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Forex Flash: Official Chinese PMI drops further in February - Nomura

Nomura economist Zhiwei Zhang notes that the official PMI surprisingly dipped to 50.1 in February from 50.4 in January, weaker than expected (Consensus: 50.5).

He adds that the production sub-index dipped to 51.2 in February from 51.3 in January, new orders fell to 50.1 from 51.6, and new export orders fell further to 47.3 from 48.5. He feels that this contrasts with the jump of the MNI indicator in February (from 55.16 to 60.98), but is consistent with a drop in the HSBC flash PMI (from 52.3 in January to 50.4). Further, Zhang writes, “The results from business surveys may have been distorted by the lunar new year effect, so we will wait for macro data released on 9 March for a clearer picture of the economic pulse. However, the weak official PMI in January and February has cast some more doubt on the strength of the recovery.”

Commodities Brief – Gold capped by 200-day SMA, silver falls below $29.45

Gold prices were a notable casualty yesterday as prices have incurred yet another overall weekly decline amidst the bourgeoning signals of US economic fortitude. At this juncture, the yellow metal has competed – albeit unsuccessfully in 2013 thus far – with the USD as a safe haven, principally as a hedge against inflation, especially with mounting political turmoil in Italy. As of European trading Friday, Gold’s 200-day SMA served as temporary resistance, capping each upside attempt so far today during overnight trading. More specifically, an earlier attempt higher was stymied at the 1583.25 (session high), culminating in a pullback that now places gold at USD $1578.71 per oz. in these moments. Investors will be tuned into updates later today in the United States, in the hopes that the two partisan groups can strike a deal to allay the sweeping ramifications of the sequestration.
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EMU: PMI Manufacturing unchanged at 47.9 in February

Eurozone PMI Manufacturing remained unchanged at 47.9 points in February, according to data released today by Markit. This result is almost in line with projections of a slight decrease to 47.8 points.
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