It's rather paradoxical, but the surge on Wall Street and a veritable draught of air in favor of American stocks (Nasdaq 'technos' soared by a record-breaking +1.5%) did not support the dollar, which lost 0.25% on average and wiped out the previous day's gains.
The $-Index fell back to 103.90 and thus ended the week unchanged, with the Euro recording the most significant gain with +0.35% to $1.0840.

The Euro's resilience can perhaps be seen in the firmness displayed by the HCOB PMI for Eurozone manufacturing, which stood at 46.5 in February, relatively stable compared with the ten-month high recorded in January (46.6).

But the picture is more encouraging in France: the HCOB PMI index for manufacturing, produced by S&P Global, recovered from 43.1 in January to 47.1 in February, its highest level since March 2023, and thus highlights a strong slowdown in the sector's contraction.

Conversely, the day's US figures proved disappointing: activity in the US manufacturing sector contracted for the 16th month in a row in February, according to the monthly survey published on Friday by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

The ISM manufacturing index fell to 47.8 last month, compared with 49.1 in January (and 49.5 expected).

The new orders sub-index fell by 3.3 points back below the critical 50-point threshold, to 49.2 from 52.5 the previous month.

The component measuring production also sank into the contraction zone, to 48.4 in February from 50.4, while that measuring prices paid remained high, at 52.5 compared with 52.9 in January.

US consumer confidence deteriorated sharply in February, according to the University of Michigan's final reading of 76.9, compared with a preliminary estimate of 79.6 and 79 for the previous month.

The end of the week was marked by gold's surge of +2.5% towards $2,085 (the big resistance at $2,077 was "lifted"), and it emerged as the week's big winner.
Is gold regaining its status as a safe-haven asset in the face of a tense geopolitical climate, with an escalation of martial declarations from France and Russia (the Elysée is back at it again this Friday, putting the question of sending NATO troops to Ukraine back on the table, despite the general outcry from European heads of government on Tuesday).


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