Markets remain choppy ahead of key US data releases

Although the US Dollar managed to stay resilient against its major rivals on Thursday, it seems to have lost its bullish momentum on the last trading day of the week. The US Bureau of Economic Analysis’ (BEA) Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index data, the US Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge of inflation, will be featured in the US economic docket alongside Personal Spending and Personal Income figures for February. January New Home Sales data and Fedspeak will also be watched closely by market participants.

The BEA announced on Thursday that it revised the annualized real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the fourth quarter to 2.7% from 2.9%. On a positive note, weekly Initial Jobless Claims stayed below 200,000 for the sixth straight week, reminding investors of tight labor market conditions. The US Dollar Index (DXY) edged higher after this data but the improving market mood, as reflected by considerable gains in Wall Street’s main indexes, limited the DXY’s upside. Meanwhile, the benchmark 10-year US Treasury Bond yield lost nearly 1% on Thursday and declined below 3.9% early Friday.

EUR/USD registered small losses on Thursday. The pair stays in a consolidation phase at around 1.0600 in the early European session. The data from Germany revealed that the GDP contracted by 0.4% on a quarterly basis in the fourth-quarter, compared to the initial estimate of -0.2%.

Following some fluctuations during the Asian trading hours, USD/JPY holds steady below 135.00 in the European morning. Incoming Bank of Japan (BoJ) Governor Kazuo Ueda said on Friday that the weak Japanese Yen was good for exports, inbound tourism and some service sectors. Ueda, however, also acknowledged that the weak Yen was impacting household negatively. “We would need to normalize policy if inflation makes headway towards 2% target,” Ueda further noted.

GBP/USD closed the second straight in negative territory on Thursday but managed to hold above 1.2000. The pair stays relatively quiet early Friday.

Gold price touched its lowest level of 2023 below $1,820 on Thursday but erased its daily losses amid retreating US T-bond yields. XAU/USD moves sideways at around $1,825 on Friday.

Bitcoin declined for the third straight day on Thursday and continued to edge lower early Friday. BTC/USD was last seen trading at around $23,900. Ethereum registered small losses on Thursday but lost its recovery momentum near $1,700. In the European morning on Friday, ETH/USD trades flat on the day at $1,650.

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