Currency markets are generally choppy but rangebound today, with the exception of Sterling which headed sharply lower following comments from EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier which showed a significant divergence between the position of the EU and the UK over the ongoing Brexit negotiations. Elsewhere the dollar is firm against the EU majors and the commodity currencies but under pressure against the Yen. Stocks were pretty much steady until the end of the session when they quickly gave up 1%-1.5%. The metals are rangebound but oil is trading lower (-1%) after the US EIA reported in its weekly update that crude oil inventories increased by 3.0 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 23, above expectations for a gain of around 2.4 million.
Thursday will begin a busy Asian session, with the NZ Terms of Trade, the Australian AIG Performance of Mfg Index for February and the CAPEX data for Q4 all due, while Japan will have the Nikkei Mfg PMI and China will see the Caixin China Manufacturing PMI for February. Europe, the UK and the US will then follow on with the Markit Mfg PMIs alongside which we get the EU Unemployment for January and the UK Consumer Credit/Mortgage Approvals, also for January. It will be another busy day in the US, with the PCE Deflator, Personal Consumption/Expenditure Index, ISM/Prices Paid figures and the Construction Spending data for February all due for release.
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