimated Greece may be able to resolve its massive fiscal deficit without external financial assistance. European Union officials are said to have a contingency plan in place that they can implement with the push of a button. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3335 level.
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