Dollar little changed vs. rivals in quiet trade

Investing.com – The dollar was little changed against a basket of other major currencies in quiet trade on Wednesday, after the Bank of England cut forecasts for growth and inflation, while comments by a Japan government official dampened expectations for a general election in December.
USD/JPY pulled back from Tuesday’s seven-year highs of 116.10, and was last down 0.53% to 115.15.
The yen found support after a Japanese government spokesman said earlier Wednesday that it is up to the prime minister to decide when to call elections.
The yen weakened on Tuesday amid speculation that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could call a snap election in December. Speculation that the prime minister could postpone a proposed sales tax increase, scheduled for October 2015 also weighed.
A win for Abe would indicate continued support for his for his economic and fiscal policies, which call for a weaker yen.
GBP/USD dropped 0.59% and re-approached 26-month lows at 1.5825 after the BoE said inflation is likely remain below its 2% target in the near term and fall below 1% at some point during the next six months. The bank now expects inflation to take three years to return to its 2% target.
The bank said the outlook for inflation had weakened due to steep declines in commodity prices and the sluggish outlook for global growth.
The bank also said it continued to expect economic growth of 3.5% this year but pared its forecast for growth in 2015 to 2.9% from 3.1% in August.
Earlier Wednesday, the Office for National Statistics reported that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell by 20,400 in October, below expectations for a decline of 24,900.
The U.K. unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.0% in the three months to September, compared to forecast for a downtick to 5.9%.
Meanwhile, EUR/USD held steady at 1.2474, not far from last Friday’s 26-month lows of 1.2356.
In a report, Eurostat said industrial production in the euro zone increased by 0.6% in September, below forecasts for a gain of 1.0%. Industrial production in August fell by 1.4%.
Elsewhere, the dollar edged lower against the Swiss franc, USD/CHF down 0.08% at 0.9636.
The Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars were broadly higher, with AUD/USD gaining 0.59% to 0.8737 and NZD/USD rallying 1.14% to 0.7895. USD/CAD declined 0.32% to 1.1299 as investors awaited the Canadian government’s update on fiscal and economic conditions later in the day.
The US dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was steady at 87.64, close to Friday’s four-and-a-half year peaks of 88.31

Forex – Euro remains moderately lower vs. dollar

Investing.com – The euro remained moderately lower against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, as euro zone industrial production data released earlier in the day continued to weigh and the greenback continued to hold on to modest gains.
EUR/USD hit 1.2394 during U.S. morning trade, the session low; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.2455, slipping 0.15%.
The pair was likely to find support at 1.2357, the low of November 7 and a 26-month low and resistance at 1.2568, the high of November 5.
Earlier Wednesday, Eurostat reported that industrial production in the euro zone increased by 0.6% in September, below forecasts for a gain of 1.0%. Industrial production in August fell by 1.4%.
Year-on-year, industrial production inched up 0.6% in September from a year earlier, compared to expectations for a 0.2% decline and after dropping at a rate of 0.5% in the preceding month.
The report added to concerns over the outlook for economic growth in the single currency bloc after weak Italian data on Monday fuelled fears that its economy is falling back into a recession.
Meanwhile, demand for the dollar continued to be underpinned by expectations that the recovery in the U.S. will outstrip other major economies.
The euro was higher against the pound, with EUR/GBP climbing 0.59% to 0.7881.
The pound came under pressure after the Bank of England said inflation is likely remain below its 2% target in the near term and fall below 1% at some point during the next six months. The bank now expects inflation to take three years to return to its 2% target.
The bank said the outlook for inflation had weakened due to steep declines in commodity prices and the sluggish outlook for global growth.
The annual rate of U.K. inflation fell to a five-year low of 1.2% in September.
The bank also said it continued to expect economic growth of 3.5% this year but pared its forecast for growth in 2015 to 2.9% from 3.1% in August.
Also Wednesday, the Office for National Statistics reported that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell by 20,400 in October, below expectations for a decline of 24,900.
The U.K. unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.0% in the three months to September, compared to forecast for a downtick to 5.9%.

Forex – USD/CAD lower ahead of Canada’s budget update

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar fell to more than one week lows against the Canadian dollar on Wednesday as investors awaited the Canadian government’s update on fiscal and economic conditions later in the day.
USD/CAD was down 0.32% to 1.1298 from 1.1333 late Tuesday, extending its pullback from the more than five year highs of 1.1465 hit last week.
Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver was due to present the fall fiscal and economic update later Wednesday, which was expected to show a small budget surplus.
In the budget earlier this year, the government said it expect to post a small deficit in the current year before posting a surplus of $6.4 billion for fiscal year 2015-16.
Demand for the Canadian dollar continued to be underpinned following Friday’s unexpectedly strong domestic employment report.
Oil prices remained lower ahead of the latest U.S. inventory data due out later in the day. Global oil prices have fallen sharply in recent months, pressure lower by the stronger greenback and concerns over ample supplies and slowing demand.
Crude oil is Canada’s largest export and the Canadian dollar is sensitive to fluctuations in oil prices.
Elsewhere, the loonie, as the Canadian dollar is also known, was higher against the euro, with EUR/CAD down 0.36% to 1.4088.
The US dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was little changed at 87.68, not far from Friday’s four-and-a-half year peaks of 88.31.

Bitcoin re-approaches the $400-level as market sentiment improves

Investing.com – Bitcoin prices rallied to hit the highest level in more than two weeks on Wednesday, as increased appetite for the virtual currency boosted prices.
Bitcoin (BTC/USD) touched a session high of $397.36 on Slovenia-based BitStamp earlier in the day, the most since October 16.
Prices last traded at $397.02 during U.S. morning hours, up $28.27, or 7.67%.
The price of a bitcoin on Bulgaria-based BTC-e added $29.81, or 8.21%, to trade at $392.81, while prices on Singapore-based itBit advanced $20.94, or 5.58%, to trade at $395.94.
According to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, which averages prices from the major exchanges, prices of the crypto-currency rallied 7.75% to trade at $395.44.
Bitcoin prices have been well-supported in recent sessions as investors returned to the market amid bullish chart signals.
Prices of the virtual currency are up nearly 20% since hitting a recent low of $317.80 on November 1.
The price increase has been accompanied by a rise in trading volume and coincides with the recent crackdown of U.S. and European authorities against illegal websites operating on the so-called Tor network, such as online drug marketplace Silk Road 2.0.
Meanwhile, euro-denominated Bitcoin prices (BTC/EUR) tacked on €18.00, or 6.12%, to trade at €312.00 on U.S.-based Kraken Exchange.
Elsewhere, yuan-denominated Bitcoin prices on Shanghai-based BTC China rose 173.57 yuan, or 7.74%, to trade at 2,415.00 yuan, while prices on Beijing-based OKCoin increased 181.71 yuan, or 8.15%, to trade at 2,411.49 yuan.
Bitcoin is digital cash and is not backed by a government or central bank to regulate or issue it. It can be used to purchase goods and services from stores and online retailers.
Prices of the virtual currency are down nearly 42% from its June highs of $683, and roughly 67% below its all-time high near the $1,240-level hit in late November 2013.
Bitcoin’s market cap is down to just $4 billion, after peaking at $13.9 billion in December 2013, even as the virtual currency has been getting more popular with merchants and retailers in recent months, including PayPal, Expedia, Overstock.com and Dell.

Dollar rises vs. pound, slides lower against yen

Investing.com – The dollar rose against the pound on Wednesday, after the Bank of England cut forecasts for growth and inflation, while the greenback eased off seven-year highs against the yen on dampened expectations for a general election in Japan in December.
USD/JPY pulled back from Tuesday’s seven-year highs of 116.10, and was last down 0.51% to 115.19.
The yen found support after a Japanese government spokesman said Wednesday it is up to the prime minister to decide when to call elections.
The yen weakened on Tuesday amid speculation that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could call a snap election in December. Speculation that the prime minister could postpone a proposed sales tax increase, scheduled for October 2015 also weighed.
A win for Abe would indicate continued support for his for his economic and fiscal policies, which call for a weaker yen.
GBP/USD slid 0.36% to trade at 1.5859 after the BoE said inflation is likely remain below its 2% target in the near term and fall below 1% at some point during the next six months. The bank now expects inflation to take three years to return to its 2% target.
The bank said the outlook for inflation had weakened due to steep declines in commodity prices and the sluggish outlook for global growth.
The annual rate of U.K. inflation fell to a five-year low of 1.2% in September.
The bank also said it continued to expect economic growth of 3.5% this year but pared its forecast for growth in 2015 to 2.9% from 3.1% in August.
Earlier Wednesday, the Office for National Statistics reported that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell by 20,400 in October, below expectations for a decline of 24,900.
The U.K. unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.0% in the three months to September, compared to forecast for a downtick to 5.9%.
Meanwhile, EUR/USD held steady at 1.2478, not far from last Friday’s 26-month lows of 1.2356.
In a report, Eurostat said industrial production in the euro zone increased by 0.6% in September, below forecasts for a gain of 1.0%. Industrial production in August fell by 1.4%.
Year-on-year, industrial production inched up 0.6% in September from a year earlier, compared to expectations for a 0.2% decline and after dropping at a rate of 0.5% in the preceding month.
Elsewhere, the dollar was flat against the Swiss franc, USD/CHF at 0.9638.
The Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars were broadly higher, with AUD/USD rising 0.39% to 0.8720 and NZD/USD climbing 0.83% to 0.7872, while USD/CAD fell 0.18% to 1.1315.
The US dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was steady at 87.59, close to Friday’s four-and-a-half year peaks of 88.31.

Bitcoin rallies above the $450-level before pulling back

Investing.com – Bitcoin prices rallied above the $450-level on Thursday, before retracing gains as speculators cashed out of the market to lock in recent gains.
Bitcoin (BTC/USD) touched a session high of $453.92 on Slovenia-based BitStamp earlier in the day, the most since September 17, before turning lower to trade at $417.00 during U.S. morning hours, down $9.12, or 2.14%.
The price of a bitcoin on Bulgaria-based BTC-e dipped $4.00, or 0.95%, to trade at $415.13, while prices on Singapore-based itBit declined $8.34, or 1.95%, to trade at $420.00.
According to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, which averages prices from the major exchanges, prices of the crypto-currency slumped 2.44% to trade at $416.80. The index hit a high of $458.05 earlier in the session.
Bitcoin prices have been well-supported in recent days as investors returned to the market amid bullish chart signals.
Prices of the virtual currency are up nearly 24% since hitting a recent low of $317.80 on November 1.
The price increase has been accompanied by a rise in trading volume and coincides with the recent crackdown of U.S. and European authorities against illegal websites operating on the so-called Tor network, such as online drug marketplace Silk Road 2.0.
Meanwhile, euro-denominated Bitcoin prices (BTC/EUR) eased down €0.20, or 0.02%, to trade at €330.48 on U.S.-based Kraken Exchange.
Elsewhere, yuan-denominated Bitcoin prices on Shanghai-based BTC China retreated 22.99 yuan, or 0.86%, to trade at 2,651.02 yuan, while prices on Beijing-based OKCoin decreased 28.29 yuan, or 1.06%, to trade at 2,651.27 yuan.
Bitcoin is digital cash and is not backed by a government or central bank to regulate or issue it. It can be used to purchase goods and services from stores and online retailers.
Prices of the virtual currency are down nearly 39% from its June highs of $683, and roughly 66% below its all-time high near the $1,240-level hit in late November 2013.

Forex – Pound falls to 14 month lows against dollar

Investing.com – The pound fell to 14-month lows against the dollar on Thursday, one day after the Bank of England cut forecasts for growth and inflation in its quarterly inflation report, prompting the market to push back expectations for a rate hike.
GBP/USD slid 0.12% to 1.5756, the lowest level since September 2013, from 1.5776 late Wednesday.
The drop in the pound came after the BoE said Wednesday that inflation is likely remain below its 2% target in the near term and fall below 1% at some point during the next six months. The bank now expects inflation to take three years to return to its 2% target.
The bank said the outlook for inflation had weakened due to steep declines in commodity prices and the sluggish outlook for global growth.
The annual rate of U.K. inflation fell to a five-year low of 1.2% in September.
The bank said it continued to expect economic growth of 3.5% this year but pared its forecast for growth in 2015 to 2.9% from 3.1% in August.
BoE Governor Mark Carney noted that since August markets had pushed back expectations for a rate increase to October of next year and added that investors were right to delay expectations.
Sterling slumped to two-week lows against the euro, with EUR/GBP rising 0.34% to 0.7910.
In the euro zone, data on Thursday showed that inflation in Germany remained weak last month but the rate of inflation in France ticked higher.
The annual rate of inflation in Germany was unchanged at 0.8% in October, but prices actually fell 0.3% from a month earlier.
A separate report showed that the annual rate of inflation in France, the euro area’s second largest economy, rose to 0.5% last month, up from 0.3% in September and ahead of forecasts for 0.4%.
On a month-over-month basis prices were flat.
The data underlined concerns over persistently low levels of inflation in the euro area. The European Central Bank targets an inflation rate of close to, but just below 2%.

Forex – Euro slightly higher after euro zone inflation reports

Investing.com – The euro was higher against the dollar on Thursday after data showed that inflation in Germany remained weak last month but the rate of inflation in France ticked higher.
EUR/USD was up 0.15% to 1.2456, holding above last week’s 26-month lows of 1.2356.
Official data showed that the annual rate of inflation in Germany was unchanged at 0.8% in October, but prices actually fell 0.3% from a month earlier.
A separate report showed that the annual rate of inflation in France, the euro area’s second largest economy, rose to 0.5% last month, up from 0.3% in September and ahead of forecasts for 0.4%.
On a month-over-month basis prices were flat.
In Spain, data showed that the consumer price index fell 0.1% in October from a year earlier, continuing a period of price declines. On a monthly basis, consumer prices ticked up 0.5% from 0.2% in September.
The data underlined concerns over persistently low levels of inflation in the euro area. The European Central Bank targets an inflation rate of close to, but just below 2%.
Demand for the dollar continued to be underpinned by the diverging monetary policy outlook between the Federal Reserve and its major peers.
The ECB cut rates to record lows in September and implemented fresh stimulus measures to bolster growth and inflation. In contrast the Fed is expected to raise interest rates sometime next year as the economic recovery in the U.S. continues to deepen.
Elsewhere, the euro was higher against the softer yen, with EUR/JPY up 0.23% to 143.98.
The yen has come under renewed selling pressure this week amid speculation that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could call a snap election in December.
Speculation that the prime minister could postpone a proposed sales tax increase, scheduled for October 2015 also weighed.
A win for Abe would indicate continued support for his for his economic and fiscal policies, which call for a weaker yen.

Forex – AUD/USD almost unchanged after Australian inflation data

Investing.com – The Australian dollar was almost unchanged against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, after data showed that inflation expectations in Australia rose last month, while demand for the greenback remained broadly supported.
AUD/USD hit 0.8672 during late Asian trade, the session low; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.8710.
The pair was likely to find support at 0.8588, the low of November 11 and resistance at 0.8764, the high of November 5.
In a report, the Melbourne Institute said inflation expectations for Australia rose to 4.1% in October from 3.4% the previous month.
Meanwhile, demand for the greenback remained supported by the diverging monetary policy outlook between the Federal Reserve and it’s major peers.
Investors were eyeing U.S. data on initial jobless claims due later in the day, as well as Friday’s retail sales report for further indications on the strength of the recovery.
The Aussie was steady against the New Zealand dollar, with AUD/NZD at 1.1056.
The kiwi found support after data on Thursday showed that the Business NZ Manufacturing Index rose to 59.3 last month from a reading of 58.5 in September, whose figure was upwardly revised from a previously estimated 58.1.

Forex – NZD/USD holds steady near 2-week highs

Investing.com – The New Zealand dollar held steady againt its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, hovering close to a two-week high after the release of upbeat manufacturing activity data from New Zealand.
NZD/USD hit 0.7885 during late Asian trade, the session high; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.7877.
The pair was likely to find support at 0.7710, the low of November 11 and resistance at 0.7978, the high of October 29.
The New Zealand dollar found support after data showed that the Business NZ Manufacturing Index rose to 59.3 last month from a reading of 58.5 in September, whose figure was upwardly revised from a previously estimated 58.1.
Meanwhile, demand for the greenback remained supported by the diverging monetary policy outlook between the Federal Reserve and it’s major peers.
Investors were eyeing U.S. data on initial jobless claims due later in the day, as well as Friday’s retail sales report for further indications on the strength of the recovery.
The kiwi was lower against the euro, with EUR/NZD adding 0.17% to 1.5811.