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10.03.2011 08:45

Forex: Wednesday's review

The euro fell against most of its peers after Portugal was forced to pay more at a debt auction than it has in the past, indicating concern the region is struggling to contain its sovereign-debt crisis. 
Portugal sold 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) of securities due September 2013. The bonds were issued at an average yield of 5.993 percent, the country’s debt management agency said. That compares with an average yield of 4.086 percent at a previous auction of the same-maturity debt on Sept. 8. The auction attracted bids for 1.6 times the amount offered, compared with a bid-to-cover ratio of 1.9 in September. 
The 17-nation currency rose earlier on speculation the European Central Bank asked for prices to purchase the securities of the region’s most indebted nations. The central bank inquired about prices for Irish bonds and didn’t buy, according to two traders with knowledge of the matter.
The Swiss franc rose against all of its 16 most-traded counterparts as crude oil prices increased on concern turmoil in North Africa and the Mideast will disrupt supply, encouraging investors to seek refuge.
Crude oil gained 0.3 percent to $105.33 a barrel in New York. It reached a two and a half year high of $106.95 earlier this week.
Currencies of commodity-exporting countries strengthened against the dollar as raw materials rose for an eight day in nine.

EUR/USD: the pair bargained within the limits of $1,3850-$ 1,3940.
GBP/USD: on results of yesterday's session the pair become stronger in around $1,6200.
USD/USD: the pair bargained within the limits of Y82,55-Y82,95.

At 0900GMT, the ECB issues the March monthly report, the editorial of which is usually much of a repeat of the opening statement from the latest ECB press conference.
UK data starts at 0930GMT with industrial production data, which is expected to rise 0.4% m/m, 4.2% y/y and manufacturing output, which is expected to rise by 0.8% m/m, 6.4% y/y. The main focus of the session 
could be on the Bank of England MPC announcement with rates expected to remain on hold at 0.5% and with the asset purchase program also unchanged. Recent comments suggest that the majority of the MPC would like to see firm signs that the Q4 growth shock was an aberration before sanctioning a rate rise. If that more or less reassures and inflation stays where it is - or higher - then the MPC looks set to find a 
majority for a move in May. Recent CIPS PMIs did not provide much comfort on the growth front, showing an overall 'flattish' picture although cost and price pressures remain strong.

Market Focus

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  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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