Forex – Euro weaker as talks with Greece on bailout terms reach impasse

Investing.com – The euro held weaker on Tuesday as talks between Greece and euro zone finance ministers reached an impasse, setting the stage for the current bailout agreement to lapse at the end of the month.

EUR/USD traded at 1.1349, down 0.04%. AUD/USD traded at 0.7766, down 0.08%, ahead of the release of the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s most recent board meeting in which it cut the cash rate to a record low 2.25%.

USD/JPY traded at 118.47, down 0.01%.

Talks between Greece and euro zone finance ministers over the country’s debt broke down on Monday when Athens rejected a proposal to request a six-month extension of its international bailout as “unacceptable”.

The unexpectedly rapid collapse raised doubts about Greece’s future in the single currency area after a new leftist-led government vowed to scrap the 240 billion euro bailout, reverse austerity policies and end cooperation with EU/IMF inspectors.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chaired the meeting, said Athens had until Friday to request an extension, otherwise the bailout would expire at the end of the month.

Greece’s current €240 billion bailout is due to expire on February 28 and the new Greek government does not want it extended, fuelling fears over a conflict with its creditors which could trigger the country’s exit from the euro zone.

Greece’s Finance Minister Yiannis Varoufakis said Monday that he was ready to sign a document drafted by the European Commission, which outlined a deal between Greece and its partners.

However, Varoufakis said, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem presented him with another document, which referred to past policies and was vague in key issues such as “flexibility”, which he could not accept.

Overnight, the dollar remained moderately lower against the other major currencies on Friday, as recent downbeat U.S. data continued to weigh and as trading volumes were expected to remain light with U.S. markets closed for the Presidents Day Holiday.

Sentiment on the dollar remained vulnerable after data on Friday showed that the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to 93.6, down from January’s final reading of 98.1. Economists had forecast an unchanged figure

The report came a day after data showing that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.8% last month after dropping 0.9% in December, indicating that consumer spending remained sluggish at the start of the year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was quoted at 94.45.

Dollar index remains moderately lower in thin trade

Investing.com – The dollar remained moderately lower against the other major currencies on Friday, as recent downbeat U.S. data continued to weigh and as trading volumes were expected to remain light with U.S. markets closed for the Presidents’ Day Holiday.
Sentiment on the dollar remained vulnerable after data on Friday showed that the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to 93.6, down from January’s final reading of 98.1. Economists had forecast an unchanged figure
The report came a day after data showing that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.8% last month after dropping 0.9% in December, indicating that consumer spending remained sluggish at the start of the year.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.08% to 94.16.
EUR/USD edged up 0.14% to 1.1408.
Investors remained cautious as officials from Greece and the European Union were due to hold fresh talks on Monday after a meeting on a new debt deal last week ended without an agreement.
Greece’s current €240 billion bailout is due to expire on February 28 and the new Greek government does not want it extended, fuelling fears over a conflict with its creditors which could trigger the country’s exit from the euro zone.
Earlier Friday, official data showed that the euro zone’s trade surplus widened to €24.3 billion in December from €21.2 billion in November, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated surplus of €20.0 billion.
Analysts had expected the trade surplus to hit €20.5 billion in December.
The pound edged lower against the dollar, with GBP/USD slipping 0.13% to 1.5375.
Elsewhere, USD/JPY fell 0.21% to trade at 118.48, while USD/CHF held steady at 0.9313.
In Japan, data earlier showed that the economy returned to growth in the final quarter of 2014, but growth was still weaker than expected, indicating that the recovery remains fragile.
Japan’s gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 2.2% in the three months to December official data showed, falling short of forecasts for 3.7%.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars remained higher, with AUD/USD rising 0.22% to 0.7775 and NZD/USD gaining 0.75% to 0.7511.
The kiwi was boosted after official data showed that retail sales rose rose 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014, beating expectations for an increase of 1.3%, after a 1.6% gain in the previous quarter.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles and gas stations, rose 1.5% in the last quarter, exceeding expectations for a 1.1% gain and after a 1.5% increase in the three months to September.
Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar slipped lower, with USD/CAD up 0.21% at 1.2474.

Forex – Dollar lower vs. yen in holiday-thinned trade

Investing.com – The dollar was lower against the yen in quiet trade on Monday as U.S. markets remained closed for the President’s Day holiday, while the euro eked out slender gains as fresh talks on a financing arrangement for Greece began in Brussels.
USD/JPY drifted down 0.26% to 118.43 from 118.73 late Friday.
The dollar remained softer after weak U.S. economic reports late last week prompted investors to reassess expectations for a mid-year rate hike by the Federal Reserve and to trim back long positions in the greenback ahead of the three-day holiday weekend.
In Japan, data on Monday showed that the economy returned to growth in the final quarter of 2014, but growth was still weaker than expected, indicating that the recovery remain fragile.
Japan’s gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 2.2% in the three months to December official data showed, falling short of forecasts for 3.7%.
Also Monday EUR/USD edged up 0.16% to 1.1409.
Sentiment on the euro remained fragile as Greece resumed negotiations with its euro zone partners in Brussels on Monday after talks on a new debt deal last week ended without an agreement.
Greece’s current €240 billion bailout is due to expire on February 28 and the new Greek government does not want it extended, fuelling fears over a conflict with its creditors which could trigger the country’s exit from the euro zone.
On Sunday Athens said it was confident of reaching an agreement but reiterated it would not accept harsh austerity measures as part of any new agreement.
The euro dipped against the yen, with EUR/JPY easing 0.11% to 135.12.
In other trade, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, eased to 94.15.

Forex – USD/CAD edges higher but gains seen limited

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar edged higher against its Canadian counterpart on Monday, but gains were expected to remain limited as a recent batch of disappointing U.S. data continued to weigh.
Trading volumes were expected to remain light on Monday with U.S. markets closed for the Presidents’ Day Holiday.
USD/CAD hit 1.2469 during early U.S. trade, the session high; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.2465, edging up 0.15%.
The pair was likely to find support at 1.2553, the low of February 2 and resistance at 1.2647, the high of February 12.
Sentiment on the dollar remained vulnerable after data on Friday showed that the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to 93.6, down from January’s final reading of 98.1. Economists had forecast an unchanged figure.
The report came a day after data showing that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.8% last month after dropping 0.9% in December, indicating that consumer spending remained sluggish at the start of the year.
The Canadian dollar had found some support on Friday after Statistics Canada reported that manufacturing sales rose 1.7% in December, beating expectations for a 0.9% fall. November’s figure was revised to a 1.3% decline from a previously estimated 1.4% drop.
The loonie was lower against the euro, with EUR/CAD rising 0.28% to 1.4221
The euro strengthened mildly as Greece was due to resume negotiations with its euro zone partners later in the day after talks on a new debt deal last week ended without an agreement.
Greece’s current €240 billion bailout is due to expire on February 28 and the new Greek government does not want it extended, fuelling fears over a conflict with its creditors which could trigger the country’s exit from the euro zone.
On Sunday Athens said it was confident of reaching an agreement but reiterated it would not accept harsh austerity measures in any new deal.

Dollar little changed vs. rivals, U.S. data still weighs

Investing.com – The dollar was little changed against the other major currencies on Friday, as recent downbeat U.S. data continued to weigh and as trading volumes were expected to remain light with U.S. markets closed for the Presidents’ Day Holiday.
Sentiment on the dollar remained vulnerable after data on Friday showed that the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to 93.6, down from January’s final reading of 98.1. Economists had forecast an unchanged figure.
The report came a day after data showing that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.8% last month after dropping 0.9% in December, indicating that consumer spending remained sluggish at the start of the year.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 94.19.
EUR/USD edged up 0.11% to 1.1404.
Investors remained cautious as officials from Greece and the European Union were due to hold fresh talks on Monday after a meeting on a new debt deal last week ended without an agreement.
Greece’s current €240 billion bailout is due to expire on February 28 and the new Greek government does not want it extended, fuelling fears over a conflict with its creditors which could trigger the country’s exit from the euro zone.
Earlier Friday, official data showed that the euro zone’s trade surplus widened to €24.3 billion in December from €21.2 billion in November, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated surplus of €20.0 billion.
Analysts had expected the trade surplus to hit €20.5 billion in December.
The pound edged lower against the dollar, with GBP/USD slipping 0.15% to 1.5372.
Elsewhere, USD/JPY fell 0.22% to trade at 118.48, while USD/CHF edged down 0.16% to 0.9303.
In Japan, data earlier showed that the economy returned to growth in the final quarter of 2014, but growth was still weaker than expected, indicating that the recovery remains fragile.
Japan’s gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 2.2% in the three months to December official data showed, falling short of forecasts for 3.7%.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars remained higher, with AUD/USD rising 0.26% to 0.7778 and NZD/USD gaining 0.72% to 0.7520.
The kiwi was boosted after official data showed that retail sales rose rose 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014, beating expectations for an increase of 1.3%, after a 1.6% gain in the previous quarter.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles and gas stations, rose 1.5% in the last quarter, exceeding expectations for a 1.1% gain and after a 1.5% increase in the three months to September.
Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar slipped lower, with USD/CAD up 0.17% at 1.2467.

Forex – EUR/USD remains moderately higher, Greece in focus

Investing.com – The euro remained moderately higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday, supported by hopes for progress on the Greek front and as a recent string of downbeat U.S. data continued to weigh on the greenback.
EUR/USD hit 1.1429 during European afternoon trade, the session high; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.1412, adding 0.18%.
The pair was likely to find support at 1.1301, the low of February 12 and resistance at 1.1488, the high of February 6.
The euro strengthened mildly as Greece was due to resume negotiations with its euro zone partners later in the day after talks on a new debt deal last week ended without an agreement.
Greece’s current €240 billion bailout is due to expire on February 28 and the new Greek government does not want it extended, fuelling fears over a conflict with its creditors which could trigger the country’s exit from the euro zone.
On Sunday Athens said it was confident of reaching an agreement but reiterated it would not accept harsh austerity measures in any new deal.
Earlier Friday, official data showed that the euro zone’s trade surplus widened to €24.3 billion in December from €21.2 billion in November, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated surplus of €20.0 billion.
Analysts had expected the trade surplus to hit €20.5 billion in December.
Meanwhile, sentiment on the dollar remained vulnerable after data on Friday showed that the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to 93.6, down from January’s final reading of 98.1. Economists had forecast an unchanged figure.
The report came a day after data showing that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.8% last month after dropping 0.9% in December, indicating that consumer spending remained sluggish at the start of the year.
The euro was also higher against the pound, with EUR/GBP rising 0.31% to 0.7420.

Dollar index slips to 1-week low in quiet trade

Investing.com – The dollar slipped to a one-week low against the other major currencies on Friday, as recent downbeat U.S. data continued to weigh and as trading volumes were expected to remain light with U.S. markets closed for the Presidents’ Day Holiday.
Sentiment on the dollar remained vulnerable after data on Friday showed that the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to 93.6, down from January’s final reading of 98.1. Economists had forecast an unchanged figure.
The report came a day after data showing that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.8% last month after dropping 0.9% in December, indicating that consumer spending remained sluggish at the start of the year.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.10% to 94.15.
EUR/USD edged up 0.22% to 1.1416.
Investors remained cautious as officials from Greece and the European Union were due to hold fresh talks on Monday after a meeting on a new debt deal last week ended without an agreement.
Greece’s current €240 billion bailout is due to expire on February 28 and the new Greek government does not want it extended, fuelling fears over a conflict with its creditors which could trigger the country’s exit from the euro zone.
Earlier Friday, official data showed that the euro zone’s trade surplus widened to €24.3 billion in December from €21.2 billion in November, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated surplus of €20.0 billion.
Analysts had expected the trade surplus to hit €20.5 billion in December.
The pound edged lower against the dollar, with GBP/USD slipping 0.13% to 1.5374.
Elsewhere, USD/JPY fell 0.10% to trade at 118.62, while USD/CHF edged down 0.19% to 0.9300.
In Japan, data earlier showed that the economy returned to growth in the final quarter of 2014, but growth was still weaker than expected, indicating that the recovery remains fragile.
Japan’s gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 2.2% in the three months to December official data showed, falling short of forecasts for 3.7%.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars were higher, with AUD/USD rising 0.25% to 0.7777 and NZD/USD gaining 0.78% to 0.7512.
The kiwi was boosted after official data showed that retail sales rose rose 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014, beating expectations for an increase of 1.3%, after a 1.6% gain in the previous quarter.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles and gas stations, rose 1.5% in the last quarter, exceeding expectations for a 1.1% gain and after a 1.5% increase in the three months to September.
Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar slipped lower, with USD/CAD up 0.11% at 1.2461.

Forex – Pound edges up to more than 1-month highs vs. weaker dollar

Investing.com – The pound edged up to more than one-month highs against the U.S. dollar in quiet trade on Monday, as sentiment on the greenback remained vulnerable after a recent string of downbeat U.S. data.
Trading volumes were expected to remain light on Monday with U.S. markets closed for the Presidents’ Day Holiday.
GBP/USD hit 1.5440 during European morning trade, the pair’s highest since January 2; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.5413, adding 0.12%.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.5206, the low of February 12 and resistance at 1.5586, the high of January 2.
The dollar remained under pressure after data on Friday showed that the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to 93.6, down from January’s final reading of 98.1. Economists had forecast an unchanged figure.
The report came a day after data showing that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.8% last month after dropping 0.9% in December, indicating that consumer spending remained sluggish at the start of the year.
The pound had strengthened last week after the Bank of England said inflation is likely to fall to zero in the first half of this year, but added that there was no threat of deflation taking hold in the U.K.
The BoE also raised its growth forecast for this year to 2.9% from 2.6% previously and said it also expects growth of 2.9% in 2016.
Sterling was lower against the euro, with EUR/GBP edging up 0.16% to 0.7409.
Sentiment on the euro remained fragile as officials from Greece and the European Union were due to hold fresh talks on Monday after a meeting on a new debt deal last week ended without an agreement.
Greece’s current €240 billion bailout is due to expire on February 28 and the new Greek government does not want it extended, fuelling fears over a conflict with its creditors which could trigger the country’s exit from the euro zone.

Forex – NZD/USD rises to 3-week highs on strong N.Z. retail sales

Investing.com – The New Zealand dollar rose to three-week highs against its U.S. counterpart on Monday, after strong retail sales data from New Zealand and as demand for the greenback remained under pressure after a recent batch of disappointing U.S. data.
NZD/USD hit 0.7516 during late Asian trade, the pair’s highest since January 23; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.7503, advancing 0.64%.
The pair was likely to find support at 0.7408, the low of January 13 and resistance at 0.7584, the high of January 22.
The New Zealand dollar was boosted after official data showed that retail sales rose rose 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014, beating expectations for an increase of 1.3%, after a 1.6% gain in the previous quarter.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles and gas stations, rose 1.5% in the last quarter, exceeding expectations for a 1.1% gain and after a 1.5% increase in the three months to September.
Meanwhile, the greenback remained under pressure after data on Friday showed that the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to 93.6, down from January’s final reading of 98.1. Economists had forecast an unchanged figure.
The report came a day after data showing that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.8% last month after dropping 0.9% in December, indicating that consumer spending remained sluggish at the start of the year.
The kiwi was also higher against the Australian dollar, with AUD/NZD shedding 0.28% to 1.0377.
Also Monday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that new motor vehicle sales dropped 1.5% last month, after a 2.6% rise in December, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated increase of 3.0%.

Forex – AUD/USD higher despite downbeat Australian data

Investing.com – The Australian dollar was higher against its U.S. counterpart on Monday, despite downbeat Australian new motor vehicle sales data as a recent string of weak U.S. data continued to weigh on the greenback.
AUD/USD hit 0.7795 during late Asian trade, the session high; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.7781, gaining 0.30%.
The pair was likely to find support at 0.7691, the low of February 11 and resistance at 0.7843, the high of February 10.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that new motor vehicle sales dropped 1.5% last month, after a 2.6% rise in December, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated increase of 3.0%.
Meanwhile, the greenback remained under pressure after data on Friday showed that the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to 93.6, down from January’s final reading of 98.1. Economists had forecast an unchanged figure.
The report came a day after data showing that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.8% last month after dropping 0.9% in December, indicating that consumer spending remained sluggish at the start of the year.
The Aussie was steady against the euro, with EUR/AUD at 1.4668.