It has clearly been an unlucky day for risk seekers as China's unexpected statement's yesterday have strongly dampened market sentiment today and awakened worries of whether the world's second-largest economy would withhold commodity demand and global growth.
Yesterday, China pared its growth forecast to 7.5 percent this year, the lowest growth goal since 2005, 0.5 percent down from prior target, and set an inflation target of 4.0 percent this year, higher than economists' expected, thus leaving more room for fiscal and monetary stimulus.
Pessimism spread further in markets today, after European services sector unexpectedly contracted in February. An index based on a survey of PMI services Output slipped to 48.8 from 50.4 in January. Analysts' expected a reading of 49.4, a contraction in other words.
Factory and services data from the world's largest economy failed to support the Greenback today, though growth in U.S service industries outpaced estimates. A gauge of ISM's non-manufacturing industries rallied to 57.3 in February from 56.8 in January.
Separately, new orders to U.S factories unexpectedly fell 1.0 percent in January, the first time in three months, following a 1.8 percent revised increase in December and 2.2 percent in November. Weakness was mostly resulted in durable goods orders which decreased 3.7 percent.
The Greenback fell against most of its traded counterparts, driving the dollar index down from the opening level of 79.44 to currently trade around 79.30 levels, recording the highest level of 79.57 and lowest of 79.23.
Gold spot prices plunged on China's Growth outlook. The metal traded now around $1703.06 an ounce, after opening at $1712.81. Oil futures for the April Delivery rebounded from today's low of $105.53 a barrel to trade around $106.94, recording a high of $107.42 from the opening level of $106.59.
The 17-nation currency gained slightly against its U.S. counterpart, driving the EUR/USD pair to trade around $1.3222 after recording the highest level of $1.3241 since the opening level of $1.3185, while printing a low of $1.3160.
The British pound rose against the greenback as well, following yesterday's heavy plunge, where the GBP/USD pair trades now around $1.5863 after opening at $1.5830, recording the highest level of $1.5876 and lowest of $1.5785.
Finally, the dollar was little changed versus the Japanese Yen, as the USD/JPY fell slightly around ¥81.40 from the opening level of ¥81.61, while recording the highest level of ¥81.78 and lowest of ¥81.15.