The European session was relatively quiet as would be normal for a Friday, with most currency pairs consolidating the past couple of days’ moves. There was a lot of volatility yesterday as a result of news flow and economic data.
Markets are digesting the news surrounding Janet Yellen’s testimony yesterday in front of the US Senate Committee. Yellen has been nominated for the Fed Chair position to replace outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke. Yellen has expressed her dovish views on the US economy and announced her determination to continue with the Fed’s unprecedented monetary stimulus until she sees a robust recovery.
Yellen’s announcement dominated markets today and did not allow the dollar to gain strength against the euro or sterling. The Fed’s bond buying program is a damper on the dollar.
The euro chopped around in a range against the dollar throughout the European session, trading around $1.345 - $1.346. Eurozone inflation numbers were in line with expectations and had little impact on the euro.
Sterling was steady against the dollar after a busy week that was full of UK data releases. Mixed data kept cable in a range – this week there was lower CPI but better employment numbers. The Bank of England quarterly inflation report was very upbeat but yesterday there was worse than expected retail sales. GBPUSD stayed above the key $1.60 handle, hovering $1.6065.
Yen continues to be the biggest loser since expectations of continued monetary easing in Japan is weakening the currency. USDJPY extended gains to 100.42, a new two-month high, where it found tough resistance and fell back on profit-taking. EURJPY edged up to 135.06 and consolidated in a tight range just around the 1.35 handle.