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Forex Flash: US equities close to record highs, 15-day avg. volume at January lows – UBS

FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - For US equities, it's been the case of another day, another grind higher. Indeed yesterday the S&P 500 (+0.56%) inched another 8.7 points nearer to its record close of 1565.15 – finishing the day just 1.9 points away from the milestone. The Dow Jones meanwhile, extended its streak to 11 straight days of gains. “We should note however, that although the major US indices are above or close to the record highs, daily trading volumes have been steadily trending lower. Indeed the moving 15-day average volume for the S&P500 and the Dow are now the lowest since mid-January.” warns Macro Strategy Analysts J. Reid and C. Tan at Deutsche Bank.

US jobless claims were identified as the catalyst for gains in equities yesterday, though claims continued to trend lower in early March, falling 10k to 332k (vs. 350k expected). The 4-week average has made a new, post-recession low (347k vs. 350k previously). “If this level were held through the month, it would be consistent with further acceleration in the pace of nonfarm payroll gains, which have currently averaged 191k over the past three months.” they add. In other US data, the producer price index showed a headline increase in February (+0.7%) due to a sharp run-up in gas prices. The core PPI measure rose +0.2%, the same as in January.

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