Dollar Finishes Mixed in Lifeless Trade; Bernanke Key to Direction
Today was a relatively flat day for most commodities and
stocks. The inability of the Dollar to pick a direction helped to pressure
gold, crude oil and stock indices.
The way the March Treasury Notes and March Treasury Bonds traded,
one would expect Bernanke say something later this week about future rate
hikes. On Monday, Treasury futures finished lower in a slow trade.
The U.S. Dollar traded mixed in a tight and narrow range. The
trade weighted Dollar Index finished slightly lower after confirming last
Friday‚Äôs closing price reversal top.
The lack of major U.S. economic reports on Monday
helped hold the Forex markets in a tight range as investors awaited testimony
later in the week from Fed Chairman Bernanke. His comments should move the
markets especially if they come after a few days of range bound, directionless
trading. His testimony before the House Financial Services Committee is
expected to be about employment growth prospects and whether fiscal stimulus is
Traders will be looking for Bernanke to give them clues
about the timing of future U.S.
interest rate hikes. In addition, he may be asked to explain why he hiked the
discount rate last week.
The March Euro finished lower as investor confidence
evaporated following a failure by the European Union to reach an agreement with
regarding its fiscal responsibility. Depending which side you talk too, the EU
are either very close or far apart.
The March British Pound traded flat to higher, but inside
Friday‚Äôs range. Traders were covering short positions after the recent sharp
sell-off in an effort to lock in profits. There has been no change in the
fundamentals. The budget deficit, weak economy and lack of confidence in the
Bank of England are still the catalysts behind the weakness in the British
Risk sentiment drove the March Japanese Yen higher. Traders were
acting a little jittery about holding on to risky assets. This helped to
support the Japanese Yen.
The weaker Euro helped to pressure the March Swiss Franc. Traders
reacted as if the falling Euro would trigger another round of intervention by
the Swiss National Bank.
Lower gold and late session weakness in crude oil helped to weaken
the March Canadian Dollar.Technically
this market posted a daily closing price reversal top that could trigger the
start of a short-covering rally.
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