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Monday, 27 June 2011

US dollar mixed as traders eye manufacturing and housing data

The US dollar was trading with mixed results yesterday after traders began to hedge on their euro positions given the recent economic news vacuum in the euro zone. The Strauss-Kahn affair has overshadowed much of the positive comments coming out of the ECOFIN meetings and for that reason traders have tried to balance between European debt woes and interest rate differentials. This dynamic has generated a range-trading pattern for several major currencies, including the dollar.

Economic figures out of the United States have also been partially behind this flatter movement. Monday's TIC long-term purchases figure was well below expectations, as were Tuesday's housing figures. But yesterday's flattening out in US oil stockpiles may have given a short bump to the greenback as traders assumed higher consumption by industry ahead of today's manufacturing figure out of Philadelphia. The Fed's recent policy minutes also signaled healthier growth and relatively hawkish statements about interest rates.

As for today, the euro zone remains absent during the week-long ECOFIN meeting, but the US is scheduled for a heavy news day. To kick things off, the US Department of Labor will publish its weekly unemployment claims figure at 13:30 GMT which may show fewer applications for unemployment benefits than were seen last week.

Shortly thereafter will be the publication of important housing figures followed by the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index and Mortgage Banker Association's report on mortgage delinquencies. All in all, the USD should see some heavy volatility today, but if traders continue to hedge while awaiting more news out of Europe, the dollar may continue to see mixed results.


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