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13.03.2014 06:26

Asian session: The yen held

00:00 Australia Consumer Inflation Expectation March +2.3% +2.1%

00:01 United Kingdom RICS House Price Balance February 52% Revised From 53% 52% 45%

00:30 Australia Unemployment rate February 6.0% 6.0% 6.0%

00:30 Australia Changing the number of employed February 18.0 Revised From -3.7 +15.3 +47.3

01:10 New Zealand RBNZ Governor Graeme Wheeler Speaks

05:30 China Retail Sales y/y February +13.6% +13.5% +11.8%

05:30 China Fixed Asset Investment February +19.6% +19.5% +17.9%

05:30 China Industrial Production y/y February +9.7% +9.5% +8.6%

The yen held a three-day gain versus the dollar before reports in the U.S. and China that come amid concern the world’s largest economies are slowing. Retail spending in the U.S. probably rose 0.2 percent in February from the previous month, when it declined, data due today is predicted to show, according to a separate poll. The Labor Department is forecast to report that initial jobless claims climbed 7,000 to 330,000 in the week to March 8.

Reports today are forecast to show Chinese retail sales grew at a 13.5 percent annual pace, while gains in industrial production slowed to a 9.5 percent rate, according to the median estimates in Bloomberg News surveys.

The kiwi dollar climbed to a record against the currencies of its trading partners as New Zealand became the first developed economy to raise interest rates since 2011.  Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler indicated he will tighten policy further in coming months to damp inflation pressures after today raising the cash rate to 2.75 percent, from 2.50 percent.

Australia’s dollar surged and bonds dropped as employers added the most full-time jobs since 1991. The statistics bureau said employers added 47,300 positions last month, surpassing the 15,000 gain forecast in a Bloomberg survey. Full-time employment increased by the most in more than 22 years. The jobless rate held at a decade-high 6 percent.

EUR / USD: during the Asian session, the pair rose to $ 1.3950

GBP / USD: during the Asian session, the pair rose to $ 1.6670

USD / JPY: on Asian session the pair traded in the range of Y102.60-85

There is a busy schedule on both sides of the Atlantic Thursday, with a full calendar of both data and central bank speakers. The European calendar gets underway at 0745GMT, with the release of the French February HICP data, followed at 0800GMT by the release of the Spanish January retail sales data. At 0815GMT, ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure will deliver a speech on an integrated banking union, in Paris. The ECB will release their monthly report at 0900GMT, largely expected to mirror President Draghi's statement at last week's press conference. Italian final February HICP will also be released at 0900GMT. At 1000GMT, the Bundesbank will hold a press conference to discuss the annual financial statement, in Frankfurt. At the same time, German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks before parliament on the Ukraine situation. Following her appearance in the Reichstag, Merkel and Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka will hold a joint press conference, in Berlin at 1215GMT.

Market Focus

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  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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