On Thursday, the euro showed ambiguous dynamics against the US dollar. In the first half of the day, EUR was trading in an upward trend and managed to update local highs since February 5. With the opening of the European session, quotes went down actively, which was a market reaction to the publication of ambiguous macroeconomic statistics and a sharp deterioration in the prospects for resolving the US-China trade conflict. Yesterday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that the differences are still very serious and promises and positive intentions are not enough for their resolution. It also became known that the negotiations between the United States and the DPRK also ended in vain, which only increased the overall level of uncertainty.


On Thursday, the British pound showed a decline against the US dollar, departing from its local highs, updated on Wednesday. The overall decline in investor sentiment contributed to a decrease in the instrument. In particular, the market negatively met the news about the failure of the US-DPRK negotiations since, as many analysts believe, this could be an additional negative signal for the process of trade negotiations between the US and China. The pound is also pressured by ambiguous macroeconomic statistics from the UK. Published yesterday, the consumer confidence indicator showed a slight increase in February from -14 to -13 points, still reflecting the predominance of negative sentiment among British consumers. On March 1, investors will focus on the statistics on consumer lending and the Markit Manufacturing PMI in February.


The Australian dollar is developing a downward trend against the US one, retreating to the last week lows. The instrument is pressured by deteriorating prospects for resolving the US-China trade dispute after the US trade representative once again highlighted the seriousness of the existing differences. Published yesterday, the statistics from the United States also contributed to the development of "bearish" dynamics in the instrument. According to preliminary estimates, the US GDP in 4Q2018 grew by 2.6% YoY after rising by 3.4% YoY in Q3. Despite a significant slowdown in economic growth, the figure was still significantly above the forecasts of 2.3% YoY.


The US dollar is noticeably strengthening against the Japanese yen, updating local highs since December 20. The reason for the "bullish" dynamics is ambiguous macroeconomic statistics from Japan, as well as the continuing uncertainty of the US-China trade negotiations. Statistics released on Friday showed a rise in the consumer price index in the Tokyo region in February by 0.6% YoY, after the growth of 0.4% YoY last month. The consumer inflation excluding fresh food rose by 1.1% YoY in February, which coincided with January data. At the same time, the January unemployment rate unexpectedly strengthened from 2.4% to 2.5%. In turn, Nikkei Manufacturing PMI in February showed steady growth from 48.5 to 48.9 points, which turned out to be better than analysts' forecasts. However, the figure is still below the psychological level of 50 points.


On Thursday, oil prices consolidated after moderate growth the day before, which was triggered by a sharp decline in stocks of petroleum products in the US warehouses. The development of corrective sentiment was caused by the weak macroeconomic indicators from China, which once again reminded the market of the risks of slowing global economy. The instrument is also pressured by continued tensions between the United States and China. On March 1, investors are awaiting the publication of the Baker Hughes report on active oil platforms in the United States. The last reports have indicated a reduction in their number, which, however, does not prevent the United States from increasing production rates to record levels.

Morning Market Review

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