U.S. Dollar Weakens after Better Jobless Claims Report
The U.S. Dollar weakened against most major currencies
following the release of the Initial Claims Report. The Japanese Yen fell on
the news.Look for pressure on this
currency if equity markets continue to rally. Demand for commodity-linked
currencies is expected to be strong as traders seek higher returns from riskier
The European Central Bank left its benchmark interest rate
at a historically low 1% as expected, but the key to todayâ€™s Euro movement will
be what comes out of the mouth of ECB President Trichet.
Trichet is expected to address two key issues: the extension
of liquidity support and his opinion on the European bank stress tests. As it
currently stands, the current ECB stimulus program is set to expire in October.
Investors are looking at the possibility of an extension of this program due to
the negative effect the Greek sovereign debt crisis has had on the Euro Zone
economy. Investors are also looking for Trichetâ€™s opinion on the on-going bank
stress tests. They are looking for Trichet to say that he believes the tests
will be stringent enough to restore investor confidence.
The GBP USD is trading lower, but trying to recover
following the U.S. Initial Claims Report. Technically this market is struggling
to break out over the last main top at 1.5228.
Earlier this morning the Bank of England voted to leave
interest rates unchanged at the record low of 0.5 percent. No one actually
expected them to hike rates because of the recently announced austerity
measures. At a time when a government is slashing spending and threatening to
raise taxes, it is necessary for the central bank to continue to keep interest
rates low and provide the liquidity when necessary.
One concern for British Pound investors is high inflation,
but this morningâ€™s action by the BoE indicates that the majority of its members
chose to fight against a double-dip recession rather than high inflation. One
member of the BoE policy committee actually voted to hike interest rates but
was overridden by the majority. Todayâ€™s early weakness in the Sterling can be attributed in part to the
on-going conflict between those who fear inflation and those who fear a decline
in the economy.
The latterâ€™s case was bolstered overnight when it was
reported that the average house price in the U.K. fell by 0.6% in June for the
third consecutive month. Although U.K. manufacturing sector data
should its fastest annual growth in more than 15 years, this news was largely
ignored by investors who felt it was just an offset of huge losses suffered
during the height of the recession last year.
Upside momentum appears to be strengthening this morning
which should bode well for the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian Dollars
while pressuring the Japanese Yen.
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