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01:45 China HSBC Manufacturing PMI (Preliminary) March 48.5 48.7 48.1
The yen slid against the euro and the dollar before Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Kikuo Iwata speaks today amid bets the BOJ will boost stimulus to ease the impact of a planned tax increase due to take effect next week. In Japan, Iwata will speak about the BOJ’s monetary policy at a two-hour forum that starts at 2 p.m. Tokyo time today. The central bank will adjust monetary policy if its target of 2 percent inflation is deemed impossible to achieve, he told lawmakers on March 6. Thirty-five percent of 34 economists polled expect the BOJ to expand stimulus as early as next month when the government increases the sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent, according to the most recent Bloomberg News survey conducted Feb. 26 to March 4.
Australia’s currency weakened against most of its 16 major peers after China’s factory data fell short of economist estimates. The Purchasing Managers’ Index for China’s manufacturing dropped to 48.1 in March, HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics Ltd. said today. The preliminary reading compares with the 48.7 median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News and the final number of 48.5 in February. Numbers below 50 signal contraction.
EUR / USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $ 1.3785-00
GBP / USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $ 1.6475-95
USD / JPY: during the Asian session, the pair rose to Y102.60
There is a fairly quiet start to the data calendar this week, although the markets will get an early look at how the Crimea crisis has impacted on eurozone sentiment when flash PMI indicators are released. The European calendar gets underway at 0758GMT, when the French March flash manufacturing and services PMIs are set to cross the wires. The numbers will reflect sentiment on the Ukraine, but not the overnight local election results. Analysts are looking for a slight dip in the manufacturing number and a modest pick up in services. The German flash data will be released at 0828GMT, with the amalgamated eurozone numbers published at 0858GMT. German manufacturing is seen a touch lower at 54.5, with services at 55.5, down from 55.9. At 1000GMT, ECB Governing Council member Erkki Liikanen is set to brief the press on monetary policy and the global economy, in Helsinki. US President Barack Obama attends a nuclear security summit in The Netherlands. Obama and other G7 leaders will also meet to discuss the Ukraine crisis. The Belgian National Bank releases their March business survey at 1400GMT. The index is seen slightly lower, with forecasts for a reading of -5, down from -4 in February.
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