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03.05.2012 08:17

Asian session: The euro remained lower following a three-day decline


00:00 Japan Bank holiday -

01:00 China Non-Manufacturing PMI April 58.0 56.1

The euro remained lower following a three-day decline on bets that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will hint at further stimulus measures to counter the region’s debt crisis after today’s policy meeting. The ECB will keep its benchmark interest rate at a record low 1 percent today, according to all economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Draghi said on April 25 that inflation will slow next year and risks to the economic outlook remain on the downside. That’s a contrast to the “upside risks” to inflation he warned of three weeks ago.

The 17-nation currency was 0.2 percent from a two-week low versus the yen before Spain auctions debt. Spain will auction three- and five-year notes today amid speculation that the euro area’s fourth-largest economy will follow Greece, Ireland and Portugal in seeking a bailout. The three-year rate was 4.08 percent yesterday, down from a decade high of 6.37 percent in November. Spain’s borrowing costs have been contained after the ECB conducted a three-year loan program, known as the longer-term refinancing operations.

The dollar strengthened against most of its 16 major peers on demand for an investment haven.  U.S. private employment increased by 119,000 workers last month, the smallest gain in seven months, ADP Employer Services said yesterday. The Labor Department will report May 4 that U.S. nonfarm payrolls added 160,000 jobs in April, up from 120,000 the previous month, economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg show. The unemployment rate will probably remain unchanged at 8.2 percent.

New Zealand’s currency touched the weakest in three months after data showed the nation’s unemployment rate rose to the highest level since 2010. New Zealand’s dollar, known as the kiwi, dropped to 80.41 U.S. cents, the least since January, before trading at 80.61, 0.6 percent below yesterday’s close. The nation’s jobless rate rose to 6.7 percent in the first quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. That was higher than the most-pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists and up from 6.4 percent in the last three months of 2011.

EUR/USD: during the Asian session the pair traded in a range $1.3135-$1.3155.

GBP/USD: during the Asian session the pair holds in a range $1.6175-$1.6200.

USD/JPY: during the Asian session the pair rose.

UK data includes the 0600GMT release of the latest Nationwide House Price index and later, the 0830GMT release of the Markit/CIPS services PMI data along with Official Reserves data. US data includes chain store sales but starts with the 1130GMT release of the latest Challenger Layoffs data. US data at 1230GMT sees the weekly initial jobless benefit claims and also non-farm productivity data. At 1400GMT, the ISM non-manufacturing index is due, followed at 1430GMT by EIA natural gas storage data. At 1500GMT, Federal Reserve Bank Presidents Charles Plosser of Philadelphia, Dennis Lockhart of Atlanta and John Williams of San Francisco are among the presenters at the University of California at Santa Barbara Economic Forecast Project 2012.

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