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MNI Global Morning Briefing

MNI (London)
     LONDON (MNI) - Thursday has a considerable amount of data following the
concise calendar yesterday, with key data releases from the eurozone, UK, US and
Japan.
     France, Germany and EZ output data dominates the morning schedule; analysts
expect a drop in PMI figures for manufacturing and services
     Starting bright and early (0745GMT), France release three key figures.
These are its Business Climate Indicator, Manufacturing Sentiment and Services
Sentiment data. Prior figures for these indexes were at 109, 112 and 106
respectively.
     Shortly after the sentiment indicators, the PMI figures for manufacturing
and services for France will be released at 0800GMT. After previous figures of
55.9 and 57.4 respectively, analysts polls by MNI forecast both manufacturing
and services PMI to contract from these figures to 55.5 and 57.1.
     This anticipated contraction by analysts polls is also apparent in Germany
who release their manufacturing and services PMI at 0830GMT. With previous
figures 60.6 and 55.3 respectively, MNI median forecasts suggest manufacturing
PMI is moving further downward from January's high to 59.7. Services PMI is
expected to see downfall from 55.3 to 55.0. This is followed up with the Duetsch
IFO Direction at 0900GMT.
     Next on the schedule is the EZ with their current account data and PMI
releases at 0900GMT. Adjusting for seasonal effects, the current account
previously reported a surplus of eur29.9 billion.
     The PMI tells a story of losing its momentum slightly for the EZ. Composite
PMI is forecasted by analysts to fall from 57.1 to 56.7 and is mirrored with
manufacturing expected to fall from 58.6 to 57.9. Services PMI is expected to
fall the least from 56.2 to 56.0.
     UK retail sales are to be released at 0930GMT with previous m/m retail
sales at 0.1% and excluding fuel, retail sales were at 1.6%.
     Moving into the afternoon see the widely anticipated BOE interest rate and
quantitative easing (QE) decision combined with the minutes from the BOE Policy
Decision Inflation Report.
     MNI forecasts from a wide range of analysts unanimously follow the rhetoric
of interest rates remaining unchanged in March, with 85% of the market
pencilling in a rate hike in May. The BOE's QE programme is also expected to
remain unchanged at stg435 billion.
     The level of initial jobless claims (1230GMT) is expected to fall by 1,000
to 225,000 in the March 17 employment survey week after a 4,000 decline in the
previous week. Claims were at a level of 220,000 in the February 17 employment
survey week. The four-week moving average would rise by 1,250 in the coming
week, as that 220,000 level drops out of the calculation, assuming the MNI
forecast is correct and there are no revisions.
     Seasonal adjustment factors expect unadjusted claims to decline further in
the March 17 week after a 20,922 decrease in the previous week. Unadjusted
claims rose by 2,712 in the comparable week a year ago, when seasonal factors
had expected a decline, so adjusted claims rose by 15,000 that week.
     Next on the agenda is the FHFA HPI Monthly price index at 1300GMT with a
prior figure of 0.3%.
     At 1345GMT, there is the double release in the US of the manufacturing and
services index with previous figures of 55.3 and 55.9 respectively.
     The index of leading indicators (1400GMT) is forecast to rise by 0.4% in
February, maintaining the string of solid gains. Positive contributions are
expected from factory hours worked, lower jobless claims, and higher consumer
confidence. These were offset by negative contributions from lower stock prices
and softer building permits.
     The BOJ release at 2330GMT their CPI figures with MNI forecasts suggesting
a slight increase in the y/y figure from 0.9% to 1.0%.
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com