The Bank of England maintained its Official Bank Rate at 0.50 percent; and the European Central Bank decided to keep its Minimum Bid Rate at 0.25 percent.
In the US, the Senate passed on Monday the nomination of Janet Yellen as the Federal Reserve Chairperson. Yellen will serve her post for four years, from February 2014 to January 2018.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that the labor market added 74,000 jobs in December, much weaker than the median estimate of economists surveyed (196,000). November’s reading was revised higher, from 203,000 to 241,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate came in at 6.7 percent.
In other news, Canada’s Employment Change surprisingly came in at -45,900, more than triple and opposite its forecast of 14,400. The Unemployment Rate rose to 7.2 percent.
Gold caught some wind and moved higher this week. The advance was marginal, however, as price only peaked at $1,248 and closed the week nearby. There is still potential resistance ahead of the $1,300 level. There are lots of wood to chop further up.
Oil declined further this week after it dropped nearly $7 the other week. The current decline peeked through the multi-month support (set on late-November at $91.75) before bouncing to close the week just below $93. Expect another attack on the $90-$92 area.
EURUSD was pretty much under water for most of the week until it made a mad dash higher late-Friday. This run-up was enough to give the pair a bullish weekly close above the 1.3600 level. Buyers need to be careful with resistance around 1.3800.
Price-action wise, GBPUSD was slightly ahead of EURUSD and the former also managed to eke out gains this week. Bulls should continue the pressure higher so they can take out the 1.6602 high.
USDJPY was all pretty quiet before US NFP Friday, when it created the week’s 150-pip trading range as it moved to the downside. Bulls have been having problems with the 105 level, so sellers pounced to take the cake this time. Further decline is possible but not without potential detractors along the way.
The Week Ahead
Monday will be quiet for the most part. We will witness the release of Australia’s ANZ Job Ads; China’s Money Supply and New Loans; Bank of Canada’s Business Outlook Survey; and US Federal Budget Balance. There will be a bank holiday in Japan due to ‘Coming of Age Day.’
Tuesday will start early with New Zealand’s NZIER Business Confidence; Japan’s Current Account; UK CPI, RPI, and PPI; Eurozone Industrial Production; US Retail Sales, Import Prices, and Business Inventories.
Wednesday will be a very brief news day with Australia’s new Motor Vehicle Sales; Switzerland’s Retail Sales; US PPI, Empire State Manufacturing Index, and Beige Book.
Thursday will be busy with Japan’s Core Machinery Orders and Tertiary Industry Activity; Australia’s Unemployment Rate and Employment Change; ECB Monthly Bulletin; Eurozone CPI; Canada Foreign Securities Purchases; US CPI, TIC Long-term Purchases, Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Fed Chairman Bernanke is also slated to give a speech.
Finally, Friday will cap the week with Switzerland’s PPI; UK Retail Sales; US Building Permits, Capacity Utilization Rate, Housing Starts, Industrial Production, and Preliminary UoM Consumer Sentiment.