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    FX News Today

    RBA leaves rates on hold: The Reserve Bank of Australia has left interest rates on hold for the 11th straight month, despite growing unease about a stubbornly high Australian dollar. The official overnight cash rate target has been left at 2 per cent, where it has been since last being cut in May 2015. The Reserve Bank has attempted to lift expectations that the bank may cut rates, with its governor Glenn Stevens warning that a rising Australian dollar could push it to cutting rates again. “The Australian dollar has appreciated somewhat recently. In part, this reflects some increase in commodity prices, but monetary developments elsewhere in the world have also played a role,” he wrote in his post-meeting statement. Financial markets are pricing in around a one-in-three chance of rates falling next month, with a 50 per cent chance of a cut by August. AUDUSD is currently trading at 0.7600, having been as high as 0.7620.

    European Outlook: Asian stock markets outside of mainland China were under pressure, with the Nikkei underperforming. US and European stock futures are also lower, as risk aversion continues to weigh on markets and oil prices settle below USD 36 per barrel. The RBA kept policy on hold, but left the door open for easing steps as it sends a warning on the strong AUD. The RBI cut rates by 25 bp, also as expected. The European calendar has German manufacturing orders at the start of the session, followed by the final reading of the Eurozone Services PMI and the UK. Services PMI.

    Minneapolis Fed’s Kashkari sees moderate growth: As his outlook for the U.S. economy and views current monetary policy as “about right.” He also noted that it is compelling that the U.S. labor force participation rate is on the rise as he wants to keep putting people back to work as long as inflation stays below the Fed’s goal. “That’s a good thing and we should let that process continue while inflation is running below our target,” he noted. Sounds like he’ll be in Yellen’s dovish camp, barring any unexpected jump in inflation. A little less controversial than the his start as a regional Fed president by critiquing banks for still being too big to fail. Kashkari was speaking at a symposium on banking regulation.

    US factory orders dropped 1.7% in February: After a revised 1.2% January gain (was 1.6%). Though the headline decline wasn’t as weak as projected, weakness was broad-based and this doesn’t bode well for growth. Durable goods were revised down to a 3.0% decline from -2.8% previously. Transportation orders fell 6.2%. Excluding transportation, orders were down 1.3% compared to a 1.4% gain previously (revised from 1.7%). Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft slid 2.5% from 3.3 (revised from a 3.4% increase). Shipments dropped 0.7%, with nondefense capital goods shipments excluding aircraft falling 1.7% from -1.4% (revised from -0.4%). Inventories declined 0.4% from -0.5% in January. The inventory-shipment ratio was steady at 1.37 (January was revised up from 1.36).


    Main Macro Events Today

    • U.S. Non-Manufacturing ISM

    The March ISM-NMI is out later today to close out the March producer sentiment readings. We expect the headline to improve to 54.0 (median 54.1) from 53.4 in February The already released ISM improved to 51.8 from 49.5 and other major measures all improved as well. Broadly, we expect the ISM-adjusted measure of all measures to pop to 52 for the month after holding at 49 in the two months prior.

    • Eurozone Services PMI  

    The Eurozone PMI Services PMI is also released today and no change to previous months 53.7 reading is expected. German figures are expected to remain resilient at 55.5 whilst French figures are expected to remain the weakest of the reporting countries at 51.2.


    Please note that times displayed based on local time zone and are from time of writing this report.

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    Stuart Cowell

    Market Analyst  


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    Please note that times displayed based on local time zone and are from time of writing this report.

    Click here to access the full HotForex Economic calendar.

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