A shift in risk sentiment had helped to push the US Dollar into the background. Analysts say that the latest US data had helped to shift sentiment back toward higher risk currencies but that shift did not last long. Yesterday, claims for unemployment benefits, both continuing and new, were less than analysts had predicted. For the week ended January 22nd, 847,000 initial claims were reported against a forecast of 875,000; the previous period’s initial claims had been revised upward, however. For the week ended January 15th, there were 4,771,000 continuing claims for jobless benefits, fewer than the 5,054,000 that had been anticipated; the claims in the previous period were revised lower.
As of 10:18 am in Tokyo trading, the EUR/USD was trading at $1.2120, down 0.0825%; the pair has ranged from $1.21035 to $1.21347. The GBP/USD was also lower at $1.372, down 0.0313%, off the session low of $1.37064. The USD/JPY was higher at 104.4870 Yen, a gain of 0.24%; the pair has ranged from 104.196 Yen to 104.578 Yen in today’s session.
Later today, markets will be watching for key economic data from Germany and France, the two largest economies in the Eurozone. Germany’s Statistics Bureau will be releasing preliminary 4th quarter GDP data (on a quarter-over-quarter basis); a recent poll shows that economists are predicting that a significant decline will be shown, to 0% from the previous 8.5%. France’s GDP data is also due out, with analysts calling for a decline to -4% in preliminary quarter-over-quarter figures, down from 18.7%. Similarly, Spain’s preliminary GDP for the 4th quarter is expected to be -1.5%, well removed from the 16.4% of the previous reading; Spain is the fourth largest economy in the EU.