Currency trading was relatively range-bound during Thursday’s European trading as there was also little in the way of major news to give a definite direction to the market.
The yen managed to push the dollar back a bit to around 115.50 from 115.80 earlier in the day, as it seems traders are hesitant to try to take out the 7-year high at 116.10 without some help from a positive news development. The announcement of an early election in Japan – should the recent reports be confirmed – could be something that will push dollar / yen to new highs.
Sterling continued to be under pressure, registering fresh 14-month lows against the dollar at 1.5730, on follow-through selling after the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney appeared relatively dovish during his press conference the previous day. The euro also climbed to a 3-week high against sterling at 0.7920.
In dollar news, New York Fed President Bill Dudley reaffirmed that the market’s view about a rate rise around mid-2015 was “reasonable”. In a comment that might have upset dollar bulls however, he stated that the dangers from moving too early on interest rates are bigger than those of moving too late. Dudley overall stressed that the Fed was data-dependent so future moves would depend on the evolution of the economy.
In economic statistics, US weekly jobless claims were a little higher than expected at 290 thousand, while JOLTS job openings also failed to meet expectations by coming in at 4.73 million against a 4.80 million consensus forecast.
The Australian dollar was also a strong performer during the session; more than making up its losses from the RBA official’s comments that currency intervention was a tool that was available.
Friday is expected to be more lively, as Eurozone GDP growth will be released during the European session, followed by Advance Retail Sales out of the United States in the early US session.