The greenback fell sharply across the board, sliding to 1.3735 against the euro, 0.9084 versus the Aussie and 1.0277 against the Canadian dollar. Appetite for risk improved as Greece passed a plan to cut its deficit by 4.8 billion euros and mitigating sovereign-debt fears to prompt a sharp rally in the euro - which surged by over 140-pips in the Wednesday session. Crude oil extended gains further above the $80-level, up by over 1.4% to $80.80 while the US equity indexes were predominantly flat for the day.
The economic reports released today saw key indicators for the US labor market including the Challengers layoffs and ADP private-sector payrolls. The Challenger layoffs signaled improving conditions in the beleaguered US jobs market, with planned layoffs falling to its lowest level in 4-years at -77.4% to 42,090. Meanwhile, the ADP private-sector payrolls report printed inline with consensus estimates, shedding 20k jobs in February compared with 22k jobs lost in the previous month. The February services ISM improved by more than estimated, increasing to 54.8 from 52.2 previously. The Fed's Beige Book report reflected modest increases, with 9 of the 12 regional banks reporting improved economic activity.
Traders will look ahead to central bank monetary policy decisions from both the Bank of England (7:00 AM EST) and the European Central Bank (7:45 AM EST). Both central banks are expected to leave interest rates unchanged. The subsequent press conference from ECB President Trichet will be analyzed for revisions to the Bank's growth outlook as well as signals on how the ECB will rein-in emergency liquidity measures.
The calendar for Thursday will see weekly jobless claims, pending home sales, factory orders, new goods orders and durable goods orders. Weekly jobless claims are seen declining to 470k compared with a week earlier at 496k. Pending home sales are estimated to rise to 1.9% in January versus 1.0% from December.
EURUSD holds steady above the 1.37-level, with support seen at 1.3670, followed by 1.3630 and 1.36. Interim resistance is eyed at 1.3740, backed by 1.3760 and 1.38.