Overview of the dollar, euro, pound, yen, qiwi and gold prices for February 19, 2021


The European currency is showing mixed trading during today’s Asian session, consolidating near the 1.2100 level after the instrument retraced the day before. The reason for yesterday’s resumption of bullish dynamics was the disappointing data from the US. Thus, the number of initial applications for unemployment benefits for the week of February 12 again showed an increase from 848 to 861 thousand, while analysts expected their reduction to 765 thousand. Secondary applications for the week of February 5 fell from 4.558 million to 4.494 million, which fell short of the most optimistic forecasts of 4.413 million. Thus, investors again became convinced that it is still somewhat premature to talk about the beginning of a confident recovery of the American economy. As Jerome Powell said, it will take years for the labor market to return to its previous levels. The focus of European investors today is statistics on business activity in the manufacturing and services sectors in Germany and the eurozone for February.


The British pound is trading in a downward trend during today’s morning session, retreating from record highs since April 2018, renewed once again the day before. Investors are still buying the British currency in the hope of a noticeable improvement in the epidemiological situation in the world and the early lifting of most of the quarantine restrictions in the UK in March. Additional support for the “bulls” on Thursday was provided by weak macroeconomic data from the US on the dynamics of applications for unemployment benefits. On Friday, only the statistics on consumer confidence from the UK is still weakly supported by the buying mood. So, in February, the indicator from Gfk increased from -28 to -23 points, which turned out to be much better than the forecast for growth to -27 points. Throughout the day, investors await the February PMI data from Markit.


The New Zealand dollar is slightly declining against the US currency in trading in today’s Asian session, consolidating near the 0.7200 mark after the correctional gains the day before. The instrument is supported by weak data from the US on the dynamics of applications for unemployment benefits, which did not meet the optimistic forecasts for the recovery of the American economy. At the same time, the demand for the commodity New Zealand dollar remained moderately high amid growing investor interest in risky assets and expensive oil. Today traders expect the publication of a block of macroeconomic statistics from the US on business activity and sales in the secondary housing market. Business activity in the US is expected to continue to moderate modestly in February, which could serve as a fresh impetus for accelerating the adoption of the $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package.


The US dollar is showing flat dynamics against the Japanese yen in today’s Asian trading, developing a corrective momentum that formed last Wednesday, when the instrument retreated from its local highs since September 2020. A noticeable pressure on the positions of the American currency is exerted by the statistics on applications for unemployment benefits in the US, which turned out to be worse than its forecasts. In turn, the yen is getting support from the Japanese data. Thus, the national consumer price index, excluding food prices, increased by 0.1% y / y in January after falling by 0.4% y / y last month. Jibun Bank’s manufacturing PMI rose from 49.8 to 50.6 in February, while analysts had expected the index to decline to 49.7.


Gold prices are declining during today’s morning session, simultaneously updating record lows since July 2020. A new wave of sales replaced the uncertain attempt to grow the instrument the day before, when the asset was supported by further weakening of the US dollar. Among other things, investors reacted to the release of statistics on the dynamics of applications for unemployment benefits, which turned out to be significantly worse than expected. Additional support for gold was provided by the US FRS minutes published on Wednesday. The regulator emphasized its commitment to soft monetary policy before the emergence of strong signals of growth in the US economy and the labor market in particular.

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