Article Highlights

  • Canadian GDP shows worse than expected 0.5% contraction
  • U.S. preliminary GDP revised down from 3.2% to 2.4%
  • U.S. Chicago PMI up from 59.6 to 59.8, ahead of 57.9 consensus
  • U.S. pending home sales up by 0.1% vs. expected 2.9% increase
  • Chinese official manufacturing PMI down from 50.5 to 50.2 as expected
  • Russian President Putin mobilizes military forces to Ukraine
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Last Friday wasn’t such a good day for the Greenback, as the U.S. currency gave up some of its recent gains to most of its currency counterparts. Data from the U.S. economy came in mostly weaker than expected, with the preliminary GDP revised down from 3.2% to 2.4% for the last quarter of 2013 and the pending home sales report printing a bleak 0.1% uptick instead of the estimated 2.9% increase. Chicago PMI turned out stronger than expected, as it improved from 59.6 to 59.8 instead of dipping to the consensus at 57.9.

As for Canada, its monthly GDP report churned out weaker than expected results. The economy contracted by 0.5% in December 2013 instead of printing a 0.2% decline, bringing the Q4 growth rate to a meager 0.7%. Despite this, the Canadian dollar managed to advance against its U.S. counterpart and push USD/CAD below the 1.1100 mark.

Over the weekend, China printed its official manufacturing PMI figures and confirmed that the expansion in the industry is slowing down. The reading fell from 50.5 to 50.2 as expected, weighing on the Australian dollar. Another factor that led Aussie pairs to gap down over the weekend was news that North Korea fired a couple of short-range missiles to the sea as part of its military exercises. This sparked a bit of tension in the Asian region since the distance covered by those rockets suggests that North Korea can be able to target South Korea and Japan.

As for the worsening tension in Ukraine, news reports have confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has mobilized their military forces in the country this weekend, prompting many to believe that a full-scale war is in the cards. Ukraine has responded by rallying its troops up as well, despite calls from world leaders to push for a diplomatic solution. Do keep close tabs on these events, as the ongoing uncertainty could keep risk-taking at bay.

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