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The U.S. dollar traded higher against the most major currencies. The U.S. currency was supported by concerns over tensions in Ukraine and the increasing demand for the safe-haven U.S. currency. Pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored a public call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone a referendum.
The U.S. wholesale inventories increased 1.1% in March, from a 0.5% gain in February. Analysts had forecasted that the U.S. wholesale inventories would remain unchanged.
JOLTs job openings in the U.S. decreased 111,000 in March to 4,014,000 after increasing 251,000 to 4,125,000 in February.
The euro plunged to 1-month lows against the U.S. dollar. The euro weakened due to the yesterday’s ECB President Mario Draghi comments that the ECB could ease monetary policy in June to tackle low inflation.
German trade surplus trade decreased to €14.8 billion in March, from €15.8 billion in February. February’s figure was revised up from a surplus of €15.7 billion. Analysts had expected a rise to €16.6 billion.
The British pound dropped against the U.S. dollar after the release of the good economic data and as investors locked in profits after a strong rally. The U.K. manufacturing production climbed 0.5% in March (February: +1.0%). Analysts had expected a 0.3% rise. The U.K trade deficit declined to £8.48 billion in March, from £8.75 billion in February. February’s figure was revised down from £9.09 billion. Analysts had forecasted an increase of the deficit to £9.00 billion. The strong economic data strengthens the speculation that the Bank of England will hike interest rates in the first half of the next year.
NIESR increased the GDP forecast for U.K. to 1.0%, from a 0.9% rise in the previous month. The research organisation said it expected GDP to reach its first quarter 2008 level within a short time.
The Canadian dollar dropped against the U.S. dollar due to weak labour data from Canada. The unemployment rate remained unchanged by 6.9% in April. The number of employed people decreased by 28,900 in April, from a 42,900 rise in March. Analysts had expected a 12,800 increase.
The New Zealand dollar traded lower against the U.S. dollar due to the weak Chinese inflation and the increasing demand for the safe-haven U.S. currency. China's consumer price index (CPI) increased 1.8% year-on-year in April, the lowest inflation rate in 18 months. Analysts had expected a 2.1% gain. China’s producer price index (PPI) declined 2.0% year-on-year in April. Analysts had forecasted a decline of 1.8%. No economic data was published in New Zealand.
The Australian dollar traded mixed against the U.S. dollar. The Reserve Bank of Australia said in its statement that the current accommodative monetary policy is appropriate for some time. The RBA increased its growth forecast for the current quarter from 2.75% to 3%, and lowered its inflation outlook to a 2.75% increase year-on-year, from 3.00% in its February statement.
The Japanese yen traded little changed against the U.S. dollar. Japan's leading economic index declined to 106.5 in March, from 108.7 in February. February's figure was revised down from 113.5.
Japan's coincident index was up to 114.0 in
March, from 112.9 in February. February's figure was revised down from 113.0.
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