SHANGHAI, Mar 8 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
The US dollar increased against a basket of currencies, to a near three-month peak as the euro sold off.
The euro fell to its lowest against the dollar since the middle of 2017 after the European Central Bank (ECB) said it will maintain its ultra-low interest rates until after the end of the year, and said a new long-term refinancing program for eurozone banks was coming.
Base metals declined for the most part as LME nickel led the losses and closed 3.04% lower. LME zinc fell 1.78%, copper lost 0.31%, while tin grew 0.36%, and aluminium and lead inched up. SHFE nickel dropped 2.49%, zinc dipped 1.55%, copper went down 0.5%, tin slid 0.42%, lead fell 0.28%, and aluminium closed slightly lower.
China's foreign exchange reserves rose to US$3.09 trillion by the end of February, official data showed Thursday. This increased US$2.3 billion, or 0.1% from the end of January, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).
Factors including the increase in the US dollar index, changing asset prices, exchange rate conversion and asset price changes caused the slight gain of forex reserves, said SAFE spokesperson Wang Chunying.
Eurozone’s seasonally adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.2% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.3% in the EU28 during the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with the previous quarter, according to an estimate published by Eurostat.
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP increased by 1.1% in the euro area and by 1.4% in the EU28 in the fourth quarter of 2018, after growth of 1.6% and 1.8% respectively in the previous quarter.
The ECB held its benchmark main refinancing rate at zero and kept the deposit rate at -0.4%. It also changed its statement on interest rates, saying they would stay at record lows “at least through the end of 2019”. It had previously said that rates were expected to remain on hold at least through the summer.
The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to strong labour market conditions despite signs of slower job growth.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 223,000 for the week ended March 2, the Labor Department said.
The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labour market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,000 to 226,250 last week, the lowest level in a month.
China will release data on its February's trade balance, and the US will release its nonfarm payroll employment and the jobless rate for last month.