After a very quite day on the fundamental news front, which was in complete contrast to the euro dollar price which moved over a wide range of 250 pips and was extremely volatile, today we start with the German IFO numbers which have just been released. Just to recap for you, this is a composite index based on surveyed manufacturers, builders, wholesalers, and retailers and is a highly respected survey, due to it’s large sample size and historic correlation with German and wider Eurozone economic conditions. The figures this morning came in at 82.6 against a forecast of 83.2 but so far this has had little effect in the market with price moving sideways on the news. This is generally considered to be a leading indicator of economic health with a survey size of around 7000.

Moving to the US this afternoon we have the CB ( Conference Board) numbers which are another composite index, very similiar to the German IFO, and this time based on a survey of approximately 5000 households who are asked to rate the relative level of current and future economic conditions including labour availability, business conditions, and overall economic situation. If the number are better than expected then this is generally a good sign for the currency, in this case the US dollar, and the forecast for this afternoon is 35.5 against a previous of 37.7. These numbers are always released on the last Tuesday of each month, and if the actual is better than forecast then this is generally good for the home currency, in this case the US dollar.

At the same time that the above numbers are released, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will be starting to speak to the Senate Banking Committee, and one of the questions I am often asked is why should we care or indeed take any notice of what is being said – the simply answer is that like many other statements, it was is said at the Q & A sessions afterwards, and not what is actually said in the speech itself. Whilst a statement can be prepared in advance, answers to impromptu questions cannot, often revealing more in an off the cuff remark or in an unguarded moment. As Charmain of the Federal Reserve Bernanke ( whether you like it or not ) has more power to move the markets that virtually anyone else on the planet – so as traders we have to take note when he speaks! You may not agree with what he says, but rest assured the trading world will be watching and waiting .