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Yesterday the euro lost the most in almost a month against the dollar after demand declined at a Spanish bond auction, adding to concern the region is struggling to overcome its sovereign-debt crisis. Spain sold 2.59 billion euros of bonds today, less than its maximum target of 3.5 billion euros, the central bank said. Demand for notes maturing in 2015 was 2.41 times the amount allotted, down from 4.96 at the previous sale of the maturity in March. It also sold securities due in 2016 and 2020. The 17-nation currency weakened after the European Central Bank kept its benchmark rate at a record low and President Mario Draghi said the economic outlook remained subject to “downside risks.”
Sterling rallied as U.K. services growth accelerated last month and house prices increased. The pound rose against most of its major peers before the Bank of England meets. Sterling gained 0.6 percent to 82.68 pence per euro after a gauge of U.K. services activity based on a survey of purchasing managers increased to 55.3 from 53.8 in February. A separate report showed house prices climbed 2.2 percent in March from the previous month, Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s Halifax division said.
The yen and dollar strengthened versus all their most- traded counterparts amid demand for the relative safety of the nations’ debt.
EUR/USD: yesterday the pair fell to a figure to $1.3100.
GBP/USD: yesterday the pair fell, however restored the lost positions later.
USD/JPY: yesterday the pair fell having come nearer to Y82.00.
Events for Thursday start at 0700GMT when the Swiss National Bank publishes the 2011 Annual Report. Swiss CPI is also due Thursday. Core-European data sees just the 1000GMT release of German industrial output data. It is a busy day for the UK, starting at 0830GMT with the data highlight of the week, February industrial production. The data is followed at 1000GMT by UK New car and CV registrations. The National Institute (NIESR) will release its estimate of Q1 GDP later in the session, at 1400GMT. The MPC will announce its April policy decision at 1100GMT. The expectation is that there will be no change either to Bank Rate or to the current 325 billion stock of QE in light of the data flow, which has offered some patchy backing to the idea of a moderate underlying recovery. The Canada Ivey Purchasing Managers Index is due at 1400GMT. US data starts at 1130GMT with Challenger Layoffs data, which is followed at 1230GMT by the weekly initial jobless claims, which are expected to remain relatively unchanged at 360,000 in the March 31 week after hitting a four-year low in the previous week. At 1310GMT, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks to the 13th Annual InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum.
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