• UK manufacturing PMI came out better-than-expected

  • European equities extend their yesterday’s losses

  • Second appearance of Jerome Powell in the afternoon

Thursday’s early trading was led by the declines on the stock markets as investors await second Powell hearing. Investors will look for hawkish remarks after Tuesday’s hearing turned out to be quite upbeat. AUD remains the weakest currency among G10 while the NZD is a top performer. Gold trades significantly lower on the back of the USD strengthening. Oil prices continue their downward move.

UK manufacturing PMI slipped to 55.2 in February from 55.3 beating market expectations suggesting a slightly deeper drop to 55 points. The details illustrate that vendors faced some difficulties in passing mounting input costs on their customers suggesting that domestic price growth could ease over the course of the next months.

On the 4th of March Italians will go to the poll stations to take part in the general elections. As Euroscepticism is on the rise in the Europe’s third biggest economy, the possible victory of an anti-establishment and populist parties may pose a threat to the unity of the EU bloc.

Bitcoin’s price action has been outstandingly calm lately, and despite a bullish candlestick drawn several days ago the price has been unable to break above a crucial $11k resistance. Meanwhile, according to information obtained by the Wall Street Journal the US Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly looking into the cryptocurrency market.

After beating the 5-year average in January the German benchmark failed to keep up with the average for February. This can be mainly accounted to the rout that has struck global stock markets at the beginning of the month. Moreover, the stock index has also fallen short of the 5-year trailing low.

The major event during the ending Asian session was the CAPEX data from the Australian economy which disappointed at least on the face of it. Let’s begin with the headline showing the Q4 private capital expenditure fell 0.2% qoq while the consensus had forecast a 1% qoq increase.

Today is the second day of new Fed chair hearings in the Congress. Tuesday’s testimony turned out to be rather subdued. However, we have seen some hawkish remarks that spurred increased volatility on the markets. Apart from that, manufacturing PMI prints are about to be released today for a wide spectrum of world’s economies.