The euro may have had a slow start to the year, but still the demand for it is high. The single currency has been range bound since the European Central Bank’s January meeting as the fervor about tighter policy. The euro is now around $1.23, is one of Goldman’s preferred Group-of-10 currencies. U.K. retail sales jumped more than economists forecasts in February, stimulated by a jump in spending in food. Sales of other goods are on a retreat. The volume of goods sold in stores and online inclined 0.8 % from January, double the increase forecast by economists, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The European Union feels that is on track to be exempted from imminent U.S. tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, dialing down the risk of a trans-Atlantic trade war. European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom ended two days of talks in Washington with the expectations of a U.S. pledge to exclude the EU from the import duties of 25 % on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. German business confidence continued to lose ground this month, indicating that companies’ qualms over a potential trade war are dampening optimism even amid the strongest economic upswing in years. The Ifo Institute’s gauge of business sentiment sunk to 114.7 from 115.4 in February, marking the second month of losses.