Forex: EUR/USD taking profit after US new home sales (Barcelona) - Investors kept pushing the EUR/USD higher (to 1.3475 high) until the release of US new home sales figures. The EUR/USD rose to as high as 13475, from where profit taking began after a disappointing drop from 0.398M (revised from 0.377M) to 0.369M, instead of indicating sales at 0.385M as expected.

The EUR/USD is currently quoting around 1.3460, but a general positive bias remains after today's breach above the 1.3400 psychological level on stronger than expected German IFO figures and a European rally based on larger than consensus LTRO repayment amounts, at €137.2B instead of the expected €100B. Economists' speeches in Davos have also been contributing to the “risk on” sentiment on Friday.

All three German IFO criteria came in higher than expected, with bussiness climate rising from 102.4 to 104.2 (consensus of 103.0), current assessment rising from 107.1 to 108.0 (consensus of 107.2), expectations improving from 97.9 to 100.5 (consensus of 99.0).

"The higher low in July 2012 (compared to July 2010) and the recent new high above the strong resistance at 1.3172 suggest an improvement of the underlying trend", wrote MIG Bank analyst Bijoy Kar, pointing to strong resistances at 1.3487 and 1.4247 (27/10/2011 high), while support lies at 1.3350 (intraday low).