U.S. Session Recap – January 7, 2013

  • US non-manufacturing PMI at 53.0 vs. 54.6 expected
  • US factory orders rise by 1.8% vs. 1.7% expected
  • Gold ends the day flat after a “flash crash” while oil closes at a 5-week low
  • US Senate confirms Janet Yellen as new Fed Chairman

Currency bears feasted on the Greenback during the U.S. session as Uncle Sam’s non-manufacturing PMI report missed expectations. While the employment component grew for the 17th consecutive month, the new orders component contracted for the first time in 52 months. As a result, the dollar lost around 50-80 pips against the euro, yen, and the franc in the first few hours after the release.

Speaking of price action, gold’s chart movements caused ruckus in the markets when it dropped by $30 14 minutes into the US factory orders release and triggered a 10-second trading halt. While some believe that manipulation triggered the “flash crash,” others say that it was work of “fat fingers” or a large hedge fund liquidating its gold positions. In any case, gold shrugged off most of its losses and ended the day only slightly lower against its open price.

Janet Yellen took the spotlight from the markets a few hours earlier after the US Senate confirmed her as the new Fed Chairman. In a 56-26 vote, Yellen is set to become the first female Fed Chairman in the Fed’s 100-year history. Her challenges includes assuring investors of a prolonged period of low interest rate while slowly tapering the Fed’s stimulus.

We only have Australia’s trade balance data as well as Japan’s 10-year bond auction on tap for the Asian session. Keep your eyes peeled for AUD pairs as well as the popular yen crosses if you’re planning to trade the more volatile currency pairs.

See also:

London Session Recap

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