The euro area was the talk of the town today with strong expansion reported across major economies and even with Greece leaping back into expansion, easing some of the jitters in the market.
Equities moved higher and the commodities rout found its bottom as the market turned bullish since the early hours of European trading with the stream of strong growth figures. The euro area expanded a strong 0.8% beating forecasts for 0.6% and the previous 0.3% expansion, growth was bolstered surely by Germany that expanded 1.5% and France that also expanded a strong 1.0%.
Austria expanded 1.0% and Holland grew 0.9% alongside Spain that saw a slight improvement with 0.3% growth from 0.2%. Greece was great relief with 0.8% expansion following 2.8% contraction offsetting Italy's stalling growth at 0.1% in line with the previous quarter and Portugal's contraction.
The euro moved to the upside on the news and remained well above the critical 1.4170 support. The euro hit the high of 1.4339 from the low of 1.4182 and now hovering around 1.4288 areas.
Gains seen for the euro pressured the dollar south, especially as the sentiment was bolstered by the news. The dollar index that tracks greenback's performance moved to the downside to the low of 74.79 from the high of 75.44 and nowmoving around 75.00 areas.
Sterling, on the other hand, remained weak and did not benefit much especially as it endured heavy losses versus the euro, and the lack of data from U.K. left sterling fragile. The pound lost more grounds versus the dollar sliding from the high of 1.6306 to the low of 1.6237 and trading bearishly for now around 1.6252.
The dollar's drop and the euro's gains with rising equities all helped halt commodities rout sending oil and gold to the upside. Crude oil rallied on the good data bolstered by prospects for strong demand from Europe to hit the high of $100.68 a barrel and currently hovering still bullishly around $99.80. Gold also recovered to trade above $1,500 reaching the high of $1516.50 an ounce alongside silver that rallied higher to the high of $36.43 from the low of $34.15 and currently hovering around $35.95 an ounce.
Still, despite the return of the risk appetite and strong earning from Europe, the yen held its gains as the dollar softened. The USD/JPY moved to the downside to the low of 80.32 from the high of 81.08 and currently hovering around 80.63.
More volatility will be seen with the opening of U.S. markets and inflation figures and Michigan confidence on hopes we end the week on this upside note ahead of another hectic week focused on the debt crisis with the EU finance ministers and the Ecofin meeting.