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Mixed signals

Today's news headlines:

‘China’s exports extend declines, adding pressure to economy’. The outlook for China’s economy is somewhat clouded at the start of this year as imports and exports continue to struggle. Imports dropped 10.2% in January and February, with analysts pointing to a strong Dollar and weaker commodity prices to explain the drop; exports fell 6.8% in the same period. Exports are expected to remain under pressure in the coming year as consumer spending slows, and the realisation of higher interest rates hits. (Bloomberg) 

‘Halifax says UK house prices are rising the most since June’. There appears to be some newfound strength in the housing market, with gains in the previous two months of this year. With more certainty on interest rates and a calmer fiscal position, mortgage rates have settled thanks to a boost in consumer confidence. Despite this interim strength, most experts anticipate a housing market downturn in the latter part of the year as the cost of living squeeze continues to drag on personal incomes. (Bloomberg) 


Asia markets were mixed overnight as Europe opened mostly lower this morning, and US equity futures point higher. The Aussie Dollar has declined after the RBA delivered a dovish hike, with Governor Lowe opening the door to pause rate rises at the April meeting. Sovereign bond yields are lower across the curve in the US and most major European economies this morning.


UK BRC Retail Sales Monitor YoY (Feb): 4.9% (est. 4.8%) 
Australia Retail Sales MoM (Jan): 1.9% (est. 1.9%) 
Australia Cash Rate (Mar): 3.60% (est. 3.60%) 
US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell Testifies: 3:00PM
Australia RBA Governor Lowe speaks: 9:55PM

Interbank rates*:

GBP/USD – 1.2025
GBP/EUR – 1.1264
EUR/USD – 1.0676
USD/CAD – 1.3621

Please contact your Dealer about any upcoming FX requirements you may have, or call +44 (0)20 3465 8200. 

*Indicative interbank rates taken on the day of writing. Please speak to your Dealer to find out the current rates available for you.