Article Highlights

  • U.S. Federal budget deficit smaller than expected at 10.4 billion USD
  • New Zealand Business NZ manufacturing index down from 56.4 to 56.2
  • U.K. RICS house price balance weaker than expected at 53%
  • Australia shows surprise 3.7K drop in hiring vs. expected 15.3K increase
  • Australian jobless rate up from 5.8% to 6.0%
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The Greenback’s performance was as mixed as a bag of nuts, as the U.S. currency continued to rake in gains against the euro but lost ground to the pound in the latest U.S. session. As it turns out EUR/USD was still reeling from Benoit Couere’s comments saying that the ECB is considering negative deposit rates while GBP/USD was enjoying its rally after BOE Governor Carney upgraded the U.K. economy’s growth forecasts.

Data was lighter than usual in the New York session, as the only reports from the U.S. were its Federal budget balance and the crude oil inventories data. The Federal budget deficit was smaller than expected at 10.4 billion USD compared to the expected 16.4 billion USD shortfall. Meanwhile, crude oil inventories stood at 3.3 million barrels, higher than the consensus and the previous month’s reading.

Earlier today, the U.K. printed its RICS house price balance and showed a weaker reading of 53% versus the estimated 56% figure. Although it was also weaker compared to the previous month’s 58% reading, it wasn’t enough to deter the pound from its recent climb as GBP/USD surged past the 1.6600 handle while GBP/JPY jumped above 170.00.

AUD/USD, on the other hand, suffered a sharp selloff when Australia released weaker than expected employment data. Hiring was down by 3.7K in January, against expectations of a 15.3K increase, bringing the jobless rate up from 5.8% to 6.0% for the month. Aussie pairs got wiped out after the release, with AUD/USD sinking below the .9000 level and AUD/JPY on its way to the 91.00 mark.

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