Analysis and Recommendations:
Crude Oil is up trading at 106.59. as it continued gains to a second session amid growing optimism that Greece will be able to complete debt-swap deal. The majority of bondholders have agreed to take large losses on their holdings as the deadline draws near. . That helped lift assets considered risky such as commodities. The USD fell against all of its partners today, which is beneficial to dollar-denominated commodities as it makes them less expensive for holders of other currencies.
U.S. employers announced workforce reductions totaling 51,728 during February, down 3.3% from January levels, according to the latest job-cut report released Thursday by global outplacement firm Challenger.
Jobless claims in the U.S. rose to the highest level in five weeks, climbing by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Markets had estimated claims would rise to 355,000 in the week ended March 3. Continuing claims - payments to people already approved for jobless benefits - increased by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.42 million in the week ended Feb. 25.
Household debt edged up 0.3% in the fourth quarter, the Fed reported in its flow-of-funds report, as consumer credit surged at a 7% annualized rate. Household debt had declined for 13 consecutive periods before the slender fourth-quarter advance.
The Fed is considering a new form of sterilized quantitative easing that would allow asset purchases despite high oil prices, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Under the new approach, the Fed would print new money to buy long-term mortgage or Treasury bonds but effectively tie up that money by borrowing it back for short periods at low rates. The aim of such an approach would be to relieve anxieties that money printing could fuel inflation later, a fear widely expressed by critics of the Fed's previous efforts to aid the recovery.
In northern America, the Canadian Central Bank held rates today at 1% following the lead of banks around the world.
The Greek government will announce early Friday the results of investors' participation in the country's ambitious debt-restructuring plan. More than 75% of private creditors have agreed to participate in Greece's debt swap deal, the Associated Press reported Thursday, citing an unnamed Greek government official close to the situation.
The Bank of England announced their current rate decision which was as expected to hold rates. No new additions to their monetary easing policies announced in February.
The European Central Bank committee held lending rates at the current rate of 1% and made no comments on any additional lending policies.
ECB President Draghi said in his monthly press conference in Frankfurt on Thursday that the central bank's long-term refinancing operation has had a positive effect on markets and sentiment in the euro zone but that all non-standard measures are temporary. He also said that the three-year LTROs have been an unquestionable success.
In a later presentation, ECB President Mario Draghi said higher-than-expected energy prices, along with increases in various state-administered prices, meant that inflation is expected to remain above 2% in 2012, with upside risks prevailing. The central inflation forecast for 2012 is now 2.4%, up from 2% three months ago, Mr. Draghi said.
At the same time, ECB forecasters now expect the bloc's economy to shrink by 0.1% this year. For 2013, the ECB now expects growth of 1.1%, compared with a prior forecast of 1.3%.
Prices for Italian government bonds jumped and Spanish bonds also rose Thursday, sending yields lower on expectations Greece will successfully complete its voluntary debt swap with private investors. Italy's 10-year bond yield fell 0.20
German production climbed 1.6% from December. Economists were expecting an increase of 1.1% in the euro zone's largest economy.
The New Zealand Reserve Bank has held the official cash rate at its historic low of 2.5 per cent at its review. Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard opted against making a rate change when releasing the quarterly monetary policy statement. He said if the New Zealand dollar remained at its high levels it would lessen the need to raise the rate. Dr Bollard says the New Zealand economy was continuing to improve despite the export sector being impacted by the high dollar.
Australia's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 5.2% in February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. The numbers were in line with forecasts.
Australia's fourth-quarter gross domestic product rose 0.4% against economists' expectations of a 0.8% gain, disappointing government officials and the markets.
South Korea kept its key interest rate on hold at 3.25% on Thursday, according to reports. The decision was widely expected.
Japan's trade deficit widened in January to 1.382 trillion yen ($17.0 billion), up 245.9% compared to the year-ago period the country's Ministry of Finance said Thursday. Japan's current account deficit totaled 437.3 billion yen in the month, larger than the 322.4 billion yen expected by economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires. The trade deficit and current account deficit were the largest on record.
March 8, 2012 Economic Releases actual v. forecast
South Korean Interest Rate Decision
French Non-Farm Payrolls (QoQ)
Interest Rate Decision
Interest Rate Decision
Initial Jobless Claims
Continuing Jobless Claims
Economic Events: (GMT)
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Crude Oil Pivot Points (Time Frame: 1 Day)
Name S3 S2 S1 Pivot R1 R2 R3