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Will cold weather have given UK retailers a boost?

business-articlesWill cold weather have given UK retailers a boost?
  • US GDP figures to bolster USD?
  • SARB forecast to cut rates
  • JPY may tick higher as retail sales improve
US GDP in focus

The US will publish its final GDP estimate for the fourth quarter later today, which is expected to confirm that US economic growth slowed in the last three-months of 2017.

However while previous estimates suggested that growth slowed from a two-year high of 3.2% to 2.5% in the third quarter, economists now suggest growth was likely closer to 2.7%.

Should the figures print in line with expectations, the better-than-predicted growth in the fourth quarter could prompt the US dollar to push higher during today’s session.

Some analyst are a little more pessimistic however as they suggest that the quarter’s less-than-stellar economic figure will have been a limiting factor for expansion in the fourth quarter, leaving GDP unchanged from the previous estimate.

Markets brace for rate cut by SARB

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will conclude its March policy meeting later this afternoon, before delivering its latest verdict on the direction of the country’s monetary policy.

The majority of economists currently expect SARB policy makers to use today’s rate decision to lower interest rates from 6.75% to 6.5%.

This decision will likely be driven by the recent strength of the South African rand, which has helped to stabilise inflation and grants the SARB the opportunity to lower rates to help bolster domestic growth.

Japanese retail sales to strengthen?

The Japanese Yen looks likely to strengthen during overnight trade today as markets look to welcome an uptick in Japan’s latest retail sales figures.

Analysts predict that the data will reveal sales growth will have rebounded from -1.8% to 0.6% in February.

This is expected to push year-on-year sales up from 1.6% to 1.7% and strengthen the appeal of JPY.

However some analysts warn that sales may have remained subdued last month, should machinery sales have petered out after a particularly strong start to the year.

Upcoming Data

Wednesday, 28 March, 2018
13:30                     EUR German Consumer Confidence
14:00                     ZAR SARB Rate Decision
00:50                     JPY Retail Sales
Philip McHugh

Philip McHugh

Joining the corporate trading desk in 2007, Phil now over sees all of Currencies Direct’s corporate dealing activity. Having gained experience working with hundreds of businesses to optimise international payments processes and execute comprehensive risk management strategies, Phil currently works with a portfolio of corporate clients whilst managing Currencies Direct’s overall market exposure

Phil has FCA approval and has completed the Certificate in International Treasury Management (CertiTM)

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