Euro flat as Traders Await Greece’s Next Move

The U.S. Dollar traded mixed overnight but shortly beforethe New Yorkopening, there are signs it may open lower. Most of the overnight pressure iscoming from the strengthening British Pound. 

The U.S. Dollar traded mixed overnight but shortly beforethe New Yorkopening, there are signs it may open lower. Most of the overnight pressure iscoming from the strengthening British Pound. 

The Euro is trading slightly better ahead of the New York sessionfollowing an overnight session which saw this pair test 1.3555. This breakstopped short of a 50% retracement level at 1.3542 and filling the gap fromSunday night with a test of 1.3498.

Trading has been tentative in the Euro since the EU approveda measure to bailout Greecewith short-term loan package. The initial reaction on the opening Sunday was agap-higher opening, but the market has sold off since that unusually strongopening. Aggressive traders took advantage of the higher opening by shortingthe spike up and rode the market down as traders remained cautious ahead oflast night Greek T-Bill auction.

Investors were watching this auction carefully to see howmuch Greecewould have to pay to fund its government over the near-term. The concern wasthat the cost to finance its current budget would force it to tap the $61billion loan package from the European Union. The results of the auction werebetter than expected. There was a very strong bid-to-cover but Greece had topay for this demand. Six-month T-Bills settled at 4.55%. Fifty-Two week T-Billsfinished at 4.85%. To put it in perspective, during last week’s turmoil, Greece wouldhave had to pay 6 to 7%. Overall, one would have to say, it was a good auction.

The result of the auction does not mean the crisis is over. Basedon the overnight trade, market participants are still very nervous. The highcost of the debt also indicates that Greece will have to borrowadditional funds to stabilize its financing. There is evidence that hedge fundswere aggressive sellers overnight. Overall, the trade has been very tight witha slight bias to the downside. Many traders are still maintaining a “sell therally” mentality with the objective of filling the gap left by Sunday night’sstrong opening. How much the Euro weakens will be determined by the amount ithas to borrow from its European partners.

The GBP USD is trading higher after a report showed that deficit beat expectations. The overnight report showed that the deficitnarrowed substantially in February following a disappointing report in January.The number also reflects the positive impact the weak U.K. currencyhas had on demand for British imports. Optimistic traders feel that the lowBritish Pound has finally paid off by increasing the competitiveness of U.K. exports.

Although the British Pound is trading higher, gains could belimited because of concerns over the upcoming May election. Traders are waitingfor the competing parties to offer succinct plan as to how the winning partywill begin to shore up the budget deficit.

The mixed Euro is helping to hold the USD CHF in a tightrange between a pair of retracement levels at 1.0610 and 1.0568. This pair iswaiting for the Euro to make its move. A stronger Euro will put pressure on theDollar. A weaker Euro will help the Dollar appreciate.

The USD JPY saw a slight rise early in trading session afterreports surfaced of a clash between the Japanese government and the Bank of Japan.The main sticking point between the two factions is monetary policy and thefight over how to avoid deflation. The lower equity markets helped turn thispair around and expectations are for the Japanese Yen to open a little betterthis morning.

The USD CAD is trading lower because of a drop in gold andcrude oil prices. This news is putting short-term pressure on the CanadianDollar. There is evidence in the Canadian financial markets that traders areincreasing bets that the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates on June 1.Traders are now pricing in a 50% probability of a rate hike sooner than theprevious estimate of July 1. Traders are citing the hot economy as the mainreason for the change in the estimate.

Today, investors are looking for the Canadian trade data toshow an increase for the third consecutive month although the market will bemost sensitive to the movement in gold, crude oil and equity prices.

The AUD USD is trading lower and still feeling the pressurefrom Monday’s drop in home loan approvals. This report indicates that thehousing market may face issues in the upcoming months. Monday’s closing pricereversal top was confirmed overnight. The charts are now indicating the strongpossibility of a correction to .9194 over the near-term.

On Monday, the NZD USD fell in sympathy with the AustralianDollar, but today the New Zealand Dollar is trading better as traders feel thatthe break was overdone. Currently this market is in an uptrend but finding abalance on a 50% price level at .7124. This price will dictate the market’sdirection.