DATA DELUGE CONTINUES ON THURSDAY
The economic data will maintain its torrid pace on Thursday, with high-profile reports from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean set to make headlines.
The European session kicks off with a report on Swiss GDP, which is scheduled for 06:45 GMT. The report is expected to show a quarterly expansion of 0.6% for the Swiss economy, which translates into a year-over-year gain of 1.8%.
Q4 GDP data for Spain is also due at 08:00 GMT. The report is expected to confirm another solid quarter of expansion for the Spanish economy.
IHS Markit will release a spate of Eurozone PMI indicators beginning at 08:45 GMT. The German and euro area reports will be the most closely followed.
Markit will also release PMI data for the United Kingdom at 09:30 GMT, with a focus on manufacturing. The manufacturing PMI is forecast to edge down to 55.0 in February from 55.3 the previous month.
The European Commission’s statistical agency will report on Eurozone unemployment at 10:00 GMT. The monthly report is expected to show a jobless rate of 8.6% in January, down slightly from 8.7% in December.
Shifting gears to North America, the Department of Commerce will kick off the session with the January personal income and outlays report. The data set also includes core personal consumption expenditures (PCE), the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation. The core PCE index is forecast to come in at 1.6% annually, down from 1.7% in December.
Reports on initial jobless claims, constriction spending and manufacturing PMI will also make headlines later in the session.
On the monetary policy front, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak publicly at 15:00 GMT. New York Fed Bank President William Dudley will also deliver a speech at 16:00 GMT. Market participants widely expect the Fed to raise interest rates at its upcoming meeting on 20-21 March.
Europe’s common currency continued to backtrack on Wednesday, as the US dollar rebounded against a basket of world currencies. The EUR/USD exchange rate has broken below the 1.2200 level and is currently trading at more than one-month lows. The steep drop exposes the pair to the 1.2165 and 1.2130 support levels.
Cable extended its massive correction on Wednesday, falling to 1.3750. The currency pair was little changed at the start of Asian trading. GBP/USD could be prone to even bigger losses in the short term now that prices have experienced a bearish crossover of the 50-period and 21-period SMAs.
US oil prices declined sharply on Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported record output for the month of November. Although prices have recovered somewhat, the US crude benchmark continues to trade below $62.00 a barrel.