Asian Session Recap – March 21, 2014

  • NZ credit card spending up by 5.9% y/y
  • Japanese banks on holiday today
  • Risk of more corporate default in China
  • Euro zone current account and consumer confidence due

Price action was relatively quiet in today’s Asian trading session, as Japanese traders were off on a holiday. USD/JPY moved sideways along the 102.50 minor psychological level while EUR/USD was stuck in a tight 15-pip range for the past few hours. The only report released was New Zealand’s credit card spending data, which showed a 5.9% annual increase.

Over in China, the risk of more corporate bond defaults loomed as a large real estate developer confirmed that it is on the verge of bankruptcy. However, a report published on China Securities Journal indicated that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) isn’t too concerned about more instances of corporate default. In addition, the publication also mentioned that China plans to introduce more economic measures to spur consumption.

In the next few hours, we’ll see the euro zone’s current account balance and consumer confidence data. The current account surplus is projected to narrow from 21.3 billion EUR to 18.4 billion EUR while consumer confidence could improve from -13 to -12. UK public sector net borrowing data is also due and might show a 7.8 billion GBP reading, up from the previous shortfall of 6.4 billion GBP, reflecting a government deficit. A higher than expected reading would mean that the government spent much more than its revenue, which might push the pound lower against the dollar and the yen.

Do keep close tabs on the drama in Russia as well since this could have a huge impact on risk sentiment. Russia has been responding to economic sanctions imposed by the US and the euro zone with their own set of sanctions, heightening the tension in the region. Stay tuned!

See also:

U.S. Session Recap

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