The US dollar had a mixed performance lately, as the lack of top-tier catalysts left it functioning as a counter currency instead of driving any directional moves. According to FOMC member Fischer, the US central bank stands ready to make adjustments if any issues arise during the normalization process. For today, the US Beige Book and federal budget balance are up for release, along with the latest crude oil inventories report.
The euro was unable to make a lot of headway in recent trading sessions since there were no major reports out of the euro zone yesterday. Today has the French CPI and euro zone industrial production data on tap, with stronger than expected data likely to spur another round of gains for the shared currency.
The pound was the weakest of the major currency bunch yesterday since data from the UK came in much weaker than expected. Manufacturing production fell by 0.4% in November instead of rising by 0.1% while industrial production was down by 0.7% instead of coming in flat. There are no reports due from the UK today, allowing traders to price in expectations ahead of the BOE statement on Thursday.
The franc also gave up ground against its forex counterparts even though there were no major reports out of Switzerland. Data such as retail sales and CPI have been weaker than expected recently, which is probably traders are eager to let go of their franc holdings. There are no major reports due today.
The yen managed to hold on to its recent wins even with the slight pickup in in risk sentiment during the latter trading sessions. There were no reports out of Japan in today’s Asian session but core machinery orders and PPI readings are coming up in the next one.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Canadian dollar dropped to fresh lows against the US dollar when oil prices tumbled to $30/barrel. The EIA revised its production forecasts lower for this year and the next while keeping US demand estimates unchanged. Rumors that the OPEC is mulling an emergency meeting to cut production and boost prices were quickly quashed by UAE leaders, putting additional downward pressure on the commodity. In contrast, AUD and NZD drew a bit of support from strong Chinese trade balance figures, as imports fell less than expected while exports actually picked up by 2.3%.