Economic data will very much remain the focus on Thursday, as investors await the all-important US nonfarm payrolls report in the final session of the week. Still, the Thursday session features several noteworthy releases from both sides of the Atlantic.
Action begins at 06:45 GMT with a Swiss government report on unemployment. The nation’s jobless rate is forecast to hold steady at 3.1% for the month of November.
Shifting gears to Germany, the government is scheduled to report on industrial production at 07:00 GMT. Output in Europe’s largest economy is expected to rise 1.1% in October, which translates into year-over-year growth of 4.3%.
Later in the morning, France will issue its latest trade figures for the month of October. Paris’ deficit is expected to narrow slightly to €4.6 billion from €4.669 billion the month before.
At 10:00 GMT, the European Commission’s statistics agency will report revised GDP numbers for the third quarter. Gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to expand 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, unchanged from the previous estimate. That should translate into an annualized growth rate of 0.6%.
Over in North America, the US Department of Labor will report on initial jobless claims at 13:30 GMT. The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits is expected to edge up slightly to 240,000 from 238,000.
Later in the day, the Federal Reserve will release the latest consumer credit change report for October.
North of the border, the Canadian government will report on building permits at 13:30 GMT.
On the monetary policy front, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi will deliver a speech at 16:00 GMT. Draghi’s remarks will pique the interest of investors now that the ECB is embarking on a path of policy normalization.
The euro was in freefall Thursday morning, as the US dollar gained ground on a basket of world currencies. The EUR/USD exchange rate briefly fell below 1.1800 Thursday before recovering those levels later in the session. The pair was last down 0.8% at 1.1805. The EUR/USD is barely hanging on to support near 1.1800, and further downside could expose the 55-day SMA near 1.1712.
The North American cross was trading steadily at 1.2800 on Thursday following a sharp up-move during the previous session. The Canadian dollar lost momentum on Wednesday after the Bank of Canada (BOC) appeared hesitant over future rate hikes. Economic data will drive the pair in the final two sessions of the week.
The US dollar edged slightly higher against the yen on Thursday, although trading activity remained relatively calm ahead of key economic data. USD/JPY was last seen trading at 112.40 for a gain of 0.1%. The pair faces immediate support at 112.00. On the other side of the ledger, resistance is likely seen at 112.60.