The greenback was little changed in the Thursday session, edging slightly higher against the euro toward the 1.35-level while advancing versus the sterling. The yen was the loser on the session amid sharp gains in the US equity bourses, losing ground across the board. The Dow Jones added onto recent sessions' gains, up 2.25% while the Nasdaq surged by 3.8%.
The US economy contracted by less than expected in Q4, albeit worse than the initial reading. The report revealed Q4 GDP contracted by 6.3%, slightly better than consensus estimates for a 6.5% decline versus the previous estimate of a 6.2% decline. The core PCE in Q4 was slightly higher at 0.9% compared with 0.8% previously, while headline PCE posted a 4.9% decline versus a 5.0% decline in the initial estimate. Meanwhile, the outlook for the US jobs market remains bleak with weekly jobless claims creeping up further to 652k from 646k a week earlier.
Reports slated for release in the Friday session include February consumption, personal income, PCE and the University of Michigan. Markets expect February consumption to decline to 0.2% from 0.6% in January while personal income is seen declining by 0.1% compared with an increase of 0.4% previously. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey final reading is expected to improve to 56.8 in February, up from 56.3 while the current survey is seen declining to 64.1 from 65.5 in January.
GBP steady ahead GDP
Cable trades around the 1.4460-level ahead of key UK data to be released in the early Friday session. Traders will look ahead to the March nationwide house prices, Q4 current account balance and Q4 GDP. Consensus estimates for Q4 GDP are largely unchanged from the previous reading, with quarterly growth seen contracting by 1.5% while the annualized growth figure is expected to decline by 1.9%.
GBPUSD will encounter support at 1.4430, backed by 1.44 and 1.4360. Subsequent floors will emerge at 1.4340, followed by 1.43 and 1.4250. On the upside, gains will target 1.45, followed by 1.4540 and 1.4580. Additional ceilings will emerge at 1.46, backed by 1.4640 and 1.4670.