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FOREX: US Dollar Aims Higher as Greek PSI Accord Remains Elusive

FOREX: US Dollar Aims Higher as Greek PSI Accord Remains Elusive

2012-02-01 05:56:00
Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC
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Talking Points

  • Greek PSI Deadlock Still in Focus as Portugal Holds Bill Auction
  • Euro Zone CPI Estimate Expected to Keep Inflation at 4-Month Low
  • UK Housing, Manufacturing Data to Bolster Bets on Additional QE
  • NZ Dollar Slumps as FinMin Comments Weigh on RBNZ Outlook

The US Dollar (ticker: US Dollar) was little changed overnight, with most major currency pairs in consolidation mode. The New Zealand Dollar underperformed, down as much as 0.4 percent against its leading counterparts, after Finance Minister Bill English said inflation was no longer a problem for the economy. The comments reinforced priced-in expectations calling for the RBNZ to keep benchmark interest rates on hold at a record-low 2.5 percent over the coming 12 months.

Looking ahead, lingering worries about a still-absent agreement on private-sector involvement (PSI) in the second Greek bailout appear likely to create an uneasy tone across financial markets, hinting the path of least resistance favors risk aversion and promises gains for the safe-haven greenback. Against this backdrop, Portugal is set to sell a tranche of 105- and 168-day bills, with traders keeping a close eye on average yield and bid-to-cover readings amid worries that the troubles now plaguing Greece will spread to the smaller Iberian nation next.

On that data front, January’s preliminary Euro Zone CPI reading is expected to see the annual inflation rate remain at 2.7 percent, the 4-month low tagged in December. Headline price growth has remained stubbornly elevated over recent months but producer prices (PPI) have been trending lower since April, hinting at headwinds in the pipeline that threaten to stoke ECB rate cut expectations and add to downward pressure on the Euro.

Elsewhere, the Nationwide gauge of UK House Prices is expected to decline for a second month while Manufacturing PMI prints flat in January having shown contraction over the preceding three months. The anemic outcomes fall well within the overall deterioration in leading UK data since mid-December and may amount to downward pressure on the British Pound amid growing bets on additional QE to be announced in the months ahead.

Asia Session: What Happened

GMT

CCY

EVENT

ACT

EXP

PREV

22:30

AUD

AiG Performance of Manufacturing Index (JAN)

51.6

-

50.2

0:00

AUD

HIA New Home Sales (MoM) (DEC)

-4.9%

-

4.4% (R-)

0:30

AUD

House Price Index (QoQ) (4Q)

-1.0%

-0.6%

-1.9% (R-)

0:30

AUD

House Price Index (YoY) (4Q)

-4.8%

-3.3%

-3.4% (R-)

1:00

CNY

PMI Manufacturing (JAN)

50.5

49.6

50.3

1:30

JPY

Labor Cash Earnings (YoY) (DEC)

-0.2%

-0.4%

-1.0%

2:30

CNY

HSBC Manufacturing PMI (JAN)

48.8

-

48.7

5:00

JPY

Vehicle Sales (YoY) (JAN)

40.7%

-

23.5%

5:30

AUD

RBA Commodity Index SDR (YoY) (JAN)

6.0%

-

9.6% (R-)

5:30

AUD

RBA Commodity Price Index (JAN)

100.2

-

103.3 (R-)

Euro Session: What to Expect

GMT

CCY

EVENT

EXP

PREV

IMPACT

7:00

GBP

Nationwide House Prices n.s.a. (YoY) (JAN)

1.2%

1.0%

Medium

7:00

GBP

Nationwide House Prices s.a. (MoM) (JAN)

-0.2%

-0.2%

Medium

8:15

CHF

Retail Sales (Real) (YoY) (DEC)

-

1.8%

Low

8:30

CHF

SVME-Purchasing Managers Index (JAN)

51.3

50.7

Medium

8:45

EUR

Italian PMI Manufacturing (JAN)

45.3

44.3

Low

8:50

EUR

French PMI Manufacturing (JAN F)

48.5

48.5

Low

8:55

EUR

German PMI Manufacturing (JAN F)

50.9

50.9

Medium

9:00

EUR

Euro-Zone PMI Manufacturing (JAN F)

48.7

48.7

Medium

9:30

GBP

PMI Manufacturing (JAN)

50.0

49.6

Medium

10:00

EUR

Euro-Zone CPI Estimate (YoY) (JAN)

2.7%

2.7%

Medium

10:30

EUR

Portugal to Sell 105-168 day Bills

-

-

Medium

Critical Levels

CCY

SUPPORT

RESISTANCE

EURUSD

1.2941

1.3184

GBPUSD

1.5707

1.5805

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

To contact Ilya, e-mail ispivak@dailyfx.com. Follow me 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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