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00:00 New Zealand NBNZ Business Confidence February 28 33.8
The yen rose against all of its 16 major counterparts as Asian stocks extended a global slump in equities, boosting demand for haven assets. Japan’s currency extended gains against the dollar amid speculation the country’s companies will repatriate overseas earnings before the end of the fiscal year on March 31. The yen also advanced after data showed Japanese retail sales rose more than forecast last month. Retail sales in Japan increased 3.5 percent in February from a year earlier, a third-straight monthly rise, the Trade Ministry said in Tokyo today. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 1.4 percent gain.
The euro was 0.3 percent from a one- month high after a draft statement from European finance ministers showed governments are preparing to increase rescue funds when they meet tomorrow. A draft statement dated March 23 and obtained by Bloomberg News showed that European governments are preparing for a one-year increase in the ceiling on rescue aid to 940 billion euros ($1.25 trillion) to keep the debt crisis at bay.
Australia’s dollar dropped against 15 of its 16 major peers amid concern Chinese manufacturing is losing momentum, curbing demand for the nation’s commodity exports. China is scheduled to release a purchasing managers index for manufacturing on April 1, with economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicting a reading of 50.6 for March, compared with 51 in February. A flash reading for March of a separate private gauge came in at 48.1 when it was published on March 22, below the 50 level that divides expansion from contraction.
EUR/USD: during the Asian session the pair traded in a range $1.3305-$1.3330.
GBP/USD: during the Asian session the pair restored after yesterday's falling.
USD/JPY: during the Asian session the pair fell to a week’s low.
UK Nationwide House Prices data is due at 0600GMT Thursday and are expected to post a rise of 0.2% m/m, 1.0% y/y. At 0810GMT, Bank of England Executive Director Markets Paul Fisher will speak at a National Asset Liability Management Conference. US data starts at 1230GMT with the weekly jobless claims and Q4 GDP data. At 1615GMT, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart participates in a panel discussion at The Commerce Club on the subject, "The European economic crisis and how it affects you," in Atlanta. At 1645GMT, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers the final of four lectures at the George Washington School of Business. Then at 1700GMT, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser speaks to the Rotary Club of Wilmington. Later US data includes the 1900GMT release of agriculture prices and 2030GMT release of money supply data.
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