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22.04.2021
09:44 PM


ECB's Lagarde Says Eurozone Economy May Resume Growth In Q2

The European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde on Thursday said the near term outlook for the euro area economy remained clouded with high uncertainty, but data suggest the single currency bloc could expand in the second quarter. "The near-term economic outlook remains clouded by uncertainty about the resurgence of the pandemic and the roll-out of vaccination campaigns," Lagarde said in the introductory statement to the post-decision press conference. "Incoming economic data, surveys and high-frequency indicators suggest that economic activity may have contracted again in the first quarter of this year, but point to a resumption of growth in the second quarter," she added. The ongoing pandemic, including the spread of virus mutations, and its implications for economic and financial conditions continued to be sources of downside risk for the Eurozone economy outlook, Lagarde said.

"Looking ahead, progress with vaccination campaigns and the envisaged gradual relaxation of containment measures underpin the expectation of a firm rebound in economic activity in the course of 2021," Lagarde said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Governing reconfirmed its very accommodative monetary policy stance, by leaving interest rates and the volume of asset purchases unchanged.

The ECB expects headline inflation to increase further in the coming months, but some volatility is expected throughout the year reflecting the changing dynamics of idiosyncratic and temporary factors, Lagarde said.

These factors can be expected to fade out of annual inflation rates early next year, she added.

Meanwhile, underlying price pressures are expected to remain subdued overall, due to economic slack and weak demand.


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22.04.2021
08:30 PM


Treasury Reveals Details Of 2-Year, 5-Year And 7-Year Note Auctions

The Treasury Department on Thursday announced the details of this month's auctions of two-year, five-year and seven-year notes.

The Treasury revealed its plans to sell $60 billion worth of two-year notes, $61 billion worth of five-year notes and $62 billion worth of seven-year notes.

The results of both the two-year and five-year note auctions will be announced next Monday, while the results of the seven-year note auction will be announced next Tuesday.

Last month, the Treasury also sold $60 billion worth of two-year notes, $61 billion worth of five-year notes and $62 billion worth of seven-year notes.

The two-year note auction attracted above average demand, but the five-year and seven-year note auctions attracted below average demand.


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22.04.2021
08:24 PM


Eurozone Consumer Confidence Improves For Third Month

Eurozone consumer confidence strengthened for a third straight month in April to its highest level in over a year, despite several countries having partial lockdowns to battle a resurgence in the coronavirus pandemic. The flash consumer confidence index rose to -8.1 from -10.8 in March, preliminary survey data from the European Commission showed Thursday. Economists had expected the reading to remain unchanged. The index reading was the highest since February 2020, when it was at 6.4. The confidence measure for the EU rose to -9.0 from -12.1 in the previous month. Both indicators were above their long-term averages of ?11.1 and -10.6, respectively.

The survey data was collected from April 1 to 22.


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22.04.2021
08:18 PM


Euro Advances As Lagarde Sees Firm Rebound In Economic Activity This Year

The euro spiked higher against its major trading partners in the European session on Thursday, after the European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde sounded optimistic about the bloc's economic outlook, saying that the progress in vaccinations and a gradual relaxation of containment measures should support an economic recovery during the course of the year.

In her press conference in Frankfurt, Lagarde said that the recovery in global demand and the fiscal stimulus are supporting global and euro area activity, although the near-term economic outlook remains clouded by uncertainty about the resurgence of the pandemic and the roll-out of vaccination campaigns.

The progress with vaccination campaigns, which should allow for a gradual relaxation of containment measures, should pave the way for a firm rebound in economic activity in the course of 2021, the ECB chief noted.

Over the medium term, the recovery of the euro area economy is likely to be driven by a recovery in domestic and global demand, supported by favourable financing conditions and fiscal stimulus.

While the risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook over the near term continue to be on the downside, medium-term risks remain more balanced, Lagarde added.

Lagarde suggested that a premature withdrawal of fiscal support would risk delaying the recovery and amplifying the long-term scarring effects.

The Governing Council maintained the main refi rate at a record low of zero percent and the deposit rate at -0.50 percent. The marginal lending facility rate is at 0.25 percent.

The Governing Council retained the pandemic emergency purchase programme at EUR 1.85 trillion.

The purchases under the PEPP will continue to be conducted at a significantly higher pace over the current quarter than during the first months of the year, the bank said in the accompanying statement.

European stocks rose amid continued optimism about earnings and hopes that a momentum shift in vaccination drive will help curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The currency showed mixed trading against its major counterparts in the Asian session. While it rose against the greenback, it held steady against the franc and the pound. Versus the yen, it fell.

The euro appreciated 0.3 percent against the greenback, approaching a 2-day high of 1.2069. The pair had closed Wednesday's deals at 1.2034. The currency is likely to locate resistance around the 1.22 level.

The euro added 0.3 percent to reach a 2-day high of 130.47 against the yen. The EUR/JPY pair was worth 130.04 when it ended deals on Wednesday. The euro is seen finding resistance around the 133 level.

The euro was up by 0.7 percent against the pound, at a 6-day high of 0.8702. The euro-pound pair had finished yesterday's trading session at 0.8639. On the upside, 0.88 is likely seen as its next resistance level.

Survey results from the Confederation of British Industry showed that UK manufacturing orders grew at the fastest pace in two years and the optimism among manufacturers rose the most since 1973.

The order book balance rose to +5 percent in three months to April from -12 percent in January, the latest Industrial Trends survey revealed. This was the biggest growth since April 2019.

The euro firmed to a 2-day high of 1.1047 against the franc, up by 0.3 percent from a low of 1.1014 seen at 4:30 am ET. At Wednesday's close, the pair was valued at 1.1034. Should the euro strengthens further, it is likely to test resistance around the 1.13 region.

Data from the Federal Customs Administration showed that Switzerland's exports grew in the first quarter.

Exports increased 4.9 percent sequentially in the first quarter, while imports grew 1.9 percent.

The European currency reached as high as 1.5088 per loonie, up from yesterday's trading close of 1.5037. Immediate resistance for the currency is seen around the 1.52 level.

The euro strengthened to 1.5598 against the aussie, from a low of 1.5505 seen at 8:45 pm ET. The euro-aussie pair was worth 1.5510 at Wednesday's close. Further rally may take the euro to a resistance around the 1.57 area.

Extending early rally, the euro jumped to an 8-day high of 1.6811 against the kiwi. At yesterday's trading close, the pair was quoted at 1.6675. Next near term resistance for the euro is likely seen around the 1.72 level.


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22.04.2021
07:37 PM


U.S. Leading Economic Index Jumps Much More Than Expected In March

A report released by the Conference Board on Thursday showed its index of leading U.S. economic indicators increased by much more than expected in the month of March.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index jumped by 1.3 percent in March after edging down by a revised 0.1 percent in February.

Economists had expected the index to climb by 0.6 percent compared to the 0.2 percent dip originally reported for the previous month.

"The improvement in the U.S. LEI, with all ten components contributing positively, suggests economic momentum is increasing in the near term," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at the Conference Board.

He added, "The widespread gains among the leading indicators are supported by an accelerating vaccination campaign, gradual lifting of mobility restrictions, as well as current and expected fiscal stimulus."

Ozyildirim said the recent trend by the leading index is consistent with the economy picking up in the coming months and noted the Conference Board projects year-over-year growth could reach 6.0 percent in 2021.

The report showed the coincident economic index rose by 0.6 percent in March after slipping by 0.1 percent in February.

Meanwhile, the lagging economic index fell by 0.5 percent in March after surging up by 1.6 percent in the previous month.


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22.04.2021
07:30 PM


U.S. Existing Home Sales Show Another Steep Drop In March

The National Association of Realtors released a report on Thursday showing another steep drop in U.S. existing home sales in the month of March.

NAR said existing home sales tumbled by 3.7 percent to an annual rate of 6.01 million in March after plunging by 6.3 percent to a revised rate of 6.24 million in February.

Economists had expected existing home sales to dip by 0.5 percent to a rate of 6.19 million from the 6.22 million originally reported for the previous month.

Existing home sales fell to their lowest annual rate since August but were still up by 12.3 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

"Consumers are facing much higher home prices, rising mortgage rates, and falling affordability, however, buyers are still actively in the market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.

"The sales for March would have been measurably higher, had there been more inventory," he added. "Days-on-market are swift, multiple offers are prevalent, and buyer confidence is rising."

The report showed the median existing home price was $329,100 in March, up 5.9 percent from $310,700 in February and up 17.2 percent from $280,700 a year ago.

Meanwhile, housing inventory at the end of March totaled 1.07 million units, up 3.9 percent from 1.03 million in February but down 28.2 percent from 1.49 million in the same month last year.

The unsold inventory represents 2.1 months of supply at the current sales pace compared to 2.0 months in February and 3.3 months in March of 2020.

"Without an increase in supply, the society wealth division will widen with homeowners enjoying sizable equity gains while renters will struggle to become homeowners," Yun said.

The report showed single-family home sales plunged by 4.3 percent to an annual rate of 5.30 million, while existing condominium and co-op sales jumped by 1.4 percent to a rate of 710,000.

On Friday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of March.

Economists expect new home sales to spike by 14.3 percent to an annual rate of 886,000 in March after plummeting by 18.2 percent to a rate of 775,000 in February.


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22.04.2021
07:26 PM


*Eurozone April Flash Consumer Confidence -8.1 Vs. -10.8 In March, Consensus -10.8

Eurozone April Flash Consumer Confidence -8.1 Vs. -10.8 In March, Consensus -10.8


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22.04.2021
07:03 PM


*U.S. Leading Economic Index Climbs 1.3% In March

U.S. Leading Economic Index Climbs 1.3% In March


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22.04.2021
07:00 PM


*U.S. Existing Home Sales Tumble 3.7% In March

U.S. Existing Home Sales Tumble 3.7% In March


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22.04.2021
06:18 PM


U.S. Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Drop To New One-Year Low

After reporting a sharp pullback in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday unexpectedly showing a continued decline in initial jobless claims in the week ended April 17.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 547,000, a decrease of 39,000 from the previous week's revised level of 586,000.

The continued drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to rebound to 617,000 from the 576,000 originally reported for the previous month.

With the unexpected decrease, jobless claims slid to their lowest level since hitting 256,000 in the week ended March 14, 2020.

"While we may see some bumps along the way, initial claims appear to be on a clear downward path," said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead Economist at Oxford Economics.

"However, we expect a full recovery in the labor market to be a gradual process," she added. "While we expect another 6mn jobs to be created over the rest of 2021, employment won't return to pre-Covid levels until mid-2022 and it will take longer to achieve full employment."

The Labor Department said the less volatile-four week moving average also fell to a one-year low of 651,000, a decrease of 27,750 from the previous week's revised average of 678,750.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also declined by 34,000 to 3.674 million in the week ended April.

The decrease pulled continuing claims down to their lowest level since hitting 3.094 million in the week ended March 21, 2020.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also slid to a one-year low of 3,713,000, a decrease of 41,750 from the previous week's revised average of 3,754,750.


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22.04.2021
06:17 PM


*ECB's Lagarde: Underlying Price Pressures Remain Subdued

ECB's Lagarde: Underlying Price Pressures Remain Subdued


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22.04.2021
06:15 PM


*ECB's Lagarde: Near Term Economic Outlook Remains Clouded By Uncertainty

ECB's Lagarde: Near Term Economic Outlook Remains Clouded By Uncertainty


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22.04.2021
06:12 PM


ECB Reconfirms 'Very Accommodative' Policy Stance

The European Central Bank left its interest rates and asset purchases unchanged on Thursday, as the resurgence of the coronavirus infections and continuing lockdowns have damped the prospects of an economic rebound later this year. The Governing Council, led by ECB President Christine Lagarde, left key interest rates unchanged and maintained the size of the pandemic emergency purchase programme, or PEPP, at EUR 1,850 billion.

The main refi rate was held steady at a record low zero percent and the deposit rate was kept at -0.50 percent. The lending rate was held steady at 0.25 percent. Policymakers retained the forward guidance on interest rates, saying it expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels until the inflation outlook robustly converge to a level sufficiently "close to, but below, 2 percent".

Asset purchases will continue until at least the end of March 2022 or when the coronavirus crisis phase is over, the bank reiterated.

Further, the ECB reiterated its stance from March that PEPP purchases over the current quarter would continue to be conducted at a significantly higher pace than during the first months of the year.

"The Governing Council will purchase flexibly according to market conditions and with a view to preventing a tightening of financing conditions that is inconsistent with countering the downward impact of the pandemic on the projected path of inflation," the bank said in a statement. The bank also maintained the size of the monthly net purchases under the asset purchase programme at EUR 20 billion.

Policymakers decided to continue to provide ample liquidity through refinancing operations, the latest being the third series of targeted longer-term refinancing operations, or TLTRO III. The latest operation under TLTRO III registered a high take-up of funds, the bank noted.

"The Governing Council stands ready to adjust all of its instruments, as appropriate, to ensure that inflation moves towards its aim in a sustained manner, in line with its commitment to symmetry," the ECB said. Capital Economics now expects the weekly PEPP purchases to continue around the current pace over the next few months. Jack Allen-Reynolds, an economist at the firm reckoned that the ECB will persist with negative interest rates and sizeable monthly asset purchases for a long time. "It will probably allow Bund yields to rise very gradually as the economy recovers over the coming years, but they will remain very low by historical standards," the economist added.


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22.04.2021
05:59 PM


Euro Higher As ECB Retains Key Interest Rates

The euro was higher against its major counterparts in the European session on Thursday, after the European Central Bank left its key interest rates unchanged and said that the increased bond buying will continue to be conducted during the current quarter.

The Governing Council maintained the main refi rate at a record low of zero percent and the deposit rate at -0.50 percent. The marginal lending facility rate is at 0.25 percent.

The Governing Council retained the pandemic emergency purchase programme at EUR 1.85 trillion.

The purchases under the PEPP will continue to be conducted at a significantly higher pace over the current quarter than during the first months of the year.

"The Governing Council will purchase flexibly according to market conditions and with a view to preventing a tightening of financing conditions that is inconsistent with countering the downward impact of the pandemic on the projected path of inflation," the bank said.

Net asset purchases under the PEPP will be conducted until at least the end of March 2022 and, in any case, until the Governing Council judges that the coronavirus crisis phase is over.

Proceeds from maturing securities under PEPP will be reinvested until at least the end of 2023.

European stocks rose amid continued optimism about earnings and hopes that a momentum shift in vaccination drive will help curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The currency showed mixed trading against its major counterparts in the Asian session. While it rose against the greenback, it held steady against the franc and the pound. Versus the yen, it fell.

The euro bounced off to 1.1037 against the franc, from a low of 1.1014 seen at 4:30 am ET. The euro is likely to face resistance around the 1.13 region, if it gains again.

Data from the Federal Customs Administration showed that Switzerland's exports grew in the first quarter.

Exports increased 4.9 percent sequentially in the first quarter, while imports grew 1.9 percent.

The euro was up against the pound, at a 6-day high of 0.8689. The euro-pound pair had finished yesterday's trading session at 0.8639. On the upside, 0.88 is likely seen as its next resistance level.

Survey results from the Confederation of British Industry showed that UK manufacturing orders grew at the fastest pace in two years and the optimism among manufacturers rose the most since 1973.

The order book balance rose to +5 percent in three months to April from -12 percent in January, the latest Industrial Trends survey revealed. This was the biggest growth since April 2019.

The euro appreciated to a 2-day high of 130.38 against the yen from Wednesday's close of 130.04. The euro is seen finding resistance around the 133 level.

The euro remained higher against the greenback, at a 2-day high of 1.2059. The pair had closed Wednesday's deals at 1.2034. The currency is likely to locate resistance around the 1.22 level.

The single currency ticked up to 1.5582 against the aussie and 1.6791 against the kiwi, compared to yesterday's closing values of 1.5510 and 1.6675, respectively. Further rally may take the euro to resistance levels of around 1.57 against the aussie and 1.72 against the kiwi.

The European currency was trading at 1.5057 per loonie, up from yesterday's trading close of 1.5037. Immediate resistance for the currency is seen around the 1.52 level.

Looking ahead, U.S. existing home sales for March are scheduled for release at 10:00 am ET.

At the same time, Eurozone flash consumer sentiment index for April is due.


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22.04.2021
05:37 PM


U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Drop To 547,000

After reporting a sharp pullback in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday unexpectedly showing a continued decline in initial jobless claims in the week ended April 17.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 547,000, a decrease of 39,000 from the previous week's revised level of 586,000.

The continued drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to rebound to 617,000 from the 576,000 originally reported for the previous month.

With the unexpected decrease, jobless claims slid to their lowest level since hitting 256,000 in the week ended March 14, 2020.


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22.04.2021
05:31 PM


*U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Drop To 547,000 In Week Ended 4/17

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Drop To 547,000 In Week Ended 4/17


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22.04.2021
05:31 PM


*Canadian New Housing Price Index Rose 1.1% In March

Canadian New Housing Price Index Rose 1.1% In March


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22.04.2021
05:01 PM


Gold Futures Edging Lower

Gold futures are drifting lower Thursday morning, coming off an 8-week high recorded in the previous session, despite a weak dollar and lower bond yields.

Traders are closely tracking the updates on coronavirus infections across the world. India and Japan have been seeing spikes in new cases with the former reporting nearly 3,15,000 infections in a single day on Wednesday.

Gold futures for June are down 5.60 or 0.31% at $1,787.50 an ounce. Gold futures for June ended higher by $14.70 or about 0.8% at $1,793.10 an ounce, the highest settlement since February 24.

Silver futures for Mayare down $0.100 or 0.4% at $26.470 an ounce.

Meanwhile, copper futures for May are rising $0.0072 or 0.17% at $4.2862 per pound.

The European Central Bank today left interest rates unchanged and made no changes to its bond-buying efforts. The central bank said the Governing Council decided to "reconfirm its very accommodative monetary policy stance."

The central bank said it would continue to buy bonds under its 1.85 trillion euro pandemic emergency purchase program until at least the end of March 2022, while net purchases under its asset purchase program would continue at a monthly pace of 20 billion euros. The bank added that PEPP purchases, as decided at the ECB's previous meeting, will continue at a significantly faster pace over the current quarter.

On the U.S. economic front, data on initial jobless claims for the week ended April 17, is due out at 8:30 AM ET.


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22.04.2021
04:58 PM


*ECB Reconfirms Its Very Accommodative Monetary Policy Stance

ECB Reconfirms Its Very Accommodative Monetary Policy Stance


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22.04.2021
04:50 PM


Euro Little Changed After ECB Decision

As expected, the European Central Bank maintained its refi rate at 0.00 percent and the deposit rate at -0.50 percent. Following the announcement, the euro changed little against its major opponents.

The euro was trading at 130.24 against the yen, 1.2053 against the greenback, 0.8668 against the pound and 1.1036 against the franc around 7:47 am ET.


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22.04.2021
04:47 PM


*ECB Keeps Marginal Lending Rate Unchanged At 0.25%

ECB Keeps Marginal Lending Rate Unchanged At 0.25%


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22.04.2021
04:46 PM


*ECB Holds Deposit Rate Steady At -0.50% As Expected

ECB Holds Deposit Rate Steady At -0.50% As Expected


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22.04.2021
04:46 PM


*ECB Leaves Refi Rate Unchanged At 0% As Expected

ECB Leaves Refi Rate Unchanged At 0% As Expected


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22.04.2021
04:46 PM


*ECB Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged As Expected

ECB Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged As Expected


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22.04.2021
04:43 PM


Crude Oil Futures Continue To Slide

Crude oil prices are drifting lower on Thursday, extending their slide to a third session, amid continued worries about outlook for energy demand.

The massive surge in coronavirus cases in India, where cases of infections rose by about 3,15,000 in the 24 hours ending midnight of Wednesday, has raised concerns about outlook for energy demand. India is the third biggest oil consumer in the world.

Data from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday showed an unexpected increase in crude inventories last week, adding to the woes.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June are down 0.36 or 0.58% at $60.99 a barrel.

Brent crude futures are lower by $0.45 or 0.69% at $64.87 a barrel.

Although the Indian government has stated that lockdown will be used only as last resort, it is feared that there could be widespread shutdowns and restrictions on movements if the virus spread doesn't slowdown.

Japan too has been witnessing a surge in new cases of infections, and according to reports, officials are looking at a state of emergency for Osaka and Tokyo to curb the spread.


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