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The British pound appreciated significantly against the US dollar, almost completely recovered after yesterday's fall. Analysts say the reason for such dynamics was profit-taking by some investors, and position correction in anticipation of the long weekend. Support for the pair also had weak US data. The US Commerce Department said that orders for manufactured durable goods decreased overall in the last month against the backdrop of weak global growth, as low oil prices and financial instability continue to put pressure on companies costs. New orders for durable goods fell by a seasonally adjusted 2.8% in February compared with the previous month. Economists had expected overall orders to fall by 2.9% in February compared with the previous month. Falling new orders for all durable goods followed a growth in January, has suggested a glimmer of hope to the troubled manufacturing sector. Revised January growth was lowered to increase by 4.2% compared with the earlier estimate of growth by 4.7%.
In addition, market participants continue to analyze the current statistics for the UK. The Office for National Statistics said that UK retail sales fell at a slower pace than expected in February. The volume of retail sales decreased by 0.4 percent for the month, offset by growth in January by 2.3 percent. It was slower than the expected decline of 0.7 percent. Sales in grocery stores decreased by 0.3 percent and sales of non-food items in stores dropped by 0.1 percent. Sales excluding automotive fuel decreased by 0.2 percent as opposed to 2.3 percent growth a month ago and was less than 1 percent decline economists forecast. In view of automotive fuel, sales growth fell to 3.8 percent per annum from 5.4 percent. Economists had forecast an increase of 3.9 percent.
The euro rose against the dollar, returning to the level of opening of the session. Analysts said trading volume today was lower than usual, as market participants tried not to open new positions before the onset of the long Easter weekend. Little influenced by the US data. The Labor Department reported that the number of initial applications for unemployment benefits rose last week to the United States, but remained at a low level that is compatible with the improvement of the labor market. Unemployment The number of initial claims for benefits rose by 6,000 and reached a seasonally adjusted 265,000 for the week ended 19 March, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The data for the previous week were revised downward to 259,000 from the initial estimate of 265 000. Economists had expected 268,000 initial claims last week. The moving average of four weeks increased by 250 last week to 259 750. The number of repeated applications for unemployment benefits fell by 39,000 to 2.179 million in the week ended March 12.
In addition, the company Markit said the seasonally adjusted preliminary index of business activity in the US services sector rose to 51.0 in March, up from 49.7 in February, indicating only a slight expansion of the activity of the services sector. As a result, the latter index was significantly lower post-crisis trend (55.6). In addition, the average reading for the first three months of 2016 (51.3) showed the slowest quarterly growth rate since the third quarter of 2012.
The Canadian dollar retreated from session low against the US dollar, but still shows a moderate decrease, mainly due to the negative dynamics of oil. Quotes of oil fell today, heading for its first weekly drop in the past month. Pressure on prices have a record-high oil reserves in the US, the weakening of stock markets and a stronger dollar. Tuesday oil futures fell by about 6 percent, which is the biggest two-day decline since mid-February. Analysts believe that the oil rally, which lasted for the past five weeks, gradually coming to an end. Meanwhile. Report oilfield services company Baker Hughes showed that from March 19 to March 24 in the US the number of active drilling rigs for oil production decreased by 15 units - up to 372 units. The number of gas production plants rose to 92 units from 89 units. Meanwhile, the total number of drilling rigs (oil and gas) fell by 12 units to 464 units, while writing the 14th consecutive weekly decline.
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