Gold Maintains Gains As Brexit Uncertainty Continues

UK Data

Economic reports from the UK showed that the GDP rose 0.2% in the three months to January. On a quarterly basis, the economy picked up the pace, rising 0.5%. The gains came from an increase in IT, health services and wholesale trading. This offset the declines from manufacturing in metals, cars and construction repairs.

Manufacturing production rose 0.8% on the month beating estimates of a 0.2% increase. The gains came from increased output in the pharmaceuticals industry and followed a 0.7% decline.

Industrial production grew 0.6% from December after falling 0.5% previously. The data also beat estimates. The services output rose 0.3% while construction output grew 2.8% and reversed the declines from December.

Investors, however, overlooked the data as the UK parliament once again rejected the Brexit deal despite initial optimism. The Brexit bill was defeated by a majority of 142, with 391 members rejecting the deal and 242 approving it.

In the US, data from the Bureau of Labor statistics showed that February’s headline inflation rose 0.2% as expected. This pushed down the annual inflation rate from 1.6% to 1.5% in February. Core CPI, excluding food and energy prices, rose 0.1%. This was the smallest increase since August last year.

Today’s Schedule

The economic data today will see the release of the UK’s annual budget. We now await the UK parliament to hold another vote on a no-deal Brexit later in the day.

Economic docket from the eurozone is quiet today. The NY trading session will see the release of durable goods orders. Core durable goods are forecast to rise 0.1% on the month. Meanwhile, headline durable goods orders are expected to fall 0.5% on the month.

The US PPI report is on the tap as well. Expectations are for headline producer prices to rise 0.2% after falling 0.1% previously. Core PPI will likely rise 0.2%, marking a slightly smaller pace of increase following a 0.3% increase the month before.

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