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Currencies & Commodities Fundamental report: Friday 3rd of March, 2017

News Date: 3/3/2017 07:21:22

The dollar edged down on profit-taking in Asian trade on Friday after setting a seven-week high yesterday, but upward expectations for a rate hike in the Federal Reserve's mid-March meeting contained the losses.

The dollar index, tracking the greenback's performance versus a basket of six major currencies, slipped 0.11% to 102.04, away from a multi-week high at 102.27.

Earlier data from Japan showed core inflation, which includes oil prices but excludes volatile food prices, rose in January for the firth time since December 2015, but household spending tumbled 1.2%, missing expectations of a 0.3% fall and souring the sentiment.

The yen however eked out a 0.29% gain against the dollar to trade at 114.10, moving away from a two-week trough hit yesterday at 114.61, while gaining a similar 0.24% against the pound to 140.00.

Oil prices were broadly flat after earlier Russian data showed no change in production in February, disappointing the markets and indicating a weak compliance from Russia with the OPEC deal to cut output, with the energy behemoth's final tally standing at 11.11 million barrels per day last month.

Brent crude futures rose 0.09%, or five cents to $55.13 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures added six cents, or 0.11% to $52.67 a barrel.

Gold prices recovered some ground in Asia after sustaining hefty losses yesterday that pushed them to one-week low, with the precious metal last trading at $1,234 an ounce, up a dollar on the day, or 0.05%, while silver futures added over four cents, or 0.25% to hover around $17.79 an ounce.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen and Fed Deputy Governor Stanley Fischer are scheduled to talk later today, expected to outline a bullish stance, similar to what markets saw in recent days from other Fed officials, which would bolster the dollar and hurt safe havens and stocks.

From Britain, services PMI is forecast at 54.2 in February, down from 54.5 in the previous reading, while remaining firmly above 50, which separates growth from contraction, which could offer some support to the pound today.

Finally, the U.S. ISM services PMI is expected 56.5 in February, same as the last reading, after the ISM manufacturing PMI surprised the markets on the upside two days ago and buoyed the greenback.

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