GBP Anticipates Volatility before Rate Decision

With mixed results versus its primary currency counterparts, the British Pound appears to be consolidating many of its trends towards a volatile movement; positioned to take place today, it appears. The Bank of England's rate decision and policy statement at 11:00 GMT may be today's leading news event and forex traders won't want to miss out on the volatility which is sure to follow this release.



USD - USD Down 3.7% against the EUR this Year

The Dollar Index traded near the weakest level in almost a year against the currencies of six major U.S. trading partners as record low borrowing costs encouraged investors to sell the greenback and buy higher-yielding assets. The index was at 77.002, after dropping yesterday as much as 0.7% to 76.803, the lowest level since Sept. 26, 2008.

The USD continues to suffer downward pressure as investors continue to anticipate that the global economy is emerging from recession, which makes them more willing to sell Dollars and invest in riskier currencies and commodities. At the same time, while the Fed's program helped pull the U.S out of the recession, it also pumped a lot of Dollars into the economy and with the continuous rise in the unemployment rate it is unlikely the Fed will raise interest rates any time soon.

Abundance of supply of USD, and a very low return on Dollar denominated assets due to the low interest rate, makes the greenback highly unappealing to investors; possibly replacing the JPY as the carry trade currency of choice.

The release of the Trade Balance and the Unemployment Claims figures is due to be released today at 12:30 GMT. With the unemployment numbers expected to show some improvement, a worse than expected result might help reverse some of the Dollar's recent losses.

EUR - EUR Maintains Momentum, Stays above $1.4500

The EUR has maintained its momentum Wednesday after breaking through its tight summer ranges on Tuesday, particularly the $1.4450 price level. The EUR continued to trade above $1.45 pushing briefly above $1.46; its highest level in more than nine months.

Late Wednesday, the EUR was at $1.4553 from $1.4499 late Tuesday. The EUR was at 134.02 Yen from 133.73 Yen. The U.K. Pound was at $1.6532 from $1.6499.

The EUR is benefiting from a belief that the Euro-Zone economy is improving at a higher pace than the U.S economy which lends support to the common currency. Furthermore, the EUR appears to be a popular choice as an alternative, higher yielding currency than the USD.

The U.K's MPC rate statement and Official Bank Rate is expected at 11:00 GMT. While the rate is not expected to change, the statement is highly important and is likely to have great affect on the GBP. Last month's surprise decision to increase the quantitative easing program set the GBP plummeting against its major currency counterparts. A similar announcement today could do the same.

JPY - Yen at Strongest Level in 7 Months against the USD

Japan's currency gained 0.8% against the Dollar, trading at 91.61; the highest level since Feb.17. The Yen declined 0.2% against the EUR, to 133.98 per EUR. The Yen's support arises from the fact that it is slowly being replaced by the Dollar as the preferred currency for carry trades.

However, as the Bank of Japan (BOJ) is hesitant about allowing the currency to appreciate without further substantial improvement in the economy, the Yen may have trouble's remaining at such a high level since there isn't much economic foundation behind this rise.

With no major news release from Japan today, the JPY's movements will likely be determined by news from the U.S and Europe.

Crude Oil - OPEC to Maintain Production Quotas

Crude Oil's price continues its advance for a fourth day with the contract for October delivery trading up 31 cents, or 0.4%, at $71.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) early morning trading today.

The advance was supported by OPEC's statement to keep oil production quotas unchanged on an expectation that the world economic recovery will keep prices near $71 a barrel. It seems that both consumers and producers are quite comfortable with the $65 to $75 price range. The drop in Dollar value also helped boost oil prices since Crude Oil, which is Dollar denominated, is now cheaper for holders of other currencies. Oil also serves as a protective investment against inflation caused by a weaker Dollar.

Today's release of Crude Oil Inventories is expected to show another drop of 1.5 million barrels, the third drop in four weeks. If results are better than expected we might see another boost for oil prices.

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