The EUR finished yesterday's trading session with mixed results versus the major currencies. The 15-nation currency saw gains versus the greenback for most of the day and closed at 1.3600. Versus the JPY, the Euro-Zone currency range-traded throughout most of the day, as most of the market movement from yesterday was focused on the greenback. In addition, yesterday was a slow news day in Europe as there was one major economic indicator published.
The German Unemployment Change indicator registered a significant rise in December, increasing to 18k unemployed from 4k last month; its lowest reading since February 2006, signaling an end to a three-year labor market boom as the global credit crisis hits companies in Europe's largest economy. As a result, the head of the Federal Labor Office warned that labor markets would soon feel the impact of the economic downturn.
Looking ahead to today, the most important financial indicator scheduled to be released from Europe is Germany's Factory Orders. Analysts are forecasting this figure to increase from its previous reading. Traders will be paying close attention to today's announcement, as a stronger than expected result may continue to bolster the EUR. Also important to watch today will be ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet's speech at the ceremony which welcomes Slovakia to the EUR, transforming the Euro-Zone currency into a 16-nation currency.