Better earnings from JP Morgan drove risk assets higher in NY trading and US dollar bears were out in full force once again. The bank not only reported better bottom line results, but also blew right through revenue estimates. Should earnings continue to show top line expansion, we would look for equity marts to remain better bid into the end of the month. One of the big stories was the Dow Jones re-gripping the 10K handle as stocks added about 1.5% on the day. Gold was practically flat but remains better bid while above the $1060 area.
If earnings weren't enough to whet risk appetites, US economic data also surprised to the upside. Retail sales printed -1.5% MoM on the headline while consensus was looking for a steeper -2.1% decline. The real improvement came in the core number which jumped 0.5% on the month and on the heels of a 0.7% gain the prior month. We wonder aloud how much of this can be attributed to early holiday shopping and we'll reserve judgment on the state of the consumer until we get past that hump.
The FOMC meeting minutes were also released today and served up some more USD-negative headlines. The communique showed that some FOMC members remain open to expanding the Fed's MBS purchases. The implication of more money printing on the horizon led to some USD selling on the follow. EUR/USD approached the 1.4950 area where an option barrier ostensibly lurks. Should we take this out overnight, we could see the 1.50 handle in relatively quick fashion.
The commodity currencies were decidedly better bid as oil climbed for the fifth consecutive day â€ now well above the $75 mark. Historical seasonality still suggests a decline in oil into year-end towards the $55 zone but for now the trend remains higher here. AUD/USD traded near session highs by 0.9145 as NY came to a close while USD/CAD saw a massive rejection at the hourly trendline above 1.0300 and now targets 1.0200 support â€ as the dash to parity continues.