“At this stage, our best estimate is that the region’s GDP will have contracted by 0.1 percent in the first three months of the year”
– Chris Williamson, chief economist at survey compiler Markit
The euro zone retail sector expanded in January, compared to the previous month. Retail sales rose 0.3 per cent, after declining 0.5 per cent in December, announced the European statistical agency (Eurostat) on Monday.
“The momentum that we’ve been generating in the economy is starting to broaden”
– Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Inc.
U.S. service sector expanded in February at a fastest pace in a year. The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) advanced to 57.3 from 56.8 in January, said the Institute for Supply Management on Monday. Reading above 50.0 indicates industry expansion.
“Despite seeing some loss of momentum in February, the service sector continued to grow at a robust pace, adding to signs that a double-dip recession will be avoided”
– Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit
U.K. service sector expanded in February at slower pace, compared to January. The Markit/Cips services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 53.8 from 56.0 in January, said the Markit research agency on Monday. Reading above 50.0 indicates industry expansion.
“Even though the Greek problem is pretty much taken care of, it’s a never-ending story”
– John Plassard, director at Louis Capital Markets SA
Swiss retail sal es rose 4.4 per cent in January from the same period last year, said the Federal Statistical Office on Monday.
“Japanese stocks have had a strong rally and technical indicators suggest some overheating”
– Yumi Nishimura, analyst at Daiwa Securities Group Inc.
Japanese stocks ended Monday’s session lower as a strengthening yen dimmed the outlook for exporters.
“Having topped up at around $1.35, the euro is likely to drift lower with the new range likely to be at $1.25-1.30”
– Standard Bank (based on CNBC)
Even though an uptrend support at 1.3168 has managed to underpin the pair, rallies are unlikely to extend above 1.3322. Bearish outlook persists, pushing EUR/USD down to 1.2974/54 en route to 1.2624.
“Buying the euro makes no sense”
– FX Prime Corp. (based on Bloomberg)
For now EUR/JPY gravitates to 106.85 (200 day ma) and is expected to trade flat. Additional support levels are situated at 106.02 and 105.72 and should contain possible dips. Resistances may by found at 108.75 and 109.38/58.
“If we get a whole quarter with [UK] PMI around 54 then we can write off the risk of recession”
– Danske Bank (Reuters)
After bouncing off a formidable resistance line at 1.6000 the Cable is now headed southwards. The initial target lies at 1.5765, followed by 1.5650/43. The long-term outlook is thus negative.
“The path of least resistance is upward for dollar yen”
– FX Solutions (based on CNBC)
USD/JPY is currently struggling at 81.49/63, though it is unlikely to drop lower as long as a support at 80.57/22 is not violated. In the long run we are likely to observe further rally of the currency pair up to 83.80.
“[Should Greece’s deal falter], we might see a more pronounced negative reaction in stocks and a rally in the dollar”
– RBC Capital Markets (based on WSJ)
Bullish momentum USD/CHF did not weaken, increasing the likelihood of additional gains for the currency couple in the nearest future. The first target is 0.9259 (55 day ma), while the subsequent levels are at 0.9304 and 0.9340.
Halifax: a repeat rate offender
Halifax is already a convicted sinner as far as customers of its standard variable rate mortgages are concerned. When the lender said last week it would raise the cap on its SVR to 4.25%, it shocked some customers, but for many it was more of the same scandalous rate manipulation of old.
Obama, Netanyahu give no sign of narrowing gap on Iran
President Barack Obama appealed to Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to give sanctions time to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but the Israeli prime minister offered no sign of backing away from possible military action, saying his country must be the “master of its fate.”
Australia Holds Key Rate as EU Crisis Lingers
Australia’s central bank reiterated it has scope to cut interest rates as Europe remains a potential source of shocks “for some time yet,” sending the nation’s currency to the lowest level in 1 1/2 weeks.