Asian Session Recap – April 16, 2014

  • NZ quarterly CPI up by 0.3% vs. 0.5% growth expected
  • NZ dairy slips by 2.5% to a 14-month low in March
  • AU Westpac-MI leading index at 0.0% vs. -0.1% previous
  • China Q1 2014 GDP up by 7.4% vs. 7.3% expected and 7.7% previous
  • China retail sales prints 12.2% growth vs. 11.9% uptick expected
  • China industrial production up by 8.8% as expected
  • China fixed asset investment shows 17.6% growth vs. 18.0% growth expected
  • Japanese officials boosted Nikkei’s performance

What a day for news traders! The Asian forex trading session was full of market-moving economic data, starting with New Zealand’s worse-than-expected inflation numbers. This, together with a weak reading in NZ’s dairy prices, had triggered an 80-pip drop in NZD/USD a few hours into the session.

Japanese officials then got busy as they signaled at good times ahead for the economy. BOJ Governor Kuroda said that recovery is still continuing despite a bit of volatility. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Aso said that the drop in consumer demand following a hike in sales tax turned out to be less than expected. Talk about thinking positive!

Not surprisingly, Nikkei investors ate up all these statements and fueled risk appetite during the trading session. We saw some upticks in comdoll crosses like AUD/JPY and NZD/JPY and more noticeable jumps in popular yen crosses like EUR/JPY and GBP/JPY.

China put the cherry on top of a sweet risk rally when its GDP report came in slightly higher than investor expectations. Even tier 2 reports like retail sales and industrial production came in as expected (if not slightly higher) than market consensus. This is probably why the Aussie was able to recover some of its losses from the previous session.

Up ahead at 8:30 am GMT is the U.K.’s employment numbers. Market players are expecting the jobless rate to slip from 7.2% to 7.1% while the number of jobless claimants is expected to drop by another 30,000 in March. If U.K. reports aren’t your thing though, then you could also wait for Switzerland’s ZEW economic expectations and the euro zone’s CPI reports out at 9:00 am GMT. Remember that the ECB is closely watching the region’s inflation numbers, you definitely should too!

U.S. Session Recap

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