Daily Afternoon Report 01.02.2016

The dollar pushed lower against the other major currencies on Monday, after data showed that U.S. consumer spending was flat in December and as concerns over global economic growth persisted.

The Commerce Department said that personal spending was flat last month, missing forecasts for a gain of 0.1%. Personal spending for November was revised up to 0.5% from a previously reported rise of 0.3%.

Personal income, meanwhile, rose by 0.3%, above forecasts for a 0.2% gain and after rising 0.3% a month earlier.

The Japanese currency remained under pressure after the Bank of Japan’s shock decision on Friday to cut its deposit rate into negative territory as part of an ongoing effort to combat deflation.

The shift to negative interest rates is designed to encourage commercial lenders to use excess reserves they keep with the central bank to lend to businesses.

The BoJ also said it had not ruled out deeper cuts, warning that it would cut the interest rates further into negative territory if necessary.

Separately, official data on Monday showed that manufacturing activity in China contracted for a sixth straight month in January.

The Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers’ index slid to 49.4 from 49.7 in December, falling further below the 50 levels separating contraction from growth.

A separate report showed that China’s Caixin factory PMI ticked up to 48.4 from 48.2 in December, indicating that the world’s second-largest economy got off to a weak start in 2016

The euro’s gains were limited after data earlier showed that growth in the eurozone manufacturing sector slowed last month, adding to fears over the risk of deflation in the region.

The eurozone manufacturing PMI dipped to 52.3 in January, down from 53.2 in December.

Sterling found support after Markit said that its U.K. manufacturing PMI rose to a three-month high of 52.9 from December’s 52.1, compared to expectations for a downtick to 51.8.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.26% at 99.34.