- ECB official Benoit Coeure: ECB will fund Greek banks as long as they stay solvent
- BOE minutes: 9 – 0 vote to hold monetary policy as-is
- BOE minutes: More likely than not that rates would rise over the three-year forecast period
- BOE officials expressed confidence in euro zone economic recovery
- Credit Suisse Economic Expectations: -23.2 actual v.s. -37.9 previous
- Italian retail sales down by 0.2% vs. estimated 0.1% gain
The yen, Swissy, and Loonie were mixed for today’s morning London session, with some currency pairs remaining mostly flat. The euro also had a mixed performance, most likely because prevailing concerns over the Greek debt crisis were overshadowed by remarks from ECB Executive Board Member Benoit Coeure saying that the ECB will continue funding Greek banks as long as they stay solvent. It also helped that the BOE expressed a bit more confidence in the euro zone economic outlook.
EUR/USD is down 4 pips (-0.04%) to 1.0762, EUR/CHF is up 30 pips (+0.29%) to 1.0288, and EUR/CAD is down 16 pips (-0.12%) to 1.3173.
The greatest contenders for volatility in this morning’s London session were the Kiwi and the pound, with the pound finally coming out on top. The pound’s strength stemmed from the BOE meeting minutes, which indicated that “all members agreed that it was more likely than not that interest rates would rise over the three-year forecast period.”
GBP/USD is up 95 pips (+0.63%) to 1.5036, GBP/JPY is up 101 pips (+0.57%) to 179.57, GBP/NZD is up 36 pips (+0.19%) to 1.9471.
The Kiwi, as previously mentioned, showed strength during the morning London session even though there were no direct catalysts to account for its strength. Risk sentiment also seems to be mixed since both the U.S. futures and bonds are currently down.
NZD/USD is up 33 pips (+0.44%) to 0.7721, NZD/JPY is up 34 pips (+0.37%) to 92.22, and NZD/CHF is up 45 pips (+0.62%) to 0.7367.
The forex calendar for the Wednesday afternoon London/morning U.S. session is a bit light but with mid-tier events from the U.S. to hopefully keep forex traders interested.
At 2:00 pm GMT, the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house price index is set for release with an expected figure of 0.7 versus the 0.3 previous reading. Let’s see if the number can bounce back from last months drop and possibly give support for the Greenback.
Then at 3:00 pm GMT, eurozone consumer confidence is expected to come out (-3 expected vs. -4 previous) for another read on retail sentiment, along with the U.S. existing home sales (5.04M expected vs. 4.88M previous) for another fresh read on the U.S. housing sector. The latter has been on quite a slide since December, so let’s see if we’ll see another disappointing number or a bounce back above 5.0M homes. Stay frosty!
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