Gold gains on safe haven flows

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Today’s Economic events

  • Australia HPI q/q 0.20% vs. 0.10%
  • RBA Gov. Stevens speech
  • Japan flash manufacturing PMI 49.1 vs. 50.6
  • Japan all industries activity m/m 2.0% vs. 1.90%
  • Eurozone French flash manufacturing PMI 49.6 vs. 50.2; flash services PMI 51.2 vs. 49.5
  • German flash manufacturing PMI 50.4 vs. 50.9; flash services PMI 55.5 vs. 55.1
  • German Ifo business climate 106.7 vs. 106.1
  • Eurozone flash manufacturing PMI 51.4 vs. 51.4; flash services PMI 54.0 vs. 53.5
  • UK CPI y/y 0.30% vs. 0.40%; Core CPI y/y 1.20% vs. 1.20%
  • UK PPI Input m/m 0.10% vs. 0.40%; PPI output m/m 0.10% vs. 0.0%
  • German ZEW economic sentiment 4.3 vs. 6.3
  • Eurozone ZEW economic sentiment 10.6 vs. 8.2

Coming Up

  • US HPI
  • BoE Member Forbes speech
  • US Flash manufacturing PMI
  • US Richmond manufacturing index
  • Canada budget release

The Asian markets opened today with the Japanese Yen easing back in early trading session. The Nikkei225 closed the day with 1.94% gains while the Shanghai composite was down -0.60%. Data from the Asian session included Japanese flash manufacturing PMI which was softer at 49.1 against expectations of 50.6 while the all industries activity increased 2.0% above forecasts of 1.90%. USDJPY is down -0.24% for the day after prices posted a steady gain late yesterday evening.

AUDUSD is up 0.25% for the day after prices are attempting to regain some of the declines since last Friday. The Aussie was under pressure initially ahead of RBA Governor Stevens speech. However, giving an optimistic view of the Australian economy against a weaker China slowdown, the Aussie managed to stabilize. The home price index for the quarter increased 0.20%, more than the expected 0.10%. The NZDUSD is weak, down -0.38% at the time of writing. Prices are trading at 0.674, near a 3-day low with the steady downtrend intact.

In Europe, the markets were geared up for a busy session with flash manufacturing and services data. Overall, the Eurozone flash manufacturing managed to meet estimates, rising 51.4, while flash services PMI was modestly higher at 54, against expectations of 53.5. Data from Germany was also broadly positive with the Ifo business climate inching higher to 106.7 against expectations of 106.1. German ZEW economic sentiment, however, slipped to 4.3 below forecasts of 6.3, while the Eurozone ZEW economic sentiment surged to 10.6 above forecasts of 8.2.

The Euro was trading flat into the trading session but following news of an explosion at the Brussels airport and the underground saw the single currency slip. EURUSD is currently trading -0.11% on the day at 1.122 after prices managed to recover from session lows of 1.1197.

[Tweet “EURUSD is  trading -0.11% on the day at 1.122 after prices recovered from session lows of 1.1197”]

In the UK, inflation data was the focus but the numbers were weak. Headline inflation in the UK increased at a slower pace of 0.30% against expectations of 0.40% while core CPI was unchanged at 1.20% in February. The British Pound fell on the weak inflation data and the Brussels incident which has yet again brought to the forefront fears of a Brexit. GBPUSD is down -0.85% for the day, trading at 1.428 and is into its second day of declines.

European equity markets are all trading in the red with the German DAX down -0.37% while the London FTSE100 is down -0.47% at the time of writing.

The NY trading session is expected to be quiet with the exception of flash manufacturing PMI and home price index. US equity futures are pointing to a weaker open with the Dow Jones futures down -0.27% and the S&P500 futures down -0.38% ahead of the opening bell.

Later in the evening, Canada is expected to announce its budget under the new government which promises to include fiscal stimulus measures as well.

On the commodity front, Gold prices have gained as a flow to safe haven sent the precious metal above the $1250 handle. Gold is up 0.80% at the time of writing, trading at $1253 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are weaker today, down -0.58% at the time of writing, with prices trading close to $41 a barrel.


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