Focus Shifts to Central Banks

The USD was mostly lower in overnight trading as the EUR tested resistance at 1.3060. Commodities also moved higher as gold traded above the $1,440 level continuing to bounce back from last week’s low of $1,321.50. Crude oil is back above $91.00 as well. The move in the commodities has helped the AUD and CAD move higher.

The overnight highs in the AUD, CAD and EUR were explained by traders as “closing” of short positions in the currencies listed. All three currencies have moved off their highs as the European trading markets begin their day.

Great Britain just released first quarter GDP results and the numbers are much better than expected. GDP improved to 0.6% in the first quarter of this year from 0.2% in the 4th quarter of 2012. Expectations had been for a move up of 0.3%. The news has seen the GBP jump substantially breaking resistance at the 1.5400, a 1% move higher from its European opening. The GBP moved quickly through resistance levels at 1.5320 and 1.5345 presently topping out at 1.5414. Given the negative economic results that came out of Europe yesterday, traders seem to be rushing to the GBP as the economic results gave traders reasons to buy British Pounds.

In other currency news, the EUR remained above the 1.3000 level during the overnight session, but has moved towards its overnight lows as the release of Spanish unemployment data showed a rise from 26.02% to 27.16% in the first quarter of 2013. This number was higher than the consensus expectation of 26.50%.

The markets will now shift their attention to the central bank meetings in Japan this evening and in Europe next week. European stock markets are higher as the latest round of economic data from the Eurozone raises expectations of an ECB rate cut occurring, possibly as early as next week. ECB officials are beginning to take to the airwaves bringing their arguments public as to whether a rate cut would be effective.

Before the ECB meeting, we do have the BOJ meeting today and traders will key on comments made by BOJ officials. The USD/JPY has traded with a 99.00 handle overnight but has yet to make a sustained run towards the 100.00 level. While many traders expect an eventual test of 100.00, the longer the wait the less there is a chance that this will happen. If the BOJ “disappoints” in their comments after this meeting, analysts expect a test to the downside in USD/JPY and the support level of 98.50 will come into play.

Technical levels to watch today are 1.3065 resistance in the EUR, 1.0220 support in the USD/CAD and 1.5420 resistance in the GBP. USD/JPY should trade during the day in the 99.10 – 99.50 range.

Matthew Lifson

Matthew Lifson

Matthew Lifson is a Foreign Exchange Trader and a Market Analyst. with Cambridge Mercantile Group.