Asian Session Recap – March 4, 2014

  • NZ ANZ commodity prices at 0.9% vs. 1.2% previous
  • AU building approvals up by 6.80% vs. 0.50% expected
  • AU current account at -10.1 billion AUD vs. -10.0 billion AUD estimates
  • RBA keeps rates at 2.50% but thinks AUD is still “historically high”
  • Nikkei closes up by 0.47% at 14,721.48
  • Russia backs off military exercises near Ukraine’s border

The yen and the Aussie were the biggest movers during the Asian session as investors priced in a bit of risk appetite and a slightly bearish RBA statement.

Major currency pairs like EUR/USD, GBP/USD and NZD/USD gave up a few more pips at the start of the Asian session but were soon supported by some risk takers. The yen pairs didn’t show such hesitation as they slowly but surely climbed since the beginning of the Asian session.

The Aussie traders also got busy as when AUD/USD popped up following the release of a much-better-than-expected building approvals data. The move was reversed, however, when the RBA printed its monetary policy decision hours later.

While the central bank maintained its interest rates at 2.50%, it also said that the Aussie is still high by historical standard. Not only that, but the RBA also expects unemployment rate to rise before peaking. Yikes!

Let’s see which economic theme dominates the London session. A couple of hours earlier European currencies like the euro and the pound already got a head start at the news that Russia has ended its military exercises near Ukraine’s border. Will this translate to more risk-taking today?

Up ahead we’re also expecting Spain’s unemployment change numbers at 8:00 am GMT, followed by the UK’s construction PMI report at 9:30 am GMT. Both are expected to print slightly lower numbers than last month but keep your eyes peeled in case of surprises!

See also:

U.S. Session Recap

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