The dollar surged to a 6-month high against the euro at 1.3864 on a combination of robust US GDP data and lingering fears over Greece's fiscal problems. The US economy expanded at its fastest pace since 2003, blowing away consensus estimates for Q4 growth of 4.7%, instead expanding at 5.7% on an annualized basis - up sharply from 2.2% in Q3. A breakdown of the growth rate revealed a surge in inventories, which contributed to the bulk of the gains, propping GDP up by 3.4%. Data released today also saw a higher than forecast improvement in the January Chicago PMI to 61.5 from 57.4. The PMI employment component edged up to 59.8 compared with 47.6 in December while the production component increased to 66.6 versus 64.2. Meanwhile, the final reading for the University of Michigan consumer sentiment rose to 74.4 from 72.5 previously.
Fed Chairman Bernanke was confirmed to serve a second term following a Congressional vote yesterday, with a 70-30 Senate vote.
US equity markets were relatively tame in Friday trading despite the blockbuster Q4 GDP growth rate. The Dow Jones was up marginally while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 drifted lower on the session. Crude oil edged up slightly on the heels of the data.
The euro remained under pressure, falling to 1.3864. Support is seen at 1.3830, followed by 1.38 and 1.3760. Additional floors will emerge at 1.3730, backed by 1.37 and 1.3650. Gains will target resistance at 1.39, followed by 1.3940 and 1.3970. Subsequent ceilings are seen at 1.40, backed by 1.4040 and 1.41.