With little fundamental news on the economic calendar for Europe, and indeed the only item this morning being the Italian Trade Balance which came in worse than expected at -0.28bn against a forecast of -0.02bn, the focus for today is once again the US, which kicks off with the unemployment claims.  This is followed by the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, CB Leading Index and Natural Gas Storage, all of which are neatly sandwiched between not ONE but TWO speeches by Treasury Secretary Geithner.  The first of these is his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee followed by a second testimony on restructuring the financial system before the House Financial Services Committee.   Taking the first of these announcements, the unemployment claims are forecast at 608k, a small increase of 7k on last week’s figure and is the number of new claimants for unemployment insurance during the week.   Following this we have the Philly Fed Index which is generally considered a leading indicator, and as with last month’s figure of -22.6 a negative figure is expected once again at -17.6 and if this is achieved then it will be the fifth month in a row suggestive of a slowly improving picture.

At the same time we have the Conference Board (CB) Index which is a composite sentiment index based on 10 economic indicators (a real minestrone!).  These include data relating to employment, production, new orders, consumer confidence, housing, equity markets, money supply and interest rates, and the forecast is for 0.8% against a previous of 1% once again showing a slowly improving picture.  All these are technically dollar positive.  The final piece of fundamental news for this afternoon are the natural gas storage figures which measures the change of in cubic feet of gas held in underground storage.  The forecast is for 104bn, marginally down from last week’s 106bn.

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.