Daily Data Flow: Euro Down on Cyprus, Italy Worries; South Korean Debt Relief Troubled; Nikkei Makes Slight Gain

Daily Data Flow

With the U.S. Market closed today for Good Friday, Daily Data Flow will wrap up its week with some snapshots of international monetary affairs.

Cyprus, Italy Still Dragging Euro (Reuters)
The Cyprus bank ordeal and the lingering effects of Italy’s recent election continued to weigh on the Euro, keeping the continental currency down near a four-month low. There is some hope, though: “Today we have neither strong buying or strong selling pressure, so I think it’s close to bottoming out,” said Kenichi Asada, manager of forex at Trust & Custody Services Bank.

South Korean Debt Relief Fund Smaller than Planned (Reuters)
New South Korean President Park Geun-hye won the election in part because of her promised household debt-relief program, but the fund opened today with far less capital and far fewer recipients than planned, a sign of Park’s political troubles. “This fund is not much different from all the other programs out there, and it’s a drop in the ocean in terms of helping people who are struggling,” said Kim Shin-hong, a South Korean citizen seeking aid.

Nikkei Makes Small Gains for the Day (Reuters)
Thanks to investor excitement from this week’s S&P 500 record high, Japan’s Nikkei rose today, but poor factory data capped gains. “The data is hurting sentiment, although the impact should be limited and it may not last long,” said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

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U.S. consumer spending rose in February by the most in five months as incomes increased, indicating an improving job market is boosting demand. Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of gross domestic product, gained 0.7 percent after a 0.4 percent advance the prior month that was larger than previously estimated.

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