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01.03.2013 07:21

Asian session: The yen remained lower

01:00 China Manufacturing PMI February 50.4 50.5 50.1

01:00 U.S. FOMC Member Charles Evans Speaks

01:45 China HSBC Manufacturing PMI (Finally) February 52.3 52.3 50.4

05:30 Australia RBA Commodity prices, y/y February -6.4% -7.2%


The euro was poised for its longest stretch of weekly declines since June on prospects for lower interest rates in the region with data today forecast to confirm a manufacturing contraction worsened. An index based on a survey of purchasing managers in manufacturing in the 17-nation euro bloc fell to 47.8 in February, from 47.9 in January, London-based Markit Economics is forecast to say in a final reading, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Levels below 50 indicate contraction.

Europe’s common currency fell in February, snapping six months of gains, as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said this week the bank is “far” from exiting stimulus measures. Draghi signaled at an event in Munich on Feb. 27 that the central bank has no intention of tightening monetary policy anytime soon, with inflation projected to “significantly” undershoot its 2 percent target next year.

The region’s inflation slowed in February, a report today is forecast to show, opening the door for more easing. The euro-area inflation rate slowed for a second month to 1.9 percent in February, according to a separate Bloomberg poll of analysts before today’s report. of analysts before today’s report. The ECB will probably maintain its benchmark interest rate at 0.75 percent next week, according to a Bloomberg survey.

The dollar and yen were set for weekly advances against most major peers amid concern automatic spending cuts in the U.S. will damp global growth, boosting demand for refuge assets.

The Australian dollar dipped briefly after two indexes of Chinese manufacturing indicated a slower-than-expected pace of expansion. The Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 50.1 in February, the lowest since September, official data showed. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was 50.5. A separate gauge from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics dropped to a four-month low of 50.4 from 52.3. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.


EUR/USD: during the Asian session, the pair rose, departing from the previous day's low.

GBP/USD: during the Asian session, the pair rose to $1.5180.

USD/JPY: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of Y92.45-75.


Germany retail sales due up at 0700GMT will provide the early interest, with EZ manufacturing PMI's to follow from 0813GMT (Spain) through to EZ PMI at 0858GMT. EZ CPI and jobs data at 1000GMT, with LTRO1/2 repayment the next interest at 1100GMT. UK manufacturing PMI due up at 0928GMT, ahead of money supply data at 0930GMT. First day of the new month and possible that euro-sterling month end demand could still be lurking.

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