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Broadgate: Market News 15/3

15 March 2012

The U.S. economy is showing further signs of improvement. The dollar reached the highest level in four weeks against the euro and traded near an 11-month high at 83.70 yen. The yen declined against 15 of its 16 major counterparts.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen for the past six days, its longest rally in more than a year. Data today may show that manufacturing in the Philadelphia region may have increased to 12 in March, the highest since April. According to projections, figures today may also reveal that the number of Americans applying for jobless benefits fell by 5,000 to 357,000 in the week ended March 10. This comes after the Fed said in a statement on March 13 that unemployment in the U.S. will “decline gradually”.

Chinese stocks fell after a report showed that foreign direct investment declined for a fourth straight month in February. This hit to the Chinese economy comes after data last week confirmed that China’s factory output in the first two months of the year rose the least since 2009, while retail sales increased less than economists predicted. Premier Wen, who is due to leave office next year after a decade in power, said yesterday that the country must adopt political change to support an economic transformation.

The FTSE 100 Index unperformed most western European markets yesterday as stocks including HSBC Holdings Plc, the largest index member by weighting, traded without the right to the latest dividend. The FTSE 100 slid by 10.48, or 0.2 percent, to 5,945.43 at the close in London. Will Hedden, a sales trade at IG Index in London explained that a weaker mining sector was able to drag the FTSE lower, as raw-material stocks felt the impact of the strengthening dollar.

In the U.K., jobless claims rose more than economists forecast in February and the three-month unemployment rate remained at the highest in 16 years. Unemployment-benefit claims climbed by 7,200 from January to 1.612 million, the Office for National Statistics said.

The information set out herein has been obtained from various public sources and is by way of information only. Broadgate Financial can accept no liability of any sort in relation thereto and readers should obtain their own verification of any statement before making any decision which may have any financial or other impact.

Neither the information nor the opinions herein constitute, or are they to be construed as, an offer or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell investments.