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08:30 UK M4 money supply (February) final -0.3% -0.9% 0.8%
08:30 UK M4 money supply (February) final Y/Y -1.5% -0.9% -1.7%
08:30 UK Consumer credit (February), bln 0.8 -0.2 -0.3
08:30 UK GDP (Q4) final -0.5% -0.6% -0.6%
08:30 UK GDP (Q4) final Y/Y 1.5% 1.5% 1.5%
08:30 UK Current account (Q4), bln -10.5 -10.5 -8.7 (-9.6)
The euro appreciated against the yen on speculation European Central Bank officials speaking today will reiterate their willingness to raise borrowing costs.
ECB council members Jozef Makuch and Yves Mersch are due to speak later today.
“The euro is squeezing up as people are concentrating again on the prospect of widening rate spreads,” said Jeremy Stretch at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. “There are expectations that the ECB comment we will get today from Mersch and Makuch will play in to the rate-hiking story.”
“The yen is weakening as expectations of monetary tightening at the other major central banks except the Bank of Japan are starting to build,” said Lee Hardman, a strategist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd..
Europe’s common currency has strengthened 5.2% versus the dollar this year, and 6.6% against the yen, as euro-region policy makers stiffened their anti-inflation stance.
The ECB will lift its main refinancing rate by 25 basis points to 1.25% at its April 7 meeting, according to the median estimate of economists.
The ECB’s rate will reach 1.75% by the end of this year, up from the current record low of 1%, while the U.S. Federal Reserve will lift rates in the first quarter of next year and the Bank of Japan will leaves its key interest rate unchanged, separate surveys show.
EUR/USD rose strongly to session highs on $1.4145/50 before offers on $1.4150/60 capped the rally and rate fell back to $1.450.
GBP/USD weakened after testing strong resistance at $1.6040 and currently holds around session lows on $1.5966.
USD/JPY held within the Y81.50/80 range before rising up to Y82.24.
US data starts at 1400GMT, when Conference Board consumer confidence is expected to fall to an index reading of 64.0 in March after jumping to a three-year high in February.
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