08 March 2013: USD/JPY rallies before US jobs

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The dollar surged to its highest level against Japanese yen in 3-1/2-year before US job numbers for February are going to be presented later today. USD stands at 95,43 yen up 0,6% since yesterday. It is expected that that the US economy last month created net 160 000 new jobs. The unemployment rate still stands at 7,9% far from the 6,5% which the Federal Reserve (FED) has set as target for ending monetary easing.

Investors waiting for more dovish signals from the European Central Bank (ECB) at its press conference yesterday was disappointed. The single currency posted its biggest rally this year and jumped more than 100 points against the dollar and stands at 1.3092 after flirting with 1.29 figures earlier in the week. ECB President Mario Draghi plaid down the threat of contagion to other euro members following the Italian political stalemate. Draghi stressed growing market confidence in the Euro which had EURO bears quickly to cover short positions.

The Euro skyrocketed 2% to 124,57 against the JPY. It stood at 118,74 last week. The 34 month peak of 127,71 set last month is thereby brought back in play. The rally might, however, be short played with investor’s attention back on Chinese trade data and whether the US unemployment rate will stay at 7.9%.

Bank of England (BOE) kept its guns yesterday and held fire on the expected more economic stimulus. The downward pressure on British sterling (GBP) continues, however. USD/GBP trades again below 1.50 after seeing some recovery yesterday. There is no change in the choppy trading pattern in commodity related currencies. Oil prices are steady. Gold fell back from USD 1583 an ounce reached yesterday to 1567 this morning.

The stock rally in the United States continue. Dow Jones ended at record high for the third straight day boosted by expectations of a pick-up in the payrolls report. Growth oriented sectors led the gains with strong jumps in Bank of America (up 2,9%) and JP Morgan Chase (1,2%). Worries about the path of US fiscal policy and the Euro zone crisis loom, however, in the background. For the moment the Bulls are in advance. 

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