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Evident over the first half of this week has been something of a flight from the traditional safe-haven currencies. The dollar has been drifting lower ahead of tonight’s expected announcement from the Fed that it is engaging in yet further industrial-size asset purchases. The Japanese yen is softest of all amidst increasing recognition that the economy desperately needs a weak currency and ahead of this weekend’s election. Finally, the Swiss franc is lower as major banks such as Credit Suisse and UBS impose fees on customer deposits. Among the biggest ‘winners’ are the Antipodean currencies and the euro, with the latter reaching 1.0350. Over the past four weeks, against the Japanese yen, the Kiwi has jumped nearly 8%, the euro is 7% higher and the AUD is up 5.6%. EUR/JPY is now up through 108, an increase of 15% since late July. The high for the year (back in March) of 111.44 is now within reach.
- EUR: Other than industrial production at 10:00, not much else to get excited about. Fresh rumours of Spain asking for financial assistance soon. Also, Greek debt buyback raised less than expected, which will attract the ire of the IMF.
- GBP: Labour market data awaits – is there a whiff of slower jobs growth in the air? Overall, 2012 has been a remarkably decent year for employment. BoE Chief Economist, Dale, speaks later in the morning; unlikely to be market-moving.
- USD: Expect yet another sizeable Fed program of asset purchases when the FOMC makes its announcement at 17:30. Yesterday there did appear to be some shorts set up ahead of the decision.
Dollar caution ahead of FOMC
Ahead of tomorrow’s FOMC decision the dollar’s tone has been slightly apprehensive. Most commentators expect the Fed to announce a new program of asset purchases, specifically targeted at treasuries. Operation Twist expires this month, and with the economy still nowhere near full employment, the Fed is keen to keep the monetary pedal to the metal until this situation improves.
- EUR: Apart from the German ZEW index, little to really excite today. German and French CPI early tomorrow.
- GBP: Jobs data tomorrow will be the main focus – the suspicion is that the evident strength apparent this year may be fading. Still, cable has a remarkable bid tone.
- USD: Not much out today other than trade figures. Market awaits FOMC outcome tomorrow, Fed likely to announce more asset purchases to coincide with expiration of Operation Twist. Some hints that the two sides in the fiscal cliff debate are moving nearer to a deal.
- USD: Busy day for releases, with GDP for Q3 and jobless claims at 1.30pm, followed by pending home sales at 3pm. Q3 GDP may be revised higher, which could assist the dollar. US Treasury Secretary Geithner meets Congressional leaders to discuss the fiscal cliff.
- EUR: Italian business confidence and EU consumer confidence out this morning. Greece still not out of focus, as questions persist re proposed debt buyback plan. On a more positive note, Spanish banks are to receive EUR 37bn of funding after EU regulators finally gave their imprimatur.