Dollar's retreat extends further today in early US session after release of poor employment data. ADP employment report showed the job markets in the non-agricultural private sector shrank -693k in Dec, much worse than expectation of -450k and being the largest contraction since records begain in 2001. Challenger report showed US planned job cuts jumed a 274.5% comparing to a year ago. These two reports raise concern that Friday's non-farm payroll report, which is expected to show -500k contraction, will even be worse.

Released earlier, Germany's unemployment rose for the first time since Jan 2006 with the number of unemployed people increased by 18K in December, compared with market expectation of 10 K and a revised job addition of 4K in November. Unemployment rate remained at 7.6% for the 4th straight month (consensus: 7.5%, November: 7.6% revised). In the Eurozone, November's PPI slowed to 3.3% yoy, lower than 4.3% as economists forecast and 6.3% in October. On monthly basis, PPI fell 1.9% in November, the sharpest drop since the gauge began in 1981, due to rapid decline in prices in energy, non-durable goods as well as intermediate goods.

Earlier in Asian session, New Zealand's trade deficit narrowed to NZD 520M in November, better than consensus of NZD 775 M and the revised NZD996M in October, because growth in imports (+5.2% yoy) dropped more rapidly than exports (+9.4% yoy) due to depreciation in NZD. In nominal terms, imports and exports came in at NZD 4.21B (consensus: NZD 4.54B, October: NZD 4.82B) and NZD 3.69B (consensus: NZD 3.71B, October: NZD 3.83B), respectively.

In Australia, retail sales showed improvement and rose 0.4% mom in November after RBA's rate cuts and decline in commodity prices. The better-than-expected reading (consensus: -0.4%, October: 1%) was brought by increase in food spending which added 0.7% during the month. However, other components such as sales at department stores and spending on clothing dropped.