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FOREX: Markets to Look Past UK Retail Sales, Focus on G20 Summit

FOREX: Markets to Look Past UK Retail Sales, Focus on G20 Summit

2011-02-18 08:08:00
Ilya Spivak, Sr. Currency Strategist
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Key Overnight Developments

Critical Levels

CCY

SUPPORT

RESISTANCE

EURUSD

1.3551

1.3642

GBPUSD

1.6103

1.6256

The Euro was little changed in Asian trading hours, oscillating in a choppy range around the 1.36 figure to the US Dollar. Similarly, the British Pound traded sideways above 1.6150 to the greenback. We remain short EURUSD and maintain a bearish bias on GBPUSD.

Asia Session Highlights

CCY

GMT

EVENT

ACT

EXP

PREV

AUD

0:30

RBA Foreign Exchange Transactions (A$) (JAN)

326M

-

855M

CNY

2:00

Conference Board China Leading Index (DEC)

-0.5%

-

0.5%

CNY

2:00

China Property Prices (JAN)

-

-

-

JPY

5:30

Tokyo Department Store Sales (YoY) (JAN)

1.4%

-

-0.3%

JPY

5:30

Nationwide Department Store Sales (YoY) (JAN)

-1.1%

-

-1.5%

Currency markets yielded another quiet session in overnight trade, with most of the majors locked in tight ranges against the benchmark US Dollar. The New Zealand Dollar was a notable standout, adding 0.7 percent against its top counterparts as a rally across Asian stock exchanges drove demand for the risk-linked currency. The MSCI Asia Pacific regional benchmark equity index added 0.6 percent, heading for the strongest weekly performance since the five days ending December 3rd.

Euro Session: What to Expect

CCY

GMT

EVENT

EXP

PREV

IMPACT

EUR

7:00

German Producer Prices (MoM) (JAN)

0.6%

0.7%

Low

EUR

7:00

German Producer Prices (YoY) (JAN)

5.1%

5.3%

Medium

EUR

7:45

French Own-Company Production Outlook (FEB)

-

16

Low

EUR

7:45

French Production Outlook Indicator (FEB)

-

10

Low

EUR

7:45

French Business Confidence Indicator (FEB)

109

108

Low

EUR

9:00

Italian Industrial Orders s.a. (MoM) (DEC)

2.1%

-4.3%

Low

EUR

9:00

Italian Industrial Orders n.s.a. (YoY) (DEC)

9.3%

9.6%

Low

EUR

9:00

Italian Industrial Sales s.a. (MoM) (DEC)

-

0.2%

Low

EUR

9:00

Italian Industrial Sales n.s.a. (YoY) (DEC)

-

12.1%

Low

GBP

9:30

Retail Sales (MoM) (JAN)

0.2%

-0.3%

Medium

GBP

9:30

Retail Sales (YoY) (JAN)

4.3%

1.0%

Medium

GBP

9:30

Retail Sales w/Auto Fuel (MoM) (JAN)

0.5%

-0.8%

Low

GBP

9:30

Retail Sales w/Auto Fuel (YoY) (JAN)

4.0%

0.0%

Low

The beginning of the G20 Summit of finance ministers and central bank heads kicks off in Paris today, with policymakers expected to focus on global imbalances. This seems to open the door for a discussion of currencies, although an official source reportedly told Dow Jones that no changes to the statement made at the G20 leaders summit in November (which broadly called for exchange rate flexibility and warned against competitive devaluation) is to be expected. A far more interesting subject may prove to be the impact of loose monetary policy in the developed world (and especially the US) on accelerating inflation in emerging countries. This may yield some clues on the future of QE2, putting the spotlight on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as he speaks to the gathering at 13:00 GMT. An official communiqué from the summit is expected to emerge on Saturday.

On the data front,UK Retail Sales figures top scheduled event risk in European hours, with receipts expected to surge 4.3 percent in the year through January to mark the largest annualized increase since May 2008. The markets’ response to the outcome may prove muted however after an analogous report from the British Retail Consortium telegraphed the upswing last week, hinting it is already priced into exchange rates. Furthermore, the BRC report dismissed the strong headline figure, arguing that it owed entirely to a short burst of spending at the beginning of the month as “clearance discounts and a last chance to beat the [increase in the value-added tax] got people buying.”

For real time news and analysis, please visit http://www.dailyfx.com/real_time_news

To receive future articles by email, please contact Ilya at ispivak@dailyfx.com

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