US manufacturing data continues to disappoint analyst expectations, and with the Federal Reserve maintaining that monetary policy will be “data dependent”, this is a setback for investors anticipating higher interest rates. While employment was the one highlight underlined by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, headwinds to the economy include weak inflation and a stronger dollar which has been a hindrance for exports. The statement sent the dollar tumbling against peers and commodities soaring, led by the move higher in gold. Precious metals prices remain elevated and energy prices saw continued gains as a technical rebound in crude oil prices offset higher than expected inventory gains and expanded production. Meanwhile the ECB has stepped up preparations for a Greek exit but is nevertheless struggling to meet its ambitious quantitative easing targets.