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00:30 Australia Changing the number of employed February 46.3 5.2 -15.4
00:30 Australia Unemployment rate February 5.1% 5.2% 5.2%
05:00 Japan Eco Watchers Survey: Current February 44.1 46.3 45.9
05:00 Japan Eco Watchers Survey: Outlook February 47.1 50.1
06:00 Japan Prelim Machine Tool Orders, y/y February -6.9% -8.6%
The yen weakened against all of its major peers after Japan posted a record current-account deficit, threatening to undermine the currency’s haven status. Japan posted a current-account deficit of 437.3 billion yen ($5.4 billion) in January, the Ministry of Finance said today. That is the biggest shortfall since comparable data began in 1985 and was more than the median estimate of a 320 billion-yen gap in a Bloomberg News survey of economists.
Separate figures showed Japan’s economy contracted less than the government’s initial estimate last quarter.
The euro advanced for a second day against the yen before Greece’s debt-swap offer to private creditors concludes at 10 p.m. Athens time today.
The dollar was 0.7 percent from a nine- month high against the yen as speculation eased that the Federal Reserve will provide further stimulus. The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits was unchanged at 351,000 in the week ended March 3, according to the median of economist estimates in a Bloomberg News survey before the figures are released today. That would match the lowest level since March 2008.
The New Zealand dollar gained versus 15 of its 16 peers as Asian stocks extended a global rally, boosting demand for higher-yielding currencies. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand today left its official cash rate at 2.5 percent. Governor Alan Bollard said the RBNZ’s forecasts “are not inconsistent with a story that would see that remaining in place for much of this year.”
EUR/USD: during the Asian session the pair gain.
GBP/USD: during the Asian session the pair rose.
USD/JPY: during the Asian session the pair rose.
European events start at 0800GMT, the Swiss National bank publishes an Accountability Report for 2011. The ECB decision is due at 1245GMT with the usual press conference with the ECB President Mario Draghi following at 1330GMT. UK data includes Vehicle Licensing Statistics at 0930GMT, while core-European data rounds off at 1100GMT with German industrial output data. At 1230GMT, US initial jobless claims are expected to hold steady at 351,000, remaining in the very narrow range seen in the last three weeks. The weekly Bloomberg Comfort Index is due at 1445GMT and is followed at 1500GMT by Q4 services data and then at 1530GMT by Natural Gas Storage. Later data includes 1700GMT Flow of Funds and the 2130GMT release of M2 money supply.
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