Euro strengthens Past $1.3900 ahead of U.S. Jobs Report

March 7, 2014

Markets continued to push the euro higher after the ECB dug in its heels against more stimulus.  Russian President likewise hasn’t stood down, fanning fear of a Russian assault in the Crimea.  U.S. and Canadian labor market and trade figures are due at 13:30 GMT.

The dollar lost 0.3% versus the euro is 0.4% weaker against the Swiss franc, kiwi and Aussie dollar.  The dollar dipped 0.1% against the yen and sterling but firmed 0.1% against the yuan and loonie.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Stevens drew a line in the sand, calling the USD 0.90 per A$ level too high.

Share prices rose 0.9% in Japan and 1.9% in India.  Stocks fell 0.2% in Hong Kong and China but climbed 0.3% in Australia and 0.2% in New Zealand.

In Europe, stocks are lower.  They are down 0.5% in Germany, 0.4% in Switzerland, 0.2% in France, Italy and Spain and 0.1% in Britain.

The ten-year Japanese JGB yield edged up a basis point, while its British counterpart dipped a basis point.  German bunds are steady.

Oil firmed 0.2% to $101.73 per barrel.  Gold slid 0.2% to $1,349.00 per ounce.

The Australian construction purchasing managers index fell another 4 points to 44.2 in February from readings of 48.2 in January, 50.8 in December and 55.2 in November.

Japanese international reserves jumped $11.138 billion last month following a $10.243 billion rise in January.  Reserves are $29.397 billion higher than a year ago.

Japan’s index of leading economic indicators rose 0.5 points to 112.2 in January, highest since November 2006.  The index of coincident economic indicators continued on an “improving trend,” with a rise of 2.5 points to 114.8, best since October 2008.

German industrial production advanced by 0.8% in January, thanks mainly to a 4.4% jump in construction.  Manufacturing output went up just 0.3% after a 0.2% gain in December as production of consumer goods fell by 1.2%.  Industrial production was 5.0% greater than in January 2013.

German wholesale prices dipped 0.1% on month and were 1.7% lower in January than a year earlier.  Mineral oil products dropped 1.4% on month and 4.8% on year. 

French producer prices dropped 1.6% on year in January, while Italian producer prices fell in that span by 1.5%.

Swiss consumer prices were 0.1% lower in February than a year earlier.  The Swiss jobless rate stayed at 3.2% in February.

The French trade deficit widened almost 10% to EUR 5.7 billion in January as exports (down 1.7% on month) fell more sharply than the 0.3% drop in imports.  Austria’s trade shortfall narrowed 14% to EUR 0.44 billion. 

Expected CPI inflation according to a Bank of England measure slowed sharply to 2.8% in February from 3.6% in January.  Actual inflation is even lower.  The British budget will be presented on March 19, the same day that Bank of England minutes will be released.

Icelandic GDP grew 0.3% on quarter and 3.8% on year last quarter.  Both rates were slower than in 3Q.

Danish industrial production fell 5.0% on year in January.  Irish industrial output was 1.4% softer than a year before in December.  Norwegian industrial production increased in January by 1.1% on month and 2.5% on year.

The Malaysian trade surplus narrowed 33% in January to MYR 6.3 billion.

In addition to the monthly jobs data, U.S. officials release consumer credit and the trade deficit today.  Besides trades and jobs, Canada will be reporting productivity.

Copyright 2014, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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