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Dollar weakness prevails...

The dollar remains on the back foot in the currency markets as US stocks posted their first back to back weekly rallies…the added impetus from the Fed being the main driver. The US treasury secretary Tim Geithner is today poised to unveil regulatory reforms to prevent future and further systemic problems in the US economy. In the forex markets we have seen sterling attempt to push over 1.46 against the USD and EUR/USD target 1.37. The USD is not the only currency retreating with the GBP/YEN achieving 140 as the market for now is moving a way from so called "safe haven" currencies; gains in oil and gold have reaffirmed the increased risk sentiment- the question is will it last? This week we have lots of data snaps from various economies, in the UK we will be focusing on retail sales and CBI distributive trends, CPI and Q4 GDP. CPI is a measure of price movements and a key indicator for inflation, the expectation is for the year on year level to fall to 2.5-2.6%, still above the Bank Of England target of 2%. It is too early to see any effect of Quantitative Easing on inflation but it will be interesting to see what level CPI comes in at. Retail sales figures for February are expected to be down, with the snow and conditions in February not helping. GDP data is expected to affirm a sharp contraction. The markets this week will mainly focus on the USD; after significant losses last week the USD has a possibility of falling to 1.50 against sterling and 1.40 against the euro. The euro should also come into focus as the market will want to assess what the next move will be for the ECB…in an article for the Wall Street Journal Jean-Claude Trichet stated that Europe does not need more stimulus spending but the ECB could lower interest rates further.

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