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STERLING IN FOR A BUSY WEEK

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Later in the week we have the latest Bank of England meeting, no changes in policy are expected

After a quiet week last week for both UK economic data releases and in the movement of sterling, we are in for a much busier week this week when it comes to UK economic data releases.

I suspect we will also see some larger movements for sterling.

Today we have the release of the Purchasing Managers Index for the Service sector for March.

A slight improvement is forecast; any variation will be disruptive as this is a key sector for the UK economy. Later in the week we have the latest Bank of England meeting, no changes in policy are expected, and on Friday a raft of output figures for February for construction, manufacturing and industry are released. In the background we have the General Election entering the last month before the vote – uncertainty in the outcome is not going to be supportive of sterling strength.

Euro still “controlled” by the Greek debt problem. Greece and its debt problems continue to be the centre of attention. On the whole the rhetoric is positive but until all is agreed it is very difficult to predict the actual outcome.

Otherwise the euro enjoyed a steady week last week with no major movements. Today we have the release of the March Eurozone Purchasing Managers Index for the Service Sector which is expected to hold steady.

Similar to the UK we then have a raft of data covering output for industry and manufacturing for the Eurozone released towards the end of the week. If the Greek debt problem doesn’t blow we could see some confidence return to the Eurozone economy and possibly the euro. US Dollar survives disappointing employment figures Fridays big event was the Non-farm payroll figures.

After a period of exceeding expectations this came in much lower than expectations. Was this a surprise, probably not, as we had already seen economic data releases on a downward curve for the last few weeks. The strength of the dollar has certainly been hurting US exports and the removal of the quantitative easing programme has also reduced the “adrenalin rush” that had powered the US economy over the last few years.

The likelihood of an increase in US interest rates happening soon seems to be receding. Although we saw some weakness for the US dollar it wasn’t significant.

This week, we will see the release of the Federal Reserve meeting minutes on Wednesday, which should show a detailed report of their most recent meeting. With various members recently showing mixed signs of a preferred time for a rate hike, it will be interesting to see where the majority sits and what figures they want on increased growth before agreeing to raise interest rates.

With the less significant weekly unemployment claims indicator on Thursday and import prices on Friday, we could be in for a quiet week. Polish Zloty Slides The zloty weakened after the central bank governor criticised a regulator’s proposal to allow holders of Swiss franc-denominated mortgages convert their debt into local currency at historical exchange rates, arguing that it would be ‘fatal’ for lenders.

Asian Currencies Advance as Dollar Falls Asian currencies are rallying on expectations that the US Federal Reserve may delay the interest rate increase as payroll data from the US shows concerns about the growth of the economy. Australia keeps interest rates on hold Australia surprised the markets by holding their interest rate at 2.25%.

Given some disappointing economic data there was an expectation that the rate would be cut. Perhaps next time

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