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00:01 United Kingdom BRC Retail Sales Monitor y/y February -0.3% -0.3%
00:30 Australia Current Account, bln IV quarter -5.6 -7.9 -8.4
01:30 Japan Labor Cash Earnings, YoY January -0.2% -0.3% 0.0%
03:30 Australia Announcement of the RBA decision on the discount rate 4.25% 4.25% 4.25%
03:30 Australia RBA Rate Statement
The euro declined for a fifth day against the yen before a report forecast to show the region’s economy shrank in the fourth quarter, adding to signs the currency bloc’s debt crisis is hampering growth. Gross domestic product in the euro area probably fell 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2011 from the previous three- month period, according to the median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg News survey before the European Union’s statistics office releases the data today. That would be the first drop since the second quarter of 2009 and would be in line with a Feb. 15 estimate.
The dollar strengthened against most of its 16 major counterparts after Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said yesterday he opposes additional bond purchases, which may debase the world’s reserve currency.
The Australian dollar weakened against 15 of its 16 major counterparts after the Reserve Bank left the overnight cash-rate target at 4.25 percent. The decision was forecast by all 25 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
While the RBA said current settings are “appropriate for the moment,” there is scope for easier policy if demand weakens “materially,” according to a central bank statement.
EUR/USD: during the Asian session the pair has fallen below $1.3200.
GBP/USD: during the Asian session the pair decreased, receded from yesterday's high.
USD/JPY: during the Asian session the pair fell, after yesterday's growth in second half of day.
The main EMU release in a very quiet data calendar for Tuesday will be the second reading of Q4 GDP at 1000GMT. US data starts at 1245GMT with the ICSC-Goldman Sachs weekly mall sales data, followed at 1355GMT by the Johnson Redbook weekly chain store sales.
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