When risk aversion increase hugely firmly endorsing the low-yielding dollar, who needs to see U.S. economic reports? Concerns on a possible Greece default dragged EUR/USD 125 pips from its 1.3192 intraday high, while USD/CHF also jumped by 29 pips to .9233.
As seen several times over the past weeks in relation to the Greek debt problem, investors got frustrated over the lack of solid progress in Greece’s possible bailout fund. Critically we can’t understand the use of Jean Claude Junker, President of the Eurogroup, saying that there’s progress when markets aren’t actually seeing any? The frustration weighed on high-yielding currencies across the board, which helped boost the low-yielding dollar.
Good thing the investors were focusing on the euro zone because the U.S. economic reports certainly didn’t show anything to be proud of either as no trade worthy reports exited the US today as predicted.
Though the Empire State manufacturing index came in at a better-than-anticipated reading of 19.5 in February, the capacity utilization rate missed expectations by 0.1% at 78.5% in January. Not only that, the TIC long-term purchases data showed that demand for long-term U.S. financial assets dropped sharply in December, as there’s only a $17.9 billion demand from November’s $61.3 billion figure.
The latest FOMC meeting minutes didn’t do any help either, as it told us nothing we don’t already know. Aside from repeating Big Ben’s frustration over the slow employment and economic growth, some FOMC members also see more quantitative easing in the future if economic data continue to disappoint expectations.
Speaking of economic data, we have a couple hitting us today, starting with the building permits, PPI, initial jobless claims, and housing starts all released at 1:30 pm GMT. After that, we’ll see the Fed Chairman make a speech in Arlington, which will be followed by the release of the Philly Fed manufacturing index at 3:00 pm GMT.
These reports today are certainly tradable so it will be wise to stick around. Follow up on the euro zone too!
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