Skip to content

US unemployment sees glimmer of hope

Sterling hovered near a two-and-a-half month high versus the dollar yesterday, supported by a cautiously optimistic outlook for riskier currencies and data from the UK which pointed at growth in the construction and manufacturing sectors. Dealers, however, said persistent worries over the UK economy and the likelihood that the Bank of England will announce an increase in its asset purchase programme next week were likely to keep the pound in check, with data from the dominant service sector awaited today. The pound was trading flat for the day at $1.5834 after rising to $1.5884 on Wednesday, its highest since Nov. 18. A poll yesterday showed sterling cruising at current levels against the battered euro despite growing optimism about the British economy's ability to outperform a euro zone still gripped by the sovereign debt crisis.

Data 9.30: Services PMI.


The euro headed for a weekly decline against all of its 16 major peers as Greece and its creditors struggle to reach an agreement on a debt swap. The euro was little changed at $1.3140 this morning from $1.3144 in New York yesterday, set for a 0.5 percent weekly decline. Greece and its creditors are locked in talks over a debt- swap deal for the nation. In discussions late last week in Athens, bondholders lowered their demands for an average coupon on the new debt they would get after European officials demanded they take steeper losses. Finance ministers from the four euro-area countries with AAA grades from all three major ratings companies — Germany, Finland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands — will meet in Berlin today, a German Finance Ministry spokesman, said yesterday. The ministers will discuss current issues without briefing reporters after the meeting, according to the spokesman, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Data: 10.00: Retail Sales.


Today traders can expect significant volatility in the marketplace as the US Non-Farm Employment Change figure is set to be released. Wednesday's ADP Non-Farm figure, which is widely considered an accurate predictor of today's news, came in below expectations and resulted in some bearish movement for the US dollar. At the moment, analysts are predicting that the US added 150K jobs in January. Should the final figure come in significantly below that number, the greenback may extend its losses. At the same time, traders will want to note that the employment statistic is notoriously difficult to predict. A better than expected figure is entirely possible, and could result in dollar gains ahead of markets closing for the weekend.

Data 13.30: Unemployment Rate; Non-Farm Employment Change.


The Australian and New Zealand dollars weakened on signs Greece’s government is struggling to reach an accord with its creditors on a debt swap, damping demand for higher-yielding assets. The so-called Aussie slid after reaching a five-month high yesterday as a gauge showed non-manufacturing industries in China, Australia’s largest trading partner, expanded at a slower pace last month. New Zealand’s currency, nicknamed the kiwi, fell versus all of its major peers as Asian stocks dropped.


























red = down

blue = up (snap shot)


These rates are for indication purposes only