In a forex potluck, all the major players brought their own data to the markets today. And after too many days with no tidbits to really move the markets, this morning's seemingly endless stream has given a small boost to some major currencies.
The data party began when Japan reported its first monthly trade deficit in over four years. Couple that with a poor showing on the
stock exchange yesterday, and the yen was weakened early on. There's also more talk that the recent repatriation flows of yen back into Japan may be nearing an end, adding downward pressure to the yen, according to
Global FX News and Views
. The month of February is typically characterized by Japanese yen repatriation -- the trading of foreign holdings by Japanese corporations for yen, done for fiscal year-end accounting purposes.
The euro zone stepped in with its German
business climate survey, reporting stronger than expected results. The Ifo report rose in January for the first time in eight months. This gave the euro some legs against the already weakened yen. But there is some doubt about some aspects of the survey, which restrained the possible euro fervor this morning.
Not to be outdone by either of its major economic power counterparts, the U.S. stepped in with a one-two punch of data reports today. The
Consumer Price Index, known as the CPI, rose 0.6% in January, twice as high as the expected 0.3% increase. The CPI rose by just 0.2% in December. December numbers on trade showed the trade gap narrowed to $32.99 billion.
Today's CPI report raises questions about whether the U.S. has an inflation problem rearing its head.
The euro is up slightly on the dollar, recently hitting $0.9167, up from yesterday's close of $0.9121.
The yen is bearing the true brunt of the markets this morning, losing to both the euro and the dollar. The dollar was recently trading at 116.61 yen, up from yesterday's close of 115.69 yen. Dollar/yen has been bouncing up and down in value in recent weeks.
Euro/yen is by far the most significant mover today. The euro jumped to 106.86 yen per euro, up a bit since the tail end of the mornings numbers, and up strongly from its close yesterday of 105.46 yen.
The other major currencies are just along for the ride. The British pound, losing to the dollar earlier, has since regained some strength since the CPI report was released. The pound was most recently at $1.4451, still down slightly from yesterday's closing price of $1.4470.
The Australian dollar has been creeping up quietly and steadily today, recently reaching $0.5279 against the U.S. currency. The Aussie buck closed at $0.5240 Tuesday.
The U.S. currency was up slightly on the Canadian dollar before the CPI numbers came out, but then slipped below par with yesterday's closing price. The U.S. dollar was recently trading for C$1.5376, down marginally from C$1.5394 at the close of the markets yesterday.