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Pound Pushes Higher Ahead of Spring Statement

Pound News: Weaker Card Spending Failed to Keep GBP Under Pressure

Even though Visa reported that card spending had fallen by -1.1% in February this failed to weigh down the Pound (GBP) for long.

As markets expect the Office for Budget Responsibility to upgrade its growth and public finance forecasts in the spring statement this has helped to shore up GBP exchange rates.

However, in the absence of any accompanying policy announcements the ultimate impact of the spring statement is likely to be rather short-lived.


Euro News: Single Currency Shrugged Off Optimistic Eurogroup Meeting

A generally positive message from Eurozone finance ministers ahead of their latest Eurogroup meeting failed to boost Euro (EUR) exchange rates on Monday.

While Greece still looks on track to successfully exit its bailout program later this year the Euro remained weighed down by wider market worries, as the Trump administration remains rather belligerent on the subject of EU trade.

In the absence of any fresh domestic data today the Euro is likely to remain on a generally softer footing.


US Dollar News: Rising Inflation Expectations Not Enough to Boost USD

An uptick in February’s US consumer inflation expectations figure was unable to rally the US Dollar (USD) at the start of the week.

With market fears over the Trump administration’s trade policy diminishing, at least for the time being, the general uptick in market risk appetite left USD exchange rates lacking in support.

If the US consumer price index shows an acceleration in domestic inflation, however, the US Dollar could lurch higher again this afternoon.


Canadian Dollar News: Signs of OPEC Division Weighed Heavily on Oil Prices

Investors were dismayed to see evidence of an increasing split within OPEC, with Saudia Arabia and Iran at odds over whether oil should be stabilised at US$60 or US$70 per barrel in order to limit US production.

If tensions within the organisation continue to rise this could jeopardise its long-standing production-limiting agreement, to the detriment of oil markets and the commodity-correlated Canadian Dollar (CAD).

Comments from Bank of Canada (BOC) Governor Stephen Poloz may put further pressure on CAD exchange rates later today.


Australian Dollar News: ‘Aussie’ Relieved by US Tariff Exemption

While Australian credit card purchases eased in January the general uptick in market risk appetite helped to support the Australian Dollar (AUD) at the start of the week.

As Australia is reported to have been exempted from the heavy US tariffs on steel and aluminium this gave investors further cause for confidence in the antipodean currency.

Unless the Westpac consumer confidence index prints positively tonight, though, AUD exchange rates remain vulnerable to downside pressure.



Upcoming Data

Tuesday, 13 March

12:30     US Consumer Price Index

12:30     UK Chancellor Hammond Delivers Spring Statement

14:40     Bank of Canada Governor Poloz Speech

21:45     New Zealand Current Account Gross Domestic Product Ratio

23:30     Australia Westpac Consumer Confidence Index

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