The US February ISM rose to 49.5

March 2, 2016

FX News Today

Swiss growth much better than expected at +0.4% q/q, up from -0.1% in Q3 (revised down from 0.0%). The median forecast had been for a 0.2% rise. The y/y figure was also +0.4%, down from 0.8% in Q3 but above the 0.1% median forecast. The jump in the franc in January 2015 following the SNB’s abandonment of its former cap, along with sluggishness in the Eurozone economy have been dragging on the Swiss economy, though the year finished well with the 0.4% growth the best quarterly performance of 2015.

ECB’s Draghi brandished his dovish bazooka again, noting that the bank’s policy review in March will be seen against the background of increased downside risks to the prior outlook and there “are no limits” to how far we are willing to deploy our instruments within our mandate to achieve our objective of inflation rates below but close to 2% over the medium-term. Moreover, Euro area inflation dynamics continue to be weaker than expected. Speaking from Frankfurt, Draghi continues to keep expectations high for action in March, which helped relegate the already weak euro to session lows after being weighed firmer rounds of US data earlier.

The US February ISM rose to 49.5 (median 48.5) from 48.2 in January while US construction spending grew by 1.5% (median 0.5%) in January following a 0.6% (was 0.1%) pace in December and US Markit manufacturing PMI slid to 51.3 in the final February print, from 52.4 in January, though it improved slightly versus the 51.0 flash February reading. This just beats the all-time low of 51.2 set in December.

Canada’s real GDP grew 0.8% in Q4, contrary to expectations (median flat) following the revised 2.4% bounce in Q3 (was +2.3%, q/q saar). The separate December GDP tally showed a 0.2% gain (m/m, sa) that topped expectations (median +0.1%) after the 0.3% bounce in November. The BoC expected a flat reading for real Q4 GDP, so these reports further trim the chances for a near term rate cut from the bank. Note, however that trade made a sizable contribution to growth as exports fell by less than imports, consumption slowed and business investment contracted. So at first glance the dynamics of the Q4 report appear to be roughly in-line with bank projections. Yet these are better than anticipated reports overall, notably the December GDP gain that shows the economy with some momentum going into 2016.

Main Macro Events Today

Euro Area PPI: The Euro Area Producer Price Index (Y/Y) for January is released today and is expected to come in almost unchanged at -2.9%. December reading was -3.0%. This should put ammunition in the hands of the doves in the ECB.

US ADP Employment Change: The ADP unemployment survey for February is due today with an expectation of 195K new jobs against the previous number of 205K.

US Fed Beige Book: Traders look forward to this month’s Beige Book release as it is used by the FOMC to help in their interest rate decisions. In the previous release, the Philadelphia Fed stated that the economy was expanding moderately while consumer spending remained mixed.

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