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04:30 Japan All Industry Activity Index, m/m January +1.3% -0.5% -1.0%
The euro advanced against the dollar and reached a four-month high versus the yen after Greece won parliamentary approval for a new international bailout, boosting demand for European assets. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos won approval for a 130 billion-euro ($172 billion) aid package. A total of 213 lawmakers voted today in favor of the legislation and 79 against, Acting Parliament Speaker Grigoris Niotis said in remarks carried live on state-run Vouli TV. Demand for the euro was also supported before the release of purchasing managers indexes tomorrow from London-based Markit Economics predicted to show German manufacturing and services growth accelerated. A measure of factory output climbed to 51 this month from 50.2 in February while a gauge of services rose to 53.1 from 52.8, according to median projections in Bloomberg News surveys of economists.
The dollar weakened before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke tells Congress that financial strains in Europe have eased, according to testimony prepared for delivery today. The dollar has been supported as data signaled the U.S. recovery is gathering momentum. An industry report today is forecast to show U.S. home sales rose to the highest level since May 2010. Sales of previously owned homes are predicted to have climbed 0.9 percent to a 4.61 million annual rate, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists before today’s report from the National Association of Realtors.
Demand for the yen was limited before data tomorrow projected to show Japanese exports declined for a fifth month. Japanese exports dropped 6.5 percent in February from a year earlier, following a 9.3 percent decline the previous month, the Ministry of Finance is projected to say tomorrow, according to a Bloomberg poll of economists.
EUR/USD: during the Asian session the pair gain, updated a week’s high.
GBP/USD: during the Asian session the pair rose to yesterday's high.
USD/JPY: during the Asian session the pair traded in range Y83.50-Y83.75.
There is a big focus on the UK for Wednesday, starting at 0930GMT when the minutes of the latest Bank of England MPC meeting are released at the same time as the UK Public Sector Finances. US data starts at 1100GMT with the weekly MBA weekly mortgage applications data. At 1330GMT, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner & Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke testify to the House Committee on Oversight on "Europe's Sovereign Debt Crisis: Causes, Consequences for the United States and Lessons Learned." US data continues at 1400GMT with NAR Existing Home Sales, which is expected to rise to a 4.62 million annual rate after a solid 4.3% jump in January. While sales have been roughly flat over the last year, home supply has plunged, pulling down the months supply. While this combination should lift prices, it appears that sellers have been willing to cut prices to make sales in many cases. The weekly EIA Crude Oil Stocks data is then due, at 1430GMT.
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