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Yesterday the yen rose by more than one percent against all of its 16 most-traded peers as weaker factory data in Europe and China spurred concern economic growth was slowing, boosting safety demand. The yen surged by the most in three weeks against the dollar after Japan reported an unexpected trade surplus for last month, adding to evidence of a rebound in the economy.
Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s Dollar Index, used to track the greenback against the currencies of six major U.S. trading partners including the euro, yen and pound, rose 0.1 percent to 79.723 after touching 79.315 yesterday, the lowest level since March 9. Applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. dropped last week to the lowest level in four years, reinforcing signs the U.S. labor market is picking up. Jobless claims decreased by 5,000 to 348,000 in the week ended March 17, the fewest since February 2008, Labor Department figures showed.
The euro has weakened 2.9 percent during the past six months against the currencies of its nine developed-nation counterparts. A euro-area composite index based on a survey of purchasing managers in manufacturing and services dropped to 48.7 from 49.3 in February, London-based Markit Economics said in an initial estimate. Economists forecast a gain to 49.6, according to the median of 21 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.
EUR/USD: yesterday in first half of day the pair fell below $1.3130, however could restore a part of the positions later.
GBP/USD: yesterday in first half of day the pair fell to $1.5770, however restored later, closed day above $1.5800.
USD/JPY: yesterday the pair fell to a figure, closed day on Y82.50.
European data for Friday starts at 0700GMT with construction orders from Germany, which is followed by France data at 0745GMT, including Q4 employment data and Manufaturing and Services sentiment data. US data starts at 1400GMT with BLS Mass Layoffs data and the pace of new home sales, which has been forecast to increase slightly to a 327,000 annual rate in February after a small decline in January broke a string of four straight increases. At 1930GMT, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart speaks to students at Georgetown University in Washington on his career and the Fed. Late US data sees the 2015GMT release of C&I loans.
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