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23.01.2021
02:51 AM


Dollar Rebounds, Firms Up Against Peers

The U.S. Dollar firmed up against most of its peers on Friday, as worries about growth amid continued surge in coronavirus cases and tighter lockdown restrictions in several countries lifted the currency's safe-haven appeal.

The dollar's strength was also due to possibility of Joe Biden's aid package failing to get the approval of the Senate Republicans.

On the economic front, a report from the National Association of Realtors showed an unexpected rebound in existing home sales in the month of December.

NAR said existing home sales climbed by 0.7% to an annual rate of 6.76 million in December after tumbling by 2.2% to a revised rate of 6.71 million in November.

The rebound surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to slump by 2.1% to a rate of 6.55 million from the 6.69 million originally reported for the previous month.

The dollar index rose to 90.31 from a low of 90.05 it touched in the Asian session, was at 90.22 a little while ago, gaining about 0.1%.

Against the Euro, the dollar was down slightly at $1.2172 recovering from an early low of $1.2190. Better-than-expected German PMI data supported the Euro.

The Pound Sterling was weak against the dollar, fetching $1.2684 a unit, after having closed at $1.3731 on Thursday. Weak U.K. retail sales and PMI data, as well as concerns over the looming border closure to prevent the spread of new coronavirus variant weighed on the British currency.

The Yen was down at 103.76 a dollar, compared with 103.49 a dollar Thursday evening.

The Aussie was weak against the dollar at U.S$ 0.7714, as against US$ 0.7764. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that Australia's retail sales tumbled a seasonally adjusted 4.2% on month in December - coming in at A$30.324 billion. That missed expectations for a decline of 2.5% following the 7.1% jump in November.

The Swiss franc was flat 0.8855 a dollar, while the Loonie was at 1.2733 a dollar, giving up about 0.75%. data from Statistics Canada showed retail sales in Canada increased by 1.3% month-over-month in November of 2020, beating market forecasts for a rise of 0.1%. Compared to sales in November 2019, retail Sales increased 7.5% percent in November 2020.


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23.01.2021
12:31 AM


Treasuries Move Higher Amid Uncertainty About Relief Package

After ending the previous session modestly lower, treasuries moved back to the upside during the trading day on Friday.

Bond prices moved higher early in the session and remained positive throughout the day. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, slipped 1.8 basis points at 1.091 percent.

Treasuries benefited from their appeal as a safe haven amid uncertainty about President Joe Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

Moderate Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski have both expressed skepticism about more stimulus.

Romney and Murkowski both pointed to the recently approved $900 billion stimulus and raised questions about whether more relief is needed.

Democrats could attempt to pass a new stimulus bill without Republican support by the so-called reconciliation process, which only requires a majority.

However, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has also expressed concerns about the cost of increasing the size of direct payments to individuals to $2,000 from $600.

Traders largely shrugged off a report from the National Association of Realtors showing an unexpected rebound in existing home sales in the month of December.

NAR said existing home sales climbed by 0.7 percent to an annual rate of 6.76 million in December after tumbling by 2.2 percent to a revised rate of 6.71 million in November.

The rebound surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to slump by 2.1 percent to a rate of 6.55 million from the 6.69 million originally reported for the previous month.

With the unexpected monthly increase, existing home sales in December were up by 22.2 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

"Home sales rose in December, and for 2020 as a whole, we saw sales perform at their highest levels since 2006, despite the pandemic," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.

He added, "What's even better is that this momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market."

The Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision may attract attention next week along with reports on consumer confidence, durable goods orders, new home sales, and personal income and spending.

Bond traders are also likely to keep an eye on the results of the Treasury Department's auctions of two-year, five-year and seven-year notes.


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23.01.2021
12:16 AM


Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower As Crude Inventories Rise

Crude oil prices slid on Friday after data showed a notable rise in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended January 15, and rising coronavirus cases and lockdown measures in several places raised concerns about outlook for energy demand.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended lower by $0.86 or about 1.6% at $52.27 a barrel. Gold futures shed about 0.2% in the week.

Data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) this morning showed crude oil stockpiles increased by 4.4 million barrels last week, after falling by 3.2 million barrels a week earlier.

The EIA report said gasoline inventory fell by 300,000 barrels last week, compared to a 4.4 million barrel build in the previous week.

Gasoline production averaged 8.9 million bpd last week, which compared with 7.5 million bpd in the first week of January, the data showed.

According to a report from Baker Hughes, the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose for a ninth straight week, increasing by 2 to 289 this week.

The total active U.S. rig count, which includes those drilling for natural gas, rose by 5 to 378, Baker Hughes said.


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22.01.2021
11:48 PM


Gold Futures Settle Lower

Gold prices drifted lower on Friday as the dollar gained in strength, rebounding from recent losses. Higher bond yields too weighed on gold prices.

However, continued optimism about further stimulus from Joe Biden administration supported the bullion and limited its downside.

The dollar index, which fell to 90.05 in the Asian session, emerged into positive territory swiftly, and stayed mostly higher as the session progressed. It was last seen at 90.20, up 0.08% from previous close.

Gold futures for February ended down $9.70 or about 0.5% at $1,856.20 an ounce. Gold futures gained about 1.4% in the week.

Silver futures for March ended down $0.298 at $25.556 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $3.6260 per pound, down $0.0215 from previous close.

In economic news, a report released by the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly rebounded in the month of December, climbing by 0.7% to an annual rate of 6.76 million. In November, home sales had tumbled by 2.2% to a revised rate of 6.71 million.

The rebound surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to slump by 2.1% to a rate of 6.55 million from the 6.69 million originally reported for the previous month.


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22.01.2021
08:01 PM


*U.S. Crude Oil Inventories Increase 4.4 Million Barrels In Week Ended 1/15

U.S. Crude Oil Inventories Increase 4.4 Million Barrels In Week Ended 1/15


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22.01.2021
07:27 PM


U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Climb 0.7% In December

Existing home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly rebounded in the month of December, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Friday.

NAR said existing home sales climbed by 0.7 percent to an annual rate of 6.76 million in December after tumbling by 2.2 percent to a revised rate of 6.71 million in November.

The rebound surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to slump by 2.1 percent to a rate of 6.55 million from the 6.69 million originally reported for the previous month.

With the unexpected monthly increase, existing home sales in December were up by 22.2 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

"Home sales rose in December, and for 2020 as a whole, we saw sales perform at their highest levels since 2006, despite the pandemic," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.

He added, "What's even better is that this momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market."

The report said the existing home price for all housing types was $309,800 in December, up 2.9 percent year-over-year.

Housing inventory at the end of December totaled 1.07 million units, down 16.4 percent from November. The unsold inventory represents an all-time low of 1.9 months of supply at the current sales pace.

Looking ahead, Yun expects to see a continuation of the strong activity that's currently taking place in the housing market and in the overall economy.

"Although mortgage rates are projected to increase, they will continue to hover near record lows at around 3%," Yun said.

He added, "Moreover, expect economic conditions to improve with additional stimulus forthcoming and vaccine distribution already underway."

Next Thursday, the Commerce Department is expected to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of December.

Economists currently expect new home sales to jump by 2.7 percent in December after plunging by 11.0 percent in November.


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22.01.2021
07:00 PM


*U.S. Existing Home Sales Climb 0.7% In December

U.S. Existing Home Sales Climb 0.7% In December


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22.01.2021
05:33 PM


Loonie Little Changed After Canada Retail Sales

Following the release of Canada retail sales for November at 8:30 am ET Friday, the loonie changed little against its major counterparts.

The loonie was trading at 1.5458 against the euro, 81.70 against the yen, 0.9794 against the aussie and 1.2709 against the greenback around 8:32 am ET.


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22.01.2021
05:30 PM


*Canadian Retail Sales Jump 1.3% In November

Canadian Retail Sales Jump 1.3% In November


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22.01.2021
05:25 PM


Loonie Mixed Ahead Of Canada Retail Sales

Canada retail sales for November are due from Statistics Canada at 8:30 am ET Friday. Ahead of the data, the loonie traded mixed against its major counterparts. While the loonie dropped against the greenback, it was steady against the rest of major rivals.

The loonie was worth 1.5460 against the euro, 81.64 against the yen, 0.9800 against the aussie and 1.2714 against the greenback at 8:25 am ET.


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22.01.2021
04:59 PM


UK Budget Deficit Surges On Covid-19 Support Schemes

The UK budget deficit surged to the third highest level on record in December as the government stepped up measures to support households and businesses amid the pandemic, official data revealed Friday.

Public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, totaled GBP 34.1 billion in December, which was GBP 28.2 billion more than in the same period last year, the Office for National Statistics reported.

This was both the highest December borrowing and the third-highest borrowing in any month since monthly records began in 1993.

Government incurred GBP 10 billion additional expenditure on coronavirus job support schemes. Altogether, government spent GBP 86.2 billion on day-to-day activities in December.

Meanwhile, central government tax receipts fell GBP 1.4 billion to GBP 43.6 billion in December.

December's jump in borrowing is likely to set the tone for the next few months as the third Covid-19 lockdown keeps many businesses closed and will only increase talk of how to pay for the crisis, Thomas Pugh, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

However, the economist said Chancellor Rishi Sunak should resist the urge to try to reduce the budget deficit at the next Budget on March 3, and instead focus on continuing to support those areas of the economy that need it.

During April to December period, PSNB increased by GBP 212.7 billion from the same period last year to GBP 270.8 billion, the highest deficit in any April to December period since 1993.

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility had earlier estimated a deficit of GBP 393.5 billion for the financial year ending March 2021.

The ONS said extra funding required to support government coronavirus support schemes combined with reduced cash receipts and a fall in GDP have all helped push public sector net debt as a ratio of GDP to levels last seen in the early 1960s.

In the first nine months of the financial year, public sector net debt reached GBP 2,131.7 billion, or around 99.4 percent of GDP.


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22.01.2021
04:54 PM


Pound Slides Amid Weak U.K. Retail Sales Data, Border Closure Worries

The pound lost ground against its key counterparts in the European session on Friday, weighed by weak U.K. retail sales and PMI data, as well as concerns over the looming border closure to prevent the spread of new coronavirus variant.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that UK retail sales recovered in December but the pace of growth was much slower than expected.

The retail sales volume gained 0.3 percent month-on-month, reversing a 4.1 percent decline seen in November. However, the pace of growth was weaker than the economists forecast of +1.2 percent.

On a yearly basis, retail sales growth improved to 2.9 percent from 2.1 percent in November. Economists had forecast an annual growth of 4 percent.

Another report showed that the U.K. budget deficit widened to the third highest level on record in December.

Public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, totaled GBP 34.1 billion in December, which was GBP 28.2 billion more than in the same period last year.

This was both the highest December borrowing and the third-highest borrowing in any month since monthly records began in 1993.

Survey results from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed that the UK private sector logged a renewed downturn in January as the third lockdown dampened the services economy and trimmed the manufacturing growth.

The flash composite output index fell sharply to an eight-month low of 40.6 in January from 50.4 in December. The score was forecast to rise to 50.7.

U.K. cabinet minister George Eustice said that the government is mulling full border closure to avoid new strains of virus being spread in the country.

"There is concern at the moment at the number of mutant strains ... concerns that there's a risk that one day there will be a strain that might be able to evade the vaccine," Eustice told Sky News.

The pound reached 1.3652 against the greenback, falling from a high of 1.3736 seen at 7:00 pm ET. Further decline in the pound may find support near the 1.34 mark.

The pound dropped to 141.51 against the yen, after a gain to 142.20 at 7:15 pm ET. Should the pound slides further, 138.00 is likely seen as its next support level.

The pound weakened to 1.2079 against the franc, registering a 3-day low. The pair had closed yesterday's deals at 1.2151. The pound may locate support around the 1.185 mark.

The U.K. currency was down against the euro, at a 3-day low of 0.8916. At yesterday's close, the pair was valued at 0.8858. The pound is poised to challenge support around the 0.90 mark.

Flash data from IHS Markit showed that Eurozone private sector activity contracted at an accelerated pace in January amid the ongoing pandemic and related restrictions.

The composite output index declined to 47.5 in January from 49.1 in December. The score was seen at 47.6.

Looking ahead, Canada retail sales for November and U.S. existing home sales for December are set for release in the New York session.


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22.01.2021
04:26 PM


Italy Construction Output Grows In November

Italy's construction output rose for the first time in three months in November, data from the statistical office ISTAT showed on Friday.

The construction output rose a seasonally adjusted 1.7 percent month-on-month in November, after an 2.0 percent fall in October.

On a yearly basis, the construction output grew a working day adjusted 7.2 percent in November, following a 1.4 percent rise in the prior month.

On an unadjusted basis, the construction output surged 10.9 percent annually in November, after an 2.0 percent decline in the prior month.

In the January to November period, the construction output dropped an unadjusted 8.6 percent and fell 8.9 on a calendar-adjusted basis.


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22.01.2021
04:02 PM


Eurozone Private Sector Activity Decline Deepens In January

Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, euro area private sector activity contracted at an accelerated pace in January as factory output growth weakened to a seven-month low and services output dropped for the fifth straight month, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed on Friday.

The composite output index declined to 47.5 in January from 49.1 in December. The score was seen at 47.6.

The reading signaled the third successive contraction and the steepest deterioration since November. Nonetheless, the economic impact of the second wave of infections has so far been less severe than in the first wave.

"A double-dip recession for the eurozone economy is looking increasingly inevitable as tighter COVID19 restrictions took a further toll on businesses in January," Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said.

The survey adds to the view that the eurozone will see a soft start to 2021, but that the economy should pick up momentum again as the vaccine roll out gathers pace, the economist noted.

The rate of factory output growth weakened to the slowest since the recovery began and the service sector saw output fall at the second-fastest rate since May.

At 45.0, the services Purchasing Managers' Index dropped from 46.4 in December but the reading was above consensus forecast of 44.5.

The factory PMI fell to 54.7 from 55.2 in the previous month. The expected level was 54.5.

Business activity growth in Germany waned to the slowest since the recovery began in July, but the sustained expansion contrasted with output falling at quicker rates in France and the rest of the Eurozone as a whole.

Germany's flash composite output index fell to 50.8 in January from 52.0 in December. However, the reading was above the economists' forecast of 50.3.

German services activity dropped for the fourth straight month and manufacturing output remained in growth territory though it dipped to a five-month low.

The services PMI came in at 46.8, down from 47.0 in the prior month. The expected level was 45.3. At the same time, the manufacturing PMI dropped to a 4-month low of 57.0 from 58.3 in December, but was above the forecast of 57.5.

The French private sector logged a faster contraction in January partially driven by the imposition of stricter Covid-19 curfews.

The composite output index slid to 47.0 from 49.5 in the previous month. The expected score was 49.0.

Service providers registered a sharper decline compared to December, while manufacturers reported a fresh downturn following a moderate expansion last month.

The services PMI fell to 46.5 from 49.1 in December, and also below the forecast of 48.5. Meanwhile, the manufacturing PMI rose unexpectedly to 51.5 from 51.1 a month ago. The score was seen easing to 50.5.


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22.01.2021
03:46 PM


Taiwan Jobless Rate Falls In December

Taiwan's jobless rate fell marginally in December, figures from the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics showed on Friday.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate decreased to 3.76 percent in December from 3.77 percent in November.

On an unadjusted basis, the unemployment rate declined to 3.68 percent in December from 3.75 percent a month ago.

Data showed that the number of unemployed decreased by 9,000 or 1.96 percent from the previous month to 440,000.

The labor force participation rate fell marginally to 59.14 percent in December from 59.15 percent in November.


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22.01.2021
03:45 PM


Ireland Wholesale Prices Fall Further

Ireland's wholesale prices declined further in December, data from the Central Statistics Office showed on Friday.

Wholesale prices decreased 14.5 percent annually in December, following a 10.7 percent decline in November.

On a monthly basis, wholesale prices fell 4.1 percent in December, following a 2.8 percent drop in the previous month.

Prices for export sales decreased by 4.2 percent monthly in December and fell 14.9 percent from a year ago.

Prices for home sales rose 0.1 percent in December and declined 1.4 percent from the previous year.


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22.01.2021
03:39 PM


Latvia Producer Prices Decline Slows In December

Latvia's producer prices declined December, albeit at a softer pace, figures from the Central Statistical Bureau showed on Friday.

The producer price index fell 0.3 percent year-on-year in December, following a 0.9 percent decrease in November.

Among components, prices of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply declined 6.7 percent annually in December and prices for mining and quarrying decreased 1.0 percent.

Meanwhile, prices for manufacturing rose 1.0 percent and those of water supply grew 1.7 percent.

On a month-on-month basis, producer prices rose by 0.2 percent in December.

Domestic market prices rose 0.1 percent monthly in December and foreign market prices increased by 0.3 percent.


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22.01.2021
03:37 PM


Poland Producer Prices Steady In December

Poland's producer prices remained stable in December, data from Statistics Poland showed on Friday.

The producer price index remained unchanged year-on-year in December, after a 0.2 percent decline in November. Economists had expected a 0.1 percent fall.

Prices for manufacturing declined 0.9 percent yearly in December.

Meanwhile, prices for mining and quarrying accelerated 8.4 percent. Prices for water supply and electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply gained 6.1 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.

On a monthly basis, producer prices remained unchanged in December, after a 0.2 percent rise in the preceding month.


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22.01.2021
03:36 PM


*Ireland Dec Wholesale Prices -4.1% On Month Vs. -2.8% In November

Ireland Dec Wholesale Prices -4.1% On Month Vs. -2.8% In November


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22.01.2021
03:35 PM


*Ireland Dec Wholesale Prices -14.5% On Year Vs. -10.7% In November

Ireland Dec Wholesale Prices -14.5% On Year Vs. -10.7% In November


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22.01.2021
03:33 PM


Poland Retail Sales Fall More Than Expected

Poland's retail sales declined more than expected in December, figures from Statistics Poland showed on Friday.

Retail sales fell 0.8 percent year-on-year in December, after a 5.7 percent growth in the same month last year. Economists had expected a 0.7 percent decline.

Sales of textiles, clothing, footwear decreased 10.9 percent yearly in December. Sales of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels, and motor vehicles, motorcycles, parts declined 10.3 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.

Sales of newspapers, books, other sale in specialized stores fell 2.2 percent and those of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, orthopedic equipment and others fell by 0.9 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.

On a monthly basis, retail sales accelerated 19.8 percent in December.

In the January to December period, retail sales decreased 3.1 percent from a year ago.

At current prices, retail sales declined 0.8 percent annually in December.


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22.01.2021
03:33 PM


*Italy November Construction Output Up 10.9% Y/Y

Italy November Construction Output Up 10.9% Y/Y


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22.01.2021
03:33 PM


*Italy November Construction Output Up 1.7% M/M

Italy November Construction Output Up 1.7% M/M


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22.01.2021
03:30 PM


UK Private Sector Contracts Most Since May

The UK private sector logged a renewed downturn in January as the third lockdown dampened the services economy and trimmed the manufacturing growth, flash survey results from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed Friday.

The flash composite output index fell sharply to an eight-month low of 40.6 in January from 50.4 in December.

Moreover, a reading below 50 indicates contraction. The score was forecast to rise to 50.7. Nonetheless, the speed of the downturn in the private sector output was softer than at the start of the pandemic.

"A steep slump in business activity in January puts the lockeddown UK economy on course to contract sharply in the first quarter of 2021, meaning a double-dip recession is on the cards," Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said.

The composite PMI points to a fall in GDP in January of about 5 percent month-on-month, Ruth Gregory, an economist at Capital Economics, said. This suggests that the fall in GDP in January could be almost double the size of November's 2.6 percent decline, the economist noted. Although that drop would be mild in the context of the 18.8 percent monthly decline seen during the first lockdown in April 2020.

The service economy was hard-hit by restrictions on trade and reduced consumer spending at the start of the year. At the same time, the manufacturing sector grew at the slowest pace since mid 2020.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index plunged unexpectedly to 38.8 from 49.4 a month ago. The expected level was 49.9.

At 52.9, the manufacturing PMI dropped to a seven-month low from 57.5 in December and was much weaker than the expected reading of 57.3.

Lower levels of new orders, reduced employment and a swift depletion of pre-production inventories were the main factors weighing on the headline manufacturing PMI. There was a shortage of critical manufacturing inputs due to Brexit disruptions and a severe lack of international shipping availability.

At the composite level, volumes of new work decreased for the fourth consecutive month in January due to weak consumer spending.

Strong cost pressures persisted at the start of 2021, with the overall rate of inflation holding close to December's 11-month peak.

Higher operating expenses, squeezed margins and lower demand also contributed to a moderate acceleration in the pace of private sector job shedding in January. Driven by vaccine roll-out, business expectations for the next 12 months picked up slightly since December, reaching its highest since May 2014.


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22.01.2021
03:16 PM


Euro Advances After Better-than-expected German PMI Data

The euro drifted higher against its major counterparts in the European session on Friday, as a data showed that German PMI beat forecasts in January, signaling a recovery in economic activity from the Covid-19 crisis.

Flash survey results from IHS Markit showed that German services Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 46.8, versus expectations of 45.3.

The flash composite output index fell to 50.8 in January from 52.0 in December. However, the reading was above the economists' forecast of 50.3.

The manufacturing PMI dropped to a 4-month low of 57.0 from 58.3 in December, but was above the forecast of 57.5.

The dollar has been falling over the last few weeks, lifting the euro.

Hopes of increased stimulus under the Biden's administration have prompted investors to dump the safe-haven greenback.

The euro appreciated to an 8-day high of 126.33 against the yen and a 9-day high of 1.2190 against the greenback, compared to Thursday's closing values of 125.88 and 1.2162, respectively. The euro is likely to challenge resistance around 127.5 against the yen and 1.24 against the greenback.

The euro spiked up to a 3-day high of 1.5464 against the loonie, 2-day high of 1.6957 versus the kiwi and a 10-day high of 1.5779 against the aussie, up from yesterday's closing values of 1.5363, 1.6841 and 1.5653, respectively. The next possible resistance for the euro is seen around 1.56 against the loonie, 1.74 versus the kiwi and 1.62 against the aussie.

The euro rose to a 3-day high of 0.8916 against the pound from Thursday's close of 0.8858. The euro is seen facing resistance around the 0.92 mark.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that UK retail sales recovered in December but the pace of growth was much slower than expected.

The retail sales volume gained 0.3 percent month-on-month, reversing a 4.1 percent decline seen in November. However, the pace of growth was weaker than the economists forecast of +1.2 percent.

The European currency edged up to 1.0777 against the franc, after falling to 1.0761 at 5:00 pm ET. On the upside, 1.10 is likely seen as its next resistance level.

Looking ahead, Canada retail sales for November and U.S. existing home sales for December are set for release in the New York session.


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