Yesterday the dollar fluctuated after touching an almost one-month low against the euro before the Federal Open Market Committee releases minutes of its March meeting where policy makers raised their assessment of the economy. The FOMC will release minutes of its March 13 meeting when policy makers raised their economic assessment while repeating that “exceptionally low” interest rates may be needed through late 2014. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke still said on March 26 that further stimulus may be needed to lower unemployment.
The 17-nation currency weakened from its strongest level as Spanish bond yields rose and the nation’s unemployment increased for an eighth month. The yield on Spain’s 10-year bonds climbed eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 5.43 percent. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is implementing the deepest austerity measures since the nation returned to a democracy in 1978, pushing Spain’s IBEX 35 Index to the only loss during the first quarter among national measures in Western Europe. The European Central Bank meets for an interest rate decision.
The Australian dollar weakened versus most of its 16 major counterparts after the Reserve Bank signaled it may resume lowering borrowing costs as soon as next month if weaker-than- expected growth slows inflation.
EUR/USD: yesterday the pair fell to a figure to $1.3200.
GBP/USD: yesterday the pair fell to a figure to $1.5900.
USD/JPY: yesterday the pair fell to Y82.00.
Wednesday morning sees the release of the final services PMI data from the main European states, including France at 0748GMT, Germany at 0753GMT and the main EMU data shortly after, at 0758GMT. EMU data continues at 0900GMT with retail trade for February, which is followed at 1000GMT by German manufacturing orders data. The ECB is due to announce it's monetary policy decision at 1145GMT. The usual press conference follows at 1230GMT. UK data at 0700GMT the UK Halifax house price index is due, while at 0830GMT UK data also includes the Markit/CIPS Services PMI for March as well as Building Materials and Narrow Money data along with Official Reserves. US data starts at 1100GMT with the weekly MBA mortgage applications data. At 1200GMT, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner speaks to the Economic Club of Chicago, while at 1215GMT, the ADP National Employment Report is due. US data continues at 1400GMT when the ISM non-manufacturing index is forecast to fall to a reading of 57.0 in March after rising in the previous month. The weekly EIA crude oil stocks data is also due, at 1430GMT. At 1500GMT, San Francisco Fed President John Williams speaks to a San Francisco Planning and Urban Research business breakfast.
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