Asian Session Recap – April 3, 2014

  • AU AIG services PMI at 48.9 vs. 55.2 previous
  • AU Feb retail sales at 0.2% vs. 0.3% expected
  • AU Feb trade balance shows 1.2 billion AUD surplus vs. 0.8 billion AUD expected
  • China non-mfg PMI at 54.5, down from 55.0 in Feb
  • China HSBC non-mfg PMI at 51.9 vs. 51.0 in Feb
  • BOE’s Carney: rates could increase ahead of the next general election
  • China launches “mini stimulus”
  • Nikkei closes with 0.84% gain

We’ve already seen a lot of major forex headlines and the London markets haven’t even opened yet! For starters, Australia had printed mixed reports with its retail sales just missing market expectations while its trade surplus came in better-than-expected. The Aussie bears won the tug-o-pip though, especially after China’s services PMI also came below expectations.

It wasn’t until China announced its “mini stimulus” plans when the comdoll selling took a breather. China’s State Council announced its plans to add spending on railways, upgrade housing for low-income households, and provide tax relief for small businesses. No estimated impacts have been announced but it was enough to hold off some of the comdoll bears.

The yen was also one of the losers during the Asian session, as it weakened against the dollar and the European currencies but gained a bit against the comdolls. USD/JPY took a trip to the 104.00 handle while EUR/JPY and GBP/JPY also showed significant gains.

Our last but definitely not the least market mover for the session is BOE Governor Mark Carney’s interview with a local newspaper. In the text he hinted that the BOE could raise its interest rates ahead of the general election next year. Not surprisingly, pound bulls attacked pairs like EUR/GBP and GBP/USD as soon as the headline popped up on Bloomberg.

Phew! That’s a lot to take from the last couple of hours alone! Are you ready for more? At 7:15 am GMT we’ll see Spain, Italy, and the euro zone’s services PMI. Then, at 8:30 am GMT the U.K. will print its services PMI, which is expected to remain at 58.2 in March. The euro zone will also release its retail sales data at 9:00 am GMT.

But the reports above aren’t why traders are tuned in to their newswires. At 11:45 am GMT the ECB will publish its monetary policy statement. While the central bank isn’t expected to make any interest rate changes, investors will keep close tabs on what Mario Draghi thinks about the region’s growth and inflation as well as the euro’s current levels. Any hint of stimulus could set off the euro bulls and bears so y’all better be around when Draghi gives a press conference at 12:30 pm GMT!

See also:

U.S. Session Recap

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