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Thread: Forex news from InstaForex

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    Australia Business Confidence Index Rises To +12 - NAB



    Business confidence in Australia ticked higher in January, the latest survey from the National Australia Bank revealed on Tuesday with an index score of +12.

    That's up from the downwardly revised +10 in December.

    The NAB also said that its index for business conditions jumped to +19 from +13 in the previous month.

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    Australia Jobless Rate Eases To 5.5% In January



    The unemployment rate in Australia came in at a seasonally adjusted 5.5 percent in January, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

    That was in line with expectations following the upwardly revised 5.6 percent reading in December (originally 5.5 percent).

    The Australian economy added 16,000 jobs last month - beating forecasts for 15,000 following the downwardly revised 33,500 increase in the previous month (originally 34,700).

    The participation rate came in at 65.6 percent - matching expectations and down from 65.7 percent a month earlier.

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    Wall Street Gains as Dow Jumps 253 Points



    U.S. stocks increased sharply on Wednesday, hitting a four-day winning streak as banks and tech lifted major indexes higher.

    The Dow Jones industrial average closed 253.04 points higher at 24,893.49 after dropping as much as 150 points. Goldman Sachs contributed the most to the gains, climbing 2.8 percent. The 30-stock index also pared all of its 2018 losses and reported its longest winning streak since Jan. 5.

    The S&P 500 rose 1.3 percent to 2,698.63, with financials and tech each gaining over 1.5 percent. Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley all traded higher. The financials sector had its best day since Nov. 28. The index also turned positive for 2018.

    The Nasdaq composite climbed 1.9 percent to end at 7,143.62, as shares of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet increased.

    U.S. equities opened lower on the back of stronger-than-expected inflation data.

    Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher. The decliners included the typically defensive sectors: consumer staples, utilities and real estate.

    The CBOE Volatility index was down at 21.10 points, slipping below 20 for the first time since Feb. 5 and well off the 50-point mark it hit during last week's sell-off.

    The SPDR S&P Bank exchange-traded fund (KBE), rose 2.9 percent and posted its best day since Nov. 29.

    Concerns of rising inflation have recently weighed down Wall Street. Last week, all three major U.S. indexes finished the five-day trading period more than five percent down each, with the Dow delivering its worst performance since January 2016.

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    Japan Export Growth Accelerates in January



    Japanese exports increased for the fourth straight month in January as shipments to Asian and western Europe grew.

    Exports climbed 12.2 percent year on year in January, figures according to the Ministry of Finance. Exports increased 9.3 percent in December.

    Outbound shipments to Asia were up 16 percent while those to western Europe rose 20.8 percent. Imports also increased in January, climbing 7.9 percent year on year, short of the 8.3 increase percent forecast by economists.

    U.S.-bound shipments were 1.2 percent higher in the year to January, led by steel, batteries and medicines, while car shipments declined 3.9 percent. The small rise in U.S.-bound exports followed a 3.0 percent gain in the previous month.

    Those numbers resulted in a trade deficit of •943.4 billion ($8.9 billion). Economists expect exports will continue to expand in the coming months, led by demand for the semiconductor-related products that lifted exports in 2017.

    Analysts are also wary about a rising yen as well as the U.S. stance towards protectionism ahead of the mid-term elections later this year, and potential effects on Japan's exports of cars and other products.

    A strong yen erodes profits at Japanese manufacturers and could hurt the otherwise buoyant economy, which posted an eighth consecutive quarter of growth in October-December.

    The yen was flat against the dollar at •106.31 following the publication of the trade figures.

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    New Zealand Services Growth Robust In January



    New Zealand's service sector activity continued to expand strongly in January, survey figures from Business NZ showed Monday.

    The performance of services index, or PSI, dropped to 55.8 in January from 56.0 in December. However, any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

    The sub-index for new orders fell below the 60.0 point mark for the first time since April last year. It declined to 57.6 from 60.1.

    "While the PSI is relatively robust, combined with the Performance of Manufacturing Index it nonetheless signals something of a slowing in GDP growth for the near term," Craig Ebert, senior economist at Business NZ, said.

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    Australia's Consumer Confidence Weakens Further



    Australia's consumer confidence weakened for the second straight time during the week ended February 18, a weekly survey compiled by the ANZ bank and Roy Morgan Research showed Tuesday.

    The consumer confidence index dropped to 115.3 from 119.5 in the preceding week. Views towards current economic conditions fell 5.5 percent last week, bringing the sub-index to an eight-week low of 107.0.

    Similarly, perceptions of future economic conditions declined to a 13-week low of 106.3.

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    EU Names Spainís de Guindos as Next ECB Vice-Chair



    Eurozone's finance ministers selected Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos to succeed European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio in May, a move that is seen to increase the odds of a German official becoming the head of the central bank next year.

    Choosing a Southern European for the position increases the possibility that a northerner such as German Bundesbank governor Jens Weidmann could be voted to take the place of Mario Draghi as the leader of the ECB in 2019. The decision could have an impact to the bank's ultra-loose monetary policy for the common currency zone.

    In a statement released by the EU following a short discussion among finance ministers, the Eurogroup backed the candidacy of Luis de Guindos for the position of Vice President of the European Central Bank. After the selection, De Guindos said he would step down from his post as Economy Minister within days.

    A number of EU legislators opposed his appointment as ECB Vice-President on worries that the nomination of a politician could impact the independence of ECB, a criticism that was dismissed by De Guindos.

    Initially, there were two candidates for the post: De Guindos and Irish central bank governor Philip Lane. Ireland decided to withdraw Lane's name for the position.

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