Key US inflation measure sees first drop in 16 years

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The euro was last up 0.2 percent against the dollar at $1.0912, after touching a session high of $1.0923 following the data. He added that the Fed will be watching negotiations over a USA tax plan and that if economic data don't worsen and tax-deal prospects remain in tact, the market would likely price in a June increase in the Fed's interest rate.

It added that the recent slowdown in growth is likely temporary.

Year-on-year, GDP in the single currency bloc rose 1.7% in the first quarter, matching expectations. The combination of weak spending growth and stronger income growth pushed the saving rate to 5.9 per cent of after-tax income in March, up from 5.7 per cent in February. "With no change in monetary policy, mortgage rates look to remain within the narrow band of four percent to 4.5 percent for the foreseeable future", said National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. Last month, this same reading showed a 0.1 percent advance. A measure of new orders received at factories tumbled to a five-month low.

Even after the Fed's recent increases, rates throughout the economy remain low by historical standards and are widely thought to have helped support the economy throughout the recovery from the Great Recession.

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USA economic growth slowed to an annual rate of just 0.7 per cent in the opening quarter of the year, and core inflation has subsided marginally even as the jobs market continues to progress towards full employment. The drop reflected declines in the prices of automobiles and mobile phone services.

An earlier report by payrolls processor ADP said private employers expanded their payrolls by 177,000 jobs last month, the smallest gain since the 62,000 increase last October as they faced increasing difficulty finding qualified workers. Despite a dip in consumer prices, it said FOMC members still expect inflation to stabilize around the 2% target.

"We view the drop in the core PCE price index in March as an aberration and we expect the core inflation rate to creep upwards over the coming months", said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in NY.

"However, we do expect a period of consolidation to set in fairly shortly and do not see a substantial drop below the $1,200 level for gold anytime soon".

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The dollar's weakness was minor since the data, while failing to bolster expectations of a June Fed rate hike, did little to convince investors that the Fed would forgo hiking rates in June.

Anderson believes consumer and government spending will rebound in the second quarter and business inventories will expand.

EUR/USD is likely to find support at 1.0849 levels and now trading at 1.0884 levels.

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