Daily Market Report 27/02/2014

USD

The dollar rose the most against the euro this month as new-homes sales unexpectedly rose last month.

This boosted speculation the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will reiterate the central bank’s plan to continue to cut bond-buying. This could be one of the outcomes today in her speech at 3pm.

The U.S. currency strengthened versus most of its 16 major peers as the housing reports comes at a time when a harsh winter has weighed on economic-growth early this year. Economists have said the underlying growth in the US is still there. The slowdown in data is just temporary, so you may start to see some dollar strength as things start to settle.

GBP

Britain's economy grew at a slightly slower rate than previously thought in 2013, but economists have welcomed signs that growth was more balanced in the final three months of the year.

Gross domestic product increased by 1.8% last year compared with an earlier estimate of 1.9% However it was still the strongest annual rate of growth since 2007, when the economy grew by 3.4% before the financial crisis.

Hopes for a stable and sustained recovery were boosted with the figures and showed the economy becoming less reliant on consumer spending after a surge in business investment which was also reported showing more confidence in the UK.

The UK's minimum wage is also reported to be expecting a 3% rise by October 2014 bringing it to £6.50 per hour.

EUR

Unemployment in France has hit a new record high, in another reminder of president Francois Hollande’s failure to get to grips with the jobless crisis.

The French labour ministry reported that the number of people out of work rose by 0.3% in January to 3,316,200, the highest level since records began in 1996.

Hollande had claimed that unemployment would start falling before the end of 2013, but it's actually done the opposite.

Talks in Greece between the Troika and the central bank over recapitalising the country’s commercial banks ended without agreement.

After several hours of talks between visiting mission chiefs representing the EU, ECB and IMF and Greece’s central bank governor George Provopoulos, nothing had been agreed and further discussions would now be necessary.

Privately, bankers said the break-down showed the depth of disagreement between Athens and foreign lenders not only over the recapitalisation requirements of the country’s four leading banks but the sheer scale of non-performing loans held by them.

Today

This morning Swiss GDP fell from 2.1% to 1.7% YOY (Q4).

We have a plethora of data from the Eurozone this morning with various surveys on economic sentiment out at 10.00am. Germany's unemployment figures are out this morning as well as the latest inflation reading from the Eurozone’s largest economy.

US data will be in focus this afternoon with better readings expected for durable goods orders and initial jobless claims – we could well see the US dollar continue its recent strength.

Key Announcements:

8.55am – EUR – German Unemployment Rate (Feb): Expected to remain at 6.8%.

8.55am – EUR – German Unemployment Change (Feb): Expected to improve -14,000.

10.00am – EUR – Consumer Confidence (Feb): Expected to worsen to -12.7.

10.00am – EUR – Economic Sentiment Indicator (Feb): Expected to remain at 100.90.

10.00am – EUR – Industrial Confidence (Feb): Expected to worsen to -4.

10.00am – EUR – Services Sentiment (Feb): Expected to improve to 2.5.

13.00pm – EUR – German Consumer Price Index (Feb): Expected to remain at 1.3%.

13.30pm – USD – Durable Goods Orders (Jan): Expected to show a fall of 1.5%.

15.00pm – USD – Fed Chair Janet Yellen Speech.