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Greek Reform Deadline Weighs on Euro

Greece is expected to make a repayment to the IMF today but that is not enough to keep the euro afloat as EU officials have placed a 6 day deadline for an agreement on reforms. According to EU officials, Greece made an critical appeal for cash on Wednesday as liquidity becomes a real problem.

Sadly, those appeals were rebuffed, told there must be real progress before any further cash injections would be considered. Adding to the euro slide was poor German data as the single currency remains a sell on any rallies.

Greece is expected to pay a 450 million euro loan installment to the IMF later today as it scrapes together cash reserves from various state bodies and pensions. Separately, the European Central Bank is holding meetings today as it weighs its options on extending and increasing emergency cash assistance for Greek banks, which have all suffered massive deposit outflows over the first few months of 2015.

Rumors of a secret communication from the Finnish Finance Ministry have been making the rounds, as it proposes a “Grexit” situation should they fail to meet obligations under its 240 billion euro bailout program. Elsewhere, German industrial production data, weighed heavily by a January downward revision, missed badly and puts into question supposed economic “green shoots” seen over the last few weeks from mainland Europe.

Turning to the UK for a moment, the Bank of England held their latest policy meeting this Thursday. Not surprisingly, the BoE held rates and QE firm at 0.50% and 375 bio GBP, respectively.

The pound experienced a brief sell-off following the results but has since recovered to pre-BoE levels. Sterling continues to be caught between a rock and a hard place, as it makes ground on the euro but is holding up quite well against its North American cousin. Speaking of the dollar, the market continues to digest yesterday’s FOMC minutes from last month’s meeting. While policymakers still took a more cautious tone to rate hikes, and reinforced their delayed timetable for such action, the greenback continues to find a bid tone, as it remains a buy on dips.

It is jobless claims day for the US, and it was another strong result, as only 281k Americans filed new unemployment claims. This is slightly above last week’s result of 267k but as these numbers continue to come in below the 300k level, it remains a beacon of hope for the improving American economy. Canadian housing data was bang in line, as the Loonie trades slightly lower following yesterday afternoon’s FOMC minutes.

Oil has found a slight bid tone overnight, which is keeping the Canadian dollar from depreciating too much and as the USD/CAD remains closer to the $1.25 level for longer, investors may soon wonder how much further downside remains. Tomorrow is a big day for the Loonie as Canada releases its March jobs report.

Good luck trading today, there is sure to be a lot of headline risk as Greek news continues to dribble out. Stock performance may assume the driver’s seat for markets as earnings season begins in earnest next week.

In this  week’s podcast, we feature an  Interview with FXStreet President Francesc Riverola on the industry, volatility and more

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Scott Smith

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is a Senior Corporate Foreign Exchange Trader with Cambridge Mercantile Group and has a diverse background in the foreign exchange industry, with previous experience in both credit and trading related functions. Scott holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Victoria, has completed all three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and is currently working towards the Derivative Market Specialist certification offered through the Canadian Securities Institute. Cambridge Mercantile Group.