GBP/USD. March 04, 2021 | Pound falls on weak statistics
The British pound weakened slightly during the trading session on Thursday. The current quote for the GBP/USD pair is 1.3950.
The pound was pressured by the weak macroeconomic data from Great Britain published yesterday. The index of business activity in the services sector in February fell from 49.7 to 49.5 points, and did not reach the level of 50 points. An additional driver of sales was the presentation of the UK budget, which provides for an increase in corporate taxes from 19% to 25% in order to combat the growing national debt of the country (2.1 trillion pounds). Also, the government will suspend the income tax thresholds until 2026.
Economic statistics from the United States came out ambiguous. In particular, the index of business activity in the service sector from Markit rose from 58.9 to 59.8 points, while the similar index from ISM, on the contrary, fell sharply from 58.7 to 55.3 points.
The markets were also somewhat disappointed by the ADP report on employment in the US private sector, which reflected the growth of jobs only by 117 thousand in February after increasing by 195 thousand in January. Today the focus is on the speech of the head of the US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, as well as statistics on the dynamics of applications for unemployment benefits in the US.
EUR/USD. March 4, 2021 – Consolidation at 1.2050
The EUR/USD pair continues to trade within the 1.20-1.21 range. The current quote for the asset is 1.2050. Yesterday, the yield on US government bonds rose sharply, which contributed to the strengthening of the US dollar across the entire spectrum of the market.
However, the further rally of the dollar remains questionable, and the blame is weak macroeconomic statistics. According to the ADP, the economy created just 117,000 new jobs in February, which is significantly less than the forecast of 177,000. Activity in the service sector also slowed: the ISM index fell from 58.7 to 55.3 points. Today we should pay attention to the release of data on applications for unemployment benefits, it is expected that the figure will once again decline.
Also important will be the statistics from the eurozone, which can exert strong pressure on the euro. The 0.6% growth in retail sales in Europe is expected to be followed by a 1.2% decline. In other words, consumer prices have finally begun to rise, while sales have plummeted. This indicates the instability of inflationary processes in the region, and Europe may once again slide into deflation.
The RSI indicator has consolidated in the neutral zone, which signals the continuation of the sideways trend at 1.2050 until the release of economic statistics, which will determine the further direction of movement of the EUR/USD pair.