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Markets Rise Ahead of NFP Report ; Euro Touches 10-Year

The euro has reached a ten-year low following a report showing German factory orders fell in November more than market economists had predicted. One day ahead of the US December Jobs Report, this is the fifth consecutive day the euro has weakened, its longest stretch since May. Following an increase of 2.9% in October factory orders, the market was expecting a modest decline of 0.8% for November for Europe’s largest economy. Instead, markets were treated to a decline of 2.4%, which has some analysts now predicting a $1.10 EUR/USD level by the end of Q1. Additionally, Eurozone producer prices dropped 0.3% in November, which should add pressure to the ECB for additional stimulus when they meet on January 22nd.

Economic data was limited throughout the Asian session, as foreign exchange markets took direction from equity outperformance. Asian bourses were a sea of green after Wall Street finally put an end to their worst run to start a year since 2008. US equity futures are all higher this morning, as the market looks ahead to tomorrow’s Labor Department report. Economists are expecting the report will show an increase of 240,000 newly employed Americans following November’s large 321,000 print. US weekly jobless claims this morning showed 294,000 workers filed for first-time applications for unemployment benefits, down from 298,000 last week.

Looking to the UK, the (once) Great British Pound dropped to a 17-month low against the dollar following the conclusion of this week’s Bank of England monetary policy meeting. The Bank’s QE level remained firm at £375 billion as rates were unchanged. Markets are anticipating that the central bank will not make any change to the headline 0.50% interest rate for the duration of 2015. Oil has stabilized a bit this week, which is helping some of the “commodity currencies.” The Norwegian krone gained versus all but two of the world’s major currencies, also seeing gains were the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars. Additionally, the Canadian dollar experienced a slight bump as the November New Housing Price Index showed an increase of 1.7% over the same period in 2013. On Friday, Canada will also unveil their December jobs report along with December housing starts data.

January trading should heat up next week as earnings season kicks off. The situation over Greek elections should also warrant attention approaching the snap election on January 25th. A bit of Chinese data after hours tonight as the world’s largest economy releases December inflation data, markets are anticipating a +1.4% print. One week to go until the 2015 US Pond Hockey Championships in Lake Nokomis, MN, everyone needs to stay warm and trade wisely.

Further reading:

2015 Preview for currencies & commodities: the Fed hike, EZ QE, slippery oil, UK politics, Big in Japan, AUD down under, Loonie blues and Gold – Market Movers #31

AUD/USD forms double bottom and another lower high