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02 Mar 2015

Dollar strengthens again despite yet more disappointing data

United States Dollar: UK Manufacturing PMI was released yesterday morning and printed slightly stronger than market expectations, giving GBP/USD a small boost. The data showed that UK manufacturing growth accelerated in February at its fastest level in seven months as the index came in at 54.1. Cable popped to a high of 1.5420 but that was about as high as it could manage and the pair gradually slipped as the day went on. It was mostly a result of broad dollar strength, odd given the run of poor economic data recently. This trend continued yesterday as February’s US ISM Manufacturing PMI printed at 52.9 vs. expectations for 53.4. Other data released at the same time, including construction spending, was also disappointing but it was shrugged off as the dollar bids gained momentum. There was also a feeling that these recent sets of data may have printed far worse and so we’ve seen a bit of a relief rally in the USD. GBP/USD fell to a low of 1.5353 late yesterday afternoon, but it’s so far found support here and opens this morning at 1.5380. Attention today will turn to UK Construction PMI. Half an hour later, BoE Governor Carney is due to speak, testifying on the currency probe before the Treasury Select Committee. There isn’t much by way of data from the US but Fed Chair Yellen is due to speak much later tonight at an awards dinner in New York.

We expect a range today in the GBP/USD rate of 1.5310 to 1.5420

Euro: EUR/USD has remained on the back foot for most of the last 24 hours. However, it did rally yesterday morning following a run of positive data releases including German Manufacturing PMI and a firmer European CPI Flash Estimate. The currency pair traded to a high of 1.1238 during the mid-morning session, but like GBP/USD, it gradually lost ground throughout the afternoon on Monday as the US dollar strengthened across the board. It dropped to a low of 1.1175, having bounced off of this level a couple of times in the last 12 hours or so, and opens this morning at 1.1190. Stronger than expected Eurozone data released already this morning has failed to provide much by way of support to the single currency either; German Retail Sales and Spanish Unemployment have both beaten market forecasts.

We expect a range today in the GBP/EUR rate of 1.3680 to 1.3780

Aussie and Kiwi Dollars: AUD/USD bounced higher overnight after the RBA announced that they would be leaving interest rates on hold. Ahead of the announcement there were growing expectations that the central bank would cut, so the fact that they didn’t was a positive surprise for the local unit. AUD/USD gapped higher from .7765 to .7822 and went on to trade to a high of .7840. The bank did however strongly suggest that a rate cut would be on the cards again over the coming months but it failed to temper demand for the aussie dollar. NZD/USD has tracked its cousin higher and it opens in London at .7540. GBP/AUD and GBP/NZD are therefore slightly lower this morning and trade at 1.9650 and 2.0375 respectively.

We expect a range today in the GBP/AUD rate of 1.9500 to 1.9750

We expect a range today in the GBP/NZD rate of 2.0280 to 2.0460

Data Releases

AUD: AIG Services Index, GDP q/q

EUR: PPI m/m

GBP: Construction PMI, BOE Gov Carney Speaks

NZD: No data

USD: IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism, Fed Chair Yellen Speaks

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