Asian Session Recap – March 6, 2014

  • AU retail sales up by 1.2% in Jan. vs. 0.4% expected
  • AU trade surplus at 1.43B AUD in Jan. vs. 0.11B AUD estimates
  • Nikkei closes up by 1.59% to 15,134.75
  • French ILO unemployment rate down to 10.2% vs. 11.0% expected

The Aussie and the yen once again took center stage as investors reacted to risk appetite and Australia’s major reports. While EUR/USD and GBP/USD stayed within their tight ranges ahead of the BOE and ECB policy statements, yen pairs like USD/JPY, EUR/JPY, GBP/JPY, and AUD/JPY rocketed by at least 70 pips during the session.

Broad risk appetite and easing concerns for Ukraine helped the higher-yielding currencies post gains against its low-yielding counterparts. In the Aussie’s case, the move was accelerated by better-than-expected Australian data. Not only did its retail sales report log its biggest jump since February 2013 but an increase in gold exports had also boosted its surplus to its highest since August 2011. What a boon!

At 8:00 am GMT we’ll see the U.K.’s Halifax price index, followed by the German factory orders numbers at 11:00 am GMT. Then, at 12:00 pm GMT the Bank of England (BOE) will print its monetary policy statement. No change is expected from the central bank so it’s possible that they won’t release a statement either.

The ECB’s decision scheduled at 12:45 pm GMT and press conference at 1:30 pm GMT will likely inspire more volatility in the charts. Analyst expectations range from the ECB making no changes to the central bank hinting at stimulus-friendly interventions like quantitative easing. Don’t even think of missing these reports!

See also:

U.S. Session Recap

Bonnie and Clyde, peanut butter and jelly, Taylor Swift and her guitar. Some things just go well together.

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