• GBP leads, AUD lags on the day
  • European equities lower; S&P 500 futures down 0.8%
  • US 10-year yields up 6 bps to 3.89%
  • Gold down 0.6% to $1,830.51
  • WTI crude up 1.3% to $77.35
  • Bitcoin down 0.9% to $24,535

The session started off with more of a defensive risk mood as equities were pinned lower while the dollar was firmer across the board. Then, we got the French and German PMI readings and that rebuffed the prevailing market sentiment on the day.

The data was a bit of a contrast as manufacturing activity slowed but services activity was seen improving markedly in February. On the balance of things, it pointed to growth in the euro area and that kept equities pressured as bond yields also moved higher on the session. That reaffirms the afforded flexibility the ECB might have when it comes to being more hawkish after March.

After that, we had the UK PMI data - which also surprised higher - and that sent the pound surging with GBP/USD moving up from 1.2000 to 1.2070 initially before extending gains to around 1.2100 on the day now.

In terms of BOE rate pricing, it seals the deal for a 25 bps move next month but not really anything more at this stage.

The data didn't really do much to shake up the rest of the major currencies bloc though, with the dollar continuing to keep firmer across the board. EUR/USD is down 0.3% to 1.0650 after a trip to 1.0680 after the French and German PMI data. Meanwhile, USD/JPY is staying firmer at around 134.60-70 levels for the most part - up 0.4% on the day.

As the risk mood is more defensive, commodity currencies are lagging with AUD/USD down 0.5% to 0.6870 and NZD/USD down 0.2% to 0.6240 but off its earlier low of 0.6210 at least.

We'll see how Wall Street takes to the market landscape after the long weekend, with 10-year Treasury yields slowly inching back towards the December highs around 3.90% again.