The dollar and yen were higher in early Thursday trading amid speculation that Greece may seek help from the IMF -- sparking fears that next week's EU Summit meeting will provide little support to the sovereign-debt crisis. Heightened risk aversion pushed the euro lower, relinquishing the 1.37-handle against the dollar and sliding beneath the 123-level versus the yen. Gains in crude oil stalled in the overnight session, drifting back toward the $82-per barrel level and lower by almost 1% to $82.16.
Data from the US will remain in focus in the New York session with the calendar consisting of several key gauges on the economy. The reports include February consumer prices, weekly jobless claims, the Q4 current account deficit, the March Philadelphia Fed survey and the February index of leading economic indicators. Inflation is forecast to remain steady with the headline February CPI figures printing at 0.1% on a monthly basis and higher by 2.3% on an annualized basis. The excluding food and energy CPI are estimated to increase by 0.1% compared with a decline of 0.1% in the previous month and up by 2.3% versus an increase of 2.6% a year prior. Weekly jobless claims are seen improving to 455k from 462k from the week before. Consensus estimates for the current account deficit are calling for an increase to $119.0 billion in the fourth quarter and increasing from a $108.0 billion deficit in Q3. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Fed business survey is expected to improve to 18.0 for March from 17.6 in February and the leading indicator index is seen rising by 0.1 for February versus a 0.3% increase previously.
Sovereign-debt fears weigh on Euro
According to a Dow Jones newswire, Greece is expected to seek aid from the IMF at the beginning of April as it is unlikely to receive support from the European Union during its Summit meeting next week. The report prompted the single currency to relinquish its session high's versus the dollar at 1.3753 to slip toward the 1.3650-level.
The January Eurozone current account balance posted a deficit of 8.1 billion euros versus an upwardly revised 2.3 billion euro surplus previously. The trade balance report was also worst than forecast, revealing a 7.4 billion euro deficit for January versus a surplus of 5.2 billion euros from December.
EURUSD will encounter resistance around the 1.37-figure, followed by 1.3750 and 1.38. Subsequent ceilings will emerge near 1.3840, backed by 1.3870 and 1.39. On the downside, support starts at 1.3650, followed by 1.36 and 1.3570. Additional floors are eyed at 1.3540 and 1.35.