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00:30 Australia Retail sales (MoM) February +1.2% +0.4% +0.2%
00:30 Australia Retail Sales Y/Y February +6.2% +4.9%
00:30 Australia Trade Balance February 1.39 Revised From 1.43 0.82 1.20
01:00 China Non-Manufacturing PMI March 55.0 54.5
01:45 China HSBC Services PMI March 51.0 51.9
The dollar rose to a two-month high against the yen before U.S. data forecast to show services industries and nonfarm payrolls strengthened, supporting the case for the Federal Reserve to pare stimulus. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback against 10 major currencies, rose yesterday to the highest close in one week after a private report showed American companies increased hiring. U.S. companies increased payrolls by 191,000 last month, up from a revised 178,000, figures from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey, showed yesterday.
The euro was weaker versus most major peers before the European Central Bank sets policy today. ECB policy makers will keep their main refinancing rate at a record 0.25 percent today, according to all except three of 57 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. One sees a cut to 0.1 percent, while two call for a reduction to 0.15 percent. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said yesterday more monetary easing is needed in the currency bloc.
Australia’s dollar fell from a four-month high after growth in retail sales trailed economists’ estimate. In Australia, retail sales rose 0.2 percent in February from the previous month, when it gained 1.2 percent, a government report showed today. The median estimate was for a 0.3 percent increase. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens will speak in Brisbane today.
EUR / USD: during the Asian session the pair fell to $ 1.3755
GBP / USD: during the Asian session, the pair rose to $ 1.6660
USD / JPY: during the Asian session, the pair rose to Y104.10
The ECB policy decision and Mario Draghi's subsequent press conference will be the stand out feature in the European session Thursday, although the early release of the euro area services PMI number will give the central bank a pre-meet look at the region's economy. The euro area final services PMIs for March start at 0715GMT, with the release of the Spanish data, followed by the Italian data at 0745GMT, France at 0750GMT, Germany at 0755GMT and the amalgamated Eurozone data at 0900GMT. Overall, the PMIs are seen unchanged to a touch lower on the previous month's reading, although all above the 50 mark. German services are seen unchanged at 54, with the composite reading at 55. The eurozone services PMI is seen unchanged at 52.4, with the composite at 53.2. Further Euro area data is set for publication at 0900GMT, when the EMU February retail sales numbers cross the wires. Economists are looking for a fall of 0.5% on month and a year on year rise of 0.7%. The ECB is set to announce its policy decision at 1145GMT, to be followed at 1230GMT by President Mario Draghi's press conference. Late European data sees the French March INSEE economic outlook numbers released at 2000GMT.
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