After days of weakening, the U.S. dollar (CURRENCY:USD) finally succeeded in gaining momentum against the Sterling. However, its southbound journey against the euro and the Japanese yen continued today. During the Asian trade, EUR/USD was trading up by 0.07% at 1.1389 while Yen advanced by 0.18% to 112.35 against the greenback.
China shows improvement in PMI
The major update impacting the currency trades came from China, which reported an improvement in its manufacturing data. An official report stated that the manufacturing PMI in China rose to 50.3 in March, up from 49.0 in February. The reading came higher than the expectations of 49.3 for the month. Meanwhile, the markets will stay tuned to the release of U.S. employment data later today.
Weak start to the quarter
In the equities segment, Asian indices started the second quarter of the year on a negative note. Except Shanghai SE Composite Index, most of the other Asian indices closed the day lower. Japan’s Nikkei 225 had suffered the most, dropping by 3.55% to 16,164.16 as the local currency continued to gain momentum against the greenback. Moreover, the Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey was also responsible for the bearish outlook on Japanese equities. The survey disclosed that the bug manufacturers’ business outlook hit the lowest in three years, which underscores the economic fragility in Japan.
At the same time, the European bourses too opened on a weaker note, echoing the sentiment that prevailed in the Asian equities, Dollar and oil.
Elsewhere, the oil prices extended their losses today as oversupply fears continue to cloud the sentiment. However, a lower increase in the U.S. oil production has capped the losses to some extent. The Brent crude was trading 0.69% lower at $40.5, and the West Texas Intermediate dipped 0.76% to $38.05 during the later Asian afternoon hours.