The Euro traded up against the Dollar, particularly after the release of disappointing U.S. data. The decline of durable goods orders by 0.9% in February was worse than the expected 1.0% growth indication that the U.S economy is still weak. This contrasts the E.U. economic performance, where we have seen recently positive data, thereby giving cause for a rate hike by the ECB. Despite the debt crisis in the peripheral countries of the Eurozone and Portugal being in the headlines lately, the EURUSD pair is moving up today. On Wednesday the prime Minister of Portugal resigned after Parliament rejected austerity measures. However, the Euro was kept supported by an increase in risk appetite as investors moved away from the low yielding U.S Dollar. EURUSD gained over 86 pips to reach a U.S. session high of 1.4219 at 18:00 GMT from opening 1.4134.
Sterling has made significant losses against the US Dollar today. After hitting a 2011 high of 1.6400 against the greenback on March 22nd, Cable dipped to 1.6091 in the U.S trading session today. The release of worse than expected UK Retail sales data today helped push down the GBPUSD pair, after reports of a decline in February sales down 0.8% and a 1.3% increment year on year, which was lower than the forecast 5.3% increase. The Pound only briefly cut losses after the release of disappointing U.S. data to gain almost 80 pips by 15:00 GMT but then continued south and is currently trading at 1.6103 in the late U.S. session.
The Swiss Franc gained against the USD in today’s early US session, with the USDCHF pair dropping by some 55+ pips from a US session open of 0.9096 to a low of 0.9028 as the Dollar was weighed down by lower than expected durable goods data which came out at -0.9% for the month of February from an expected value of 1.0%. The gains by the Swiss Franc were limited as soon after the USDCHF pared pack on its losses rising to come close to its Asian and US session open and trade around the 0.9084 level as we approach the end of today’s last session.
USDCAD traded down today beginning its slide from the European session and continued into the US session. It opened the US session at 0.9770 to hit a low of 0.9730, losing some 45 pips. Generally the Loonie and commodities have a correlation, so as oil and gold prices rise, so does the Canadian Dollar. Since most commodities have been on the uptrend today, the Loonie has followed suit. Gold hit an all time high today in the America trading session and around the same time, the USDCAD pair dipped lower.
Gold prices hit an all time high of USD1447.50 during the U.S. session as demand for the safe haven investment is buoyed by three major geopolitical events recently. The most important being the Libyan crisis, as well as in the past two days the Portugal debt crisis and last but not least the recent Japan nuclear crisis. Gold prices spiked after reports of intensified fighting in Libya as French military planes bombed pro- Gaddafi targets. From the New York open of USD1439.52 Spot Gold jumped over 80 pips to hit the all time high. Meanwhile Gold Futures for April delivery peaked at USD1448.60 per ounce. Soon after peaking, Spot Gold prices retreated abruptly and plummeted almost 238 pips to touch a session low of USD1423.80.