A very busy day for fundamental news on the economic calendar for the euro dollar and dominated by the ECB interest rate decision and follow up statement and the US ADP employment figures.  However, the day started early with the French Trade Balance Figures coming out worse than expected at -4.9bn against a forecast of -3.9bn.  These were in sharp contrast to the German factory orders figure just announced which came in much better than expected at 3.3% against a forecast of 0.8%.   The market now awaits the ECB rate decision which is followed shortly afterwards by the press conference, with rates widely expected to be cut in Europe from 1.25% to 1%.   As the ECB start their press conference in the US we have the release of the weekly unemployment claims which are expected to stay relatively flat at 639k marginally above last week’s figures of 631k, suggesting that job losses, whilst bad, may be flattening out and the rate slowing.  This data is released simultaneously with the preliminary non farm productivity data forecast to come in 0.8% (last time -0.4%) and followed by preliminary unit labour costs at 2.6% (last time 5.7%).  All these numbers will provide a snapshot of the employment situation in the US and whether it is deteriorating further or perhaps providing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

The remainder of the day is taken up by important speeches and, of course, the bank stress test reports which is currently scheduled for release at 10.00 pm GMT so a long currency trading session in prospect for the euro dollar.  The speeches include not one, but two, by Fed Chairman Bernanke his first in the afternoon entitled:  “Banking Supervision” and the second is a press conference with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner covering the bank stress results.  Much has been written about these tests and the final result will be released today which show which banks passed, which ones failed, and estimates for new cash injections where required.  In reality many are saying the tests are meaningless because no one really knows how to value the toxic rubbish currently sitting on the banks’ books.  This exercise is much more a case of being seen to be doing something in the hope that as the global economy recovers sufficiently even the toxic assets will start to appear to have some value.

You can keep up to date with all the latest fundamental news on the economic calendar, latest currency news and live currency charts by simply following the links.  I have also included details on an excellent ECN broker.