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Forex: EUR/USD pressured as US Chicago PMI improves against consensus

The greenback continues strengthening as another US indicator signals better improvement than expected. The US Chicago PMI was expected to ease from 55.6 to 54.3 in February, but actual data surprised investors by increasing the expansionary pace to 56.8.

The EUR/USD is getting closer to the 1.3100 mark and may threat a move below.

Earlier, the US annualized GDP Q4 drop was even worse than the expected, from 3.1% to 0.5%, as actual data pointed to 0.1%. However, the quarterly figure moved higher than expected, by 0.9% instead of 0.6%. Also on the bright side were the falling initial jobless claims, from 366K to 344K (consensus of 360K) and continuing claims, from 3.165M to 3.074M (consensus of 3.160M).

“In the 4 hours chart however, there is a more neutral technical stance, with price barely holding above a bearish 20 SMA and indicators around their midlines, offering no clear clues on direction”, wrote Fxstreet.com independent analyst Valeria Bednarik. “The downside however remains exposed, as long as below 1.3160 price zone”, she added, pointing to supports at 1.3110, 1.3080 and 1.3040, while resistances are at 1.3125, 1.3160 and 1.3185.

Forex Flash: Muddled political situation slowly clears in Italy – Deutsche Bank

Italy's bond auction aside, the market was also encouraged by some better-than-expected US pending home sales for January (+4.5% v +1.9% m/m expected) although Durable goods orders (-5.2% v -4.8%) fell more than expected. The core part of the release was stronger though. Markets sentiment was also supported by chatter that White House will hold a meeting to discuss the Sequester on Friday. According to Politico, the White House has invited John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi for a meeting tomorrow.
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Dijsselbloem suggest extending bailout maturities for Ireland and Portugal

Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem told Dutch lawmakers on Thursday that Eurozone finance ministers are considering whether to grant rescue loan extensions to Ireland and Portugal in order to facilitate their return to market funding.
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