EUR / USD
German factory orders increased 3.7% for November after a 5.8% decline the previous month and above consensus forecasts of 2.1%. Consumer prices increased 0.5% for December with the year-on-year inflation rate increasing to 5.3% from 5.2%. This was above consensus forecasts of 5.1% and the highest rate since July 1992.
The Euro was resilient into the New York open with support below 1.1300 against the dollar and it gradually edged higher as the single currency found some support on the crosses with a peak just above 1.1330. The Euro remains a key funding currency with a reluctance to sell given fragile risk conditions.
US initial jobless claims increased slightly to 207,000 in the latest week from 200,000 previously and slightly above market expectations of 200,000 while continuing claims increased to 1.75mn from 1.72mn previously.
The latest employment data will be released on Friday with increased confidence in a strong release following the ADP data on Wednesday.
The ISM non-manufacturing index retreated to 62.1 for December from 69.1 in November and below expectations of 67.0. The new orders component also declined to 61.5 from 69.7 with a slowdown in the rate of business activity growth. There was a slower increase in employment for the month while supply-side issues eased slightly.
The prices index, however, increased to 82.5 and the third strongest reading on record.
The dollar overall found support on dips with expectations of a tighter Federal Reserve policy continuing to underpin the currency and the Euro dipped below 1.1300 towards the European close. The dollar was unable to generate further momentum and the Euro stabilised just below 1.1300.
Tight ranges again prevailed on Friday ahead of the US jobs data and the Euro traded close to 1.1300 as risk appetite held steady.
US Treasuries were little changed at Thursday’s New York open with the 10-year yield holding above 1.70% while US equity markets were little changed.
The US overall trade deficit widened to $80.2bn for November from $67.2bn the previous month with a significant increase in imports. The monthly deficit was just below record highs, but the 2021 deficit is likely to hit a record high which could unsettle the dollar if equity markets lose traction.
St Louis Fed President Bullard stated that the first rate hike could come in March and he also forecast three rate hikes this year. San Francisco head Daly stated that the Fed was closing in on achieving its two goals in the short run. She also added that inflation had been higher than she was comfortable with for some time.
Risk conditions remained fragile after the New York open with the dollar overall edging lower. US equities were little changed with the dollar settling around 115.85.
Asian equities secured a limited recovery on Friday, although there were still reservations over the Chinese outlook given the risk of further coronavirus restrictions.
The dollar was held just below 116.00 after hitting selling interest above this level while the Euro was close to 131.0.
The UK PMI services-sector index was revised higher to 53.6 for December from the flash reading of 53.2, although this was still the lowest reading for 10 months. There was a further sharp increase in charges by companies, although the rate of increase declined slightly for the first time since August. The latest Bank of England survey of financial officers indicated that companies expected to increase prices 5% in the year ahead compared with 4.2% in the previous survey.
Sterling secured an element of support from optimism that further coronavirus restrictions would be avoided. The UK currency, however, was hampered by the less confident tone surrounding risk appetite as UK equities posted a sharp correction.
Sterling did find support just below 1.3500 against the dollar with a recovery to around 1.3530 while the Euro was unable to make significant headway.
The Pound held firm on Friday with markets continuing to monitor risk conditions and it traded just below 1.3550 against the dollar with the Euro just below 0.8350.
The Swiss franc was unable to make headway on Thursday despite the more fragile tone surrounding risk appetite. The overall global yield structure tended to have a negative franc impact as yields increased elsewhere, although there were still important reservations overselling.
The Euro tested the 1.0400 area, but failed to break through this level while the dollar tested the 0.9200 area. The franc edged lower on Friday with the Euro attempting to hold above 1.0400 while the dollar traded just above 0.9200 as yield spreads sapped support for the Swiss currency.