Yesterday was a pretty volatile day for the Euro. Gains in the morning in the run up to the ECB announcement were quashed as Jean-Claude Trichet failed to announce an extension of the governments bond purchase. He even went so far as to say that the currency was “credible” and that it was not in crisis. Initial reactions to this were not good as it dropped almost 1 cent against the USD. He did go on to say that the ECB would continue with its current plan to purchase bonds as well as offering unlimited cheap emergency funding to commercial banks until the first quarter of 2011. The fall was quite short lived and once the markets had taken a little more time to digest what was said along with the rumours that the ECB were already quietly buying assets in the market the Euro recovered and is now sat it its highest point since Monday.
The ECB also announced the latest growth and inflation forecasts which actually put total 2010 GDP in a range of 1.6%-1.8% so slightly better than September’s 1.4%-1.8% range. 2011 figures were broadly the same although a slightly narrower range was quoted compared to the September announcement. It appears that the ECB are still mildly optimistic about the eurozone although some economists are seeing the recent problems as the beginning of the end of the single currency.
Today we have a decent amount of data with the UK PMI figures for services this morning which should hopefully confirm the recovery is underway. We then have the Eurozone retail sales figures which will give a little more clarity as to the state of the euro and then this afternoon we have the US non-farm payrolls. The initial indications are for payrolls to increase by 140k which would probably not have much effect on the unemployment rate but the markets will be watching these figures closely. All in all a busy end to a busy week with some downside risks still lingering on for the euro.