- Bernanke gave a talk and Q&A session in Michigan, he reiterated the continuing QE efforts and didn’t add anything new
- From The WashingtonPost: Geithner says Treasury will run out of maneuvering room on debt limit as early as mid-February
- Kathimerini: Greece all but secures next tranche of bailout funds
- BOJ’s Head Shirakawa: BOJ to continue powerful easing
- Japan data: December Money Stock M2 +2.6% ay/y (vs. +2.1% expected)
- Japan data: December Money Stock M3 +2.2% y/y (vs. +1.9% expected)
- UKdata: RICS Housing Market Survey Price Balance in at Flat (0%) – best reading since June 2010 (Market expected -8%)
- Japan’s Economy Minister Amari triggered a USD/JPY sell off with his comments that excessive yen weakness would hurt the public, and that the Yen had corrected.
Bernanke’s talk in Michigan had a negligible effect on currencies, and the day was setting up as being a quiet one, not even as active as the holiday in Japan yesterday.
All that changed with some comments from the Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari (see bullets above). USD/JPY had been sitting just below yesterday’s highs around 89.60 and quickly fell to 89.20 and then pushed down to a low of 88.62. Japanese importer interest rushed in to buy USD/JPY, providing lift for the bounce back above 89.00 before it settled 88.90/89.06 into early Europe.
EUR/USD sold off too with cross selling, as did the AUD and NZD. The EUR/USD had had a quiet session, as had the AUD, but NZD was quite well bid in the earlier part of the day.