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USD stronger on data and steel tariffs

Published: Friday 02 March 2018

  • Sterling awaits two big speeches
  • Canadian Gross Domestic Product rise expected
​​By David Johnson

The US President delivered a surprise trade attack on the rest of the world last night. Share prices slumped as Trump suggested he will impose a 25% import duty on steel and 10% on aluminium. In what is seen as the first salvo in a trade war, the US will impact China, the EU, UK and Canada in particular. Retaliation is being considered, we are told. Watch this space. Whilst equities markets slumped on the news, the US Dollar gained ground but that was also driven by significant increases in the ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index and better than expected personal income and expenditure data.  
Sterling slipped through the day yesterday in spite of improved mortgage and credit data. We also heard that government borrowing improved last month and their current account may actually be in surplus. Ooer. It is a big day for the UK Government as Prime Minister May delivers her vision of the next stage of negotiations. Before that we get a speech from the Governor of the Bank of England (BoE) and we expect to see an improvement in the construction sector Purchasing Managers’ Index. Sterling could have a better day if all is good in these news items.
This afternoon brings, what is expected to be, an improvement in Canada’s economic growth. The stats for Q4 are expected to show an improvement from 1.7% to 2.0% growth and that would boost the CAD if US steel tariffs weren’t headlining. 
So Brexit is still the major news for the UK and EU as the UK press continues to prove they don’t have a clue how negotiations work. Dear BBC, you don’t get end results from negotiations until the end. Please stop asking for answers that no one can give at the moment. It’s boring.
Between the lines

Text sent at 09:47: Honey I got hit by a car on the way to work. Teena gave me a lift to the A&E at the Royal London hospital. They have been doing tests and x-rays and stuff. The bang to my head is pretty bad but I am just concussed, so no lasting injury they think. But I have 3 broken ribs and a small fracture to my ankle. I’ll be on crutches for 6 weeks and there is still a possibility I’ll need surgery to reset the ankle but we won’t know for a fortnight – when the swelling goes down. They are organising transport to get me home. See you later.

Text received 09:53 from Wife. Who’s Teena!

Today's Major Economic Releases

Market BST Data/Event Previous Expected
GBP 09:30 UK: Construction Purchasing Managers' Index 50.2 50.5
EUR 10:00 EU: Producer Price Index 0.2% 0.4%
CAD 13:30 Canada: Gross Domestic Product 0.4% 0.1%
USD 15:00 US: Revised UoM Consumer Sentiment 99.9 99.4

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