Article Highlights

  • US initial jobless claims at 320K vs. 327K consensus
  • US existing home sales down from 4.62M to 4.60M
  • Philly Fed manufacturing index improved from -6.3 to 9.0
  • German Chancellor Merkel warns of economic sanctions if Ukraine conflict worsens
  • Australia CB leading index up by 0.2%
  • Japanese banks on holiday today
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The Greenback extended its gains during the New York trading session, as the U.S. economy printed mostly stronger than expected data. The initial jobless claims reading came in at 320K, lower than the estimated 327K figure, while the Philly Fed manufacturing index showed a strong improvement from -6.3 to 9.0. Existing home sales, on the other hand, fell short of the 4.65M consensus and landed at 4.60M.

Risk aversion also provided additional support for the safe-haven dollar, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that economic sanctions will be imposed on Russia if the conflict in Ukraine gets worse. It didn’t help that Russia decided to ban several American officials from entering the country in response to the sanctions imposed by the U.S. on Russia’s industrial sector. The plot thickens!

Over in China, the risk of more corporate defaults looms as a Chinese real estate developer seems to be moving closer to bankruptcy. It appears that the Chinese government isn’t willing to intervene and give bailouts for now, which doesn’t bode well for Asian markets.

On a brighter note, New Zealand reported a healthy 2.2% increase in visitor arrivals for February while Australia printed a 0.2% rise in its CB leading index. This has allowed AUD/USD and NZD/USD to stay afloat in the meantime. Japanese banks are on holiday today, which could mean quiet trading for most of the yen pairs.

Good luck and good trading!

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