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FOREX: Euro Eyeing Merkel, Monti Meeting Amid Italy Downgrade Fears

FOREX: Euro Eyeing Merkel, Monti Meeting Amid Italy Downgrade Fears

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC

Talking Points

  • US Dollar Recovers Overnight Despite Asian Stocks Advance
  • Spotlight on Merkel/Monti Meeting, German Bond Sale in Europe
  • Fed Beige Book, Q4 Earnings May Renew USD Selling Pressure

The US Dollar (ticker: USDollar) recovered in overnight trade, rising against all of its major counterparts as currency markets digested the previous two days’ selling of the go-to safe haven currency. While Asian stocks rose, the move seemed to reflect follow-through from North America rather than the emergence of new materially supportive catalysts. More telling, S&P 500 stock index futures fell by as much as 0.3 percent, hinting yesterday’s surge in risk appetite is being at least partially unwound as markets take on a more neutral tone as traders wait for the next major driver of sentiment trends.

The economic calendar is relatively quiet in Europe, with a German bond auction amounting to the only noteworthy bit of event risk. Berlin will sell up to €4 billion in 5-year paper, with traders keeping an eye on average yield and bid-to-cover readings to measure the degree of near-term sovereign solvency fears in the Eurozone. A meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti may prove more interesting – particularly after ratings giant Fitch said it may soon downgrade the Euro area’s third-largest economy yesterday – as policymakers continue to lay the groundwork for the January 30 European Union summit.

Later in the session, the spotlight will turn to global economic growth trends, with the Federal Reserve Beige Book survey of regional economic conditions in focus amid hopes that pickup in the US will help offset slowing performance in Europe and Asia. The same considerations will see markets monitoring the onset of the fourth-quarter corporate earnings reporting season, with retailer SUPERVALU Inc and builder Lennar Corp on tap to publish results. Supportive outcomes on either front threaten to dent safe-haven demand and renew selling pressure on the greenback against its sentiment-linked counterparts, with outsized gains reserved for the cycle-sensitive commodity bloc currencies (Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Dollars).

Asia Session: What Happened

GMT

CCY

EVENT

ACT

EXP

PREV

23:50

JPY

Official Reserve Assets ($) (DEC)

1295.8B

-

1304.8B

0:01

GBP

BRC Shop Price Index YoY (DEC)

1.7%

-

2.0%

0:30

AUD

Job Vacancies (NOV)

-3.3%

-

3.2%

5:00

JPY

Coincident Index CI (NOV P)

90.3

90.3

91.4

5:00

JPY

Leading Index CI (NOV P)

92.9

92.9

92.0

Euro Session: What to Expect

GMT

CCY

EVENT

EXP

PREV

IMPACT

8:00

EUR

German Public Finances Balance to GDP (2011)

-

-4.3%

Medium

8:00

EUR

German Real GDP (2011)

3.0%

3.6%

Low

9:00

EUR

Italian Deficit to GDP YTD (3Q)

-

5.3%

Low

9:30

GBP

Visible Trade Balance (£) (NOV)

-8400M

-7557M

Medium

9:30

GBP

Trade Balance Non-EU (£) (NOV)

-5000M

-4554M

Low

9:30

GBP

Total Trade Balance (£) (NOV)

-2400M

-1552M

Low

10:15

EUR

Germany to Sell €4B 5-Year Bonds

-

-

High

12:00

EUR

Germany’s Merkel, Italy’s Monti Meet in Berlin

-

-

High

Critical Levels

CCY

SUPPORT

RESISTANCE

EURUSD

1.2705

1.2816

GBPUSD

1.5423

1.5508

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for Dailyfx.com

To contact Ilya, e-mail ispivak@dailyfx.com. Follow Ilya on Twitter at @IlyaSpivak

To be added to Ilya's e-mail distribution list, send a note with subject line "Distribution List" to ispivak@dailyfx.com

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