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00:30 Australia Trade Balance January -0.43 -0.51 -1.06
03:00 Japan BoJ Interest Rate Decision 0.10% 0.10% 0.10%
03:00 Japan BoJ Monetary Policy Statement
The Dollar Index traded 0.2 percent from the highest in more than six months as signs of improvement in U.S. labor market added to the case for the Federal Reserve to end stimulus sooner than initially planned. Figures from New Jersey-based ADP Research Institute yesterday showed an increase of 198,000 in U.S. employment last month, more than the 170,000 advance expected by economists. In the U.S., economists in a Bloomberg News survey estimate the Labor Department will say tomorrow that payrolls expanded by 163,000 in February after a 157,000 gain the prior month, while the jobless rate likely held at 7.9 percent.
The U.S. economy grew at a modest to moderate pace across most of the country amid rising consumer demand for homes and autos, the Fed said in its Beige Book business survey yesterday.
The pound dropped to the lowest since July 2010 before the Bank of England concludes a two-day meeting today. The BOE will keep its interest rate at 0.5 percent, according to economists in a separate Bloomberg poll. Poland’s central bank lowered its seven-day reference rate by 50 basis points to 3.25 percent yesterday. None of the 38 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted the move.
Demand for the euro was bolstered after S&P affirmed Portugal’s rating and raised its outlook to stable from negative. European lenders will probably extend support to the government and make the nation’s fiscal tightening “more sustainable,” S&P said in a statement today. The central bank will probably maintain its benchmark rate at 0.75 percent today, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey. The ECB will update its December economic forecasts.
The yen rose after the Bank of Japan refrained from expanding monetary stimulus at the conclusion of its policy meeting. The Bank of Japan today kept its asset-purchase program at 76 trillion yen ($809 billion) and its monthly government bond purchases at 1.8 trillion, in line with estimates of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
EUR / USD: during the Asian session, the pair rose to $1.3000.
GBP / USD: during the Asian session, the pair rose to $1.5010.
USD / JPY: during the Asian session the pair fell to Y93.80.
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