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00:00 Australia Leading Index February +1.1% 0.0%
04:30 Japan All Industry Activity Index, m/m February -1.0% 0.0% -0.1%
The dollar remained lower against its peers before data tomorrow that may show U.S. growth slowed in the first quarter, fueling speculation the Federal Reserve will consider additional stimulus. U.S. first-quarter gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services the nation produced, rose at a 2.5 percent annual rate after advancing 3 percent in the previous three months, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The Commerce Department will release the data tomorrow. Fed policy makers upgraded their forecasts for growth and unemployment this year while repeating their view that borrowing costs are likely to remain “exceptionally low” at least through late 2014. The central bank bought $2.3 trillion of bonds in two rounds of asset purchases or so-called quantitative easing between December 2008 and June 2011.
New Zealand’s dollar advanced against the Australian currency on prospects the bigger nation’s central bank will cut interest rates next month. New Zealand’s central bank left interest rates at a record low, citing benign inflation, and signaled that the rising currency may delay an increase in borrowing costs. “The New Zealand dollar has stayed elevated despite recent falls in commodity prices,” Governor Alan Bollard said in a statement in Wellington today. “For now, it is appropriate for the official cash rate to remain at 2.5 percent. Should the exchange rate remain strong without anything else changing, the bank would need to reassess the outlook for monetary policy settings.”
New Zealand’s economic growth slowed more than economists predicted in the fourth quarter, expanding 0.3 percent after a 0.7 percent advance in the July-September period, a government report showed March 22. That was half the 0.6 percent median projection for growth in a Bloomberg survey of 16 economists.
EUR/USD: during the Asian session the pair holds in a range $1.3215-$1.3235.
GBP/USD: during the Asian session the pair holds in a range $1.6155-$1.6175.
USD/JPY: during the Asian session the pair fell to yesterday's low.
The German flash HICP data will follow state releases but scheduled events start at 0730GMT when ECB President Mario Draghi gives the opening speech at a conference entitled "Financial integration and stability: towards a more resilient single EU financial market", which
is taking place in Frankfurt. ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio then presents a report on Financial Integration at the same event at 0745GMT. Italy releases the ISTAT business survey at 0900GMT at the same time as the EMU economic sentiment survey and business climate indicator. UK data includes the BBA Bank Lending Report at 0830GMT, which includes mortgage approvals data. UK data then continues at 1000GMT with the CBI Distributive Trades Survey where the reported sales balance is expected to improve to a reading of 7. US data starts at 1230GMT when initial jobless claims are expected to fall 11,000 to 375,000, holding virtually steady in the previous week. US data continues at 1400GMT with NAR Pending Home Sales. Later on, at 2000GMT, US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner speaks to the Commonwealth Club on "U.S. and Global Economies Ahead of the 2012 U.S.-China Strategic nd Economic Dialogue," in San Francisco, while late data at the same time sees money supply data released.
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