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Forex Flash: Korea prepares for prelim Q1 GDP numbers - DBS Group

FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - DBS Group analysts note that the preliminary estimate of Korean 1Q GDP is the focus this week, against the backdrop that China and Singapore both reported a disappointing 1Q GDP earlier this month.

They estimate that growth in Korea has still risen to 3.2% QoQ saar in Q1 from 1.3% in Q4 2012 and the bottom of 0.2% in Q3 2012, though lower than the long term trend of 4%. They add that while industrial production slipped in Jan-Feb, the PMI survey indicates that production has regained momentum in March. Meanwhile, the all-industry output that closely correlates with GDP outperformed industrial production in Jan-Feb, thanks to support from the services sector.

On the demand side, they see that exports and investment indicators both improved from the preceding quarter, contrary to perceptions that Korea’s export sector has been hit by yen depreciation. They write, “Consumption seems to have slowed, due to cold weather that temporarily dampened outdoor activities and expiration of the fiscal stimulus measures rolled out in 2H12 (such as consumption tax cuts on automobiles and electronics). They are expecting QoQ growth momentum to continue accelerating in 2Q-4Q and accommodative monetary policy and expansionary fiscal policy will lend support to domestic demand in 2H. They add that the government announced a supplementary budget last week, which contains fresh spending of KRW 7.3trn (0.6% GDP).

They continue, noting that the central bank also eased credit policy this month, boosting the credit ceiling for a special SME loan program by KRW 3trn. On the external front, the worries about yen depreciation may have been overstated. They write, “Japanese exporters are currently taking the opportunities of a falling yen to recoup the profit losses incurred during the strong yen period in 2008-2012. The adjustment in export contract prices has not yet begun. When the price adjustment takes place, the impact on Korean exports should still be limited, as the won remains far from overvalued versus the yen and the non-price competitiveness of Korean exports is strong. The downside risks to exports and the overall economy will mainly come from global demand outlook (US fiscal tightening, uncertainties in Europe, a slower-than-expected recovery in China), rather than the exchange rates.”

Forex Flash: GBP coming under renewed selling pressure - BTMU

Lee Hardman, FX analyst at the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ notes that the pound is also coming back under renewed selling pressure in the near-term which was supported by Fitch’s decision to strip the UK of its AAA-credit rating late on Friday, although the credit rating is now stable.
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Forex Flash: Gilts poised for correction as 119.93 target reached – RBS

According to Technical Strategist Dmytro Bondar at RBS, “Gilts met the first target of 119.93 and tested the 120.00 resistance, from where a correction looks likely, however the overall view remains constructive, looking for a test of the full wave projection of 120.52.”
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