A Rebound in U.K. Retail Sales, And A Plan For Greece Improves Risk Appetite
• ECB Offers Olive Branch to Greece – Wall Street Journal
• BofA to Cut More Loan Balances – Wall Street Journal
• China comments add to sovereign debt fears - Financial Times
• Merkel Backs Greek Loans From IMF, EU to Prevent a Default as Leaders Meet- Bloomberg
• Dubai World to Get $9.5 Billion of Government Funding to Restructure Debt - Bloomberg
GBP/USD– U.K. retail sales jumped 2.1% in February surpassing estimates of 0.8%, which was the largest improvement since May 2008. Improved weather led to consumers hitting stores again making up from the 3.0% decline in January when snow blanketed the country. An 11.8% surge in sales at household goods stores led gains in clothing and food as demand ex-gasoline rose 1.6%. It was the first positive gain in three months and it will take continued demand to confirm a positive trend in domestic demand. However, an improvement in consumption could upward pressure on prices and limit the BoE ability to conduct further stimulus efforts. To discuss this and other topics, please visit the GBP/USD forum.
EUR/USD– The GFK German consumer confidence reading remained unchanged at 3..2 despite forecast for a slip to 3.1. The flat reading ended five consecutive months of increasing pessimism, as steady growth is helping to improve the economic outlook. Strong demand from abroad has helped stabilize the labor market which has helped improve sentiment. However, the credit issues in Greece and Portugal will continue to cast a show over the region until a resolution is found. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated her preference for loans from the IMF to help Greece with help from European governments as a last resort. The issues in the area continue to weigh on the Euro which fell to the lowest level since May 2009.. To discuss this and other topics, please visit the EUR/USD forum.
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