Asian Session Recap – Aug. 21, 2014

  • Australia’s CB leading index up by 0.4% in June
  • Japanese flash manufacturing PMI climbed from 50.5 to 52.4
  • Chinese HSBC flash manu PMI dipped from 51.7 to 50.3 in Aug
  • Swiss trade balance to show larger surplus?
  • German and French manufacturing and services PMIs due

Way to go, Greenback! Thanks to the surprisingly upbeat FOMC minutes, the U.S. dollar was able to extend its gains in today’s Asian trading session. GBP/USD just broke below the 1.6600 major psychological level while EUR/USD breached the 1.3250 handle. USD/JPY has come in 7 pips shy of the 104.00 handle as of this writing and USD/CHF is making headway towards the .9150 mark.

Australia reported a 0.4% increase in its CB leading index for June while China showed a lower than expected HSBC flash manufacturing PMI of 50.3 for August, down from the previous 51.7 reading. In Japan, the flash manufacturing PMI came in stronger than expected as it climbed from 50.5 to 52.4. AUD/USD has dipped to a low of .9235 before recovering back above the .9250 mark while AUD/JPY is struggling to hold on to the 96.00 level.

Euro pairs could be in for more volatility in the next few hours, as Germany and France are set to print their latest manufacturing and services PMIs. It looks like analysts are expecting to see slower expansion in these sectors, which might contribute to euro weakness. On the other hand, better than expected data could allow the euro to hold on to its current levels or perhaps make a small rebound.

U.K. retail sales data is also up for release and it is expected to show a 0.4% uptick, higher than the previous 0.1% increase in spending. Weaker than expected results could lead to more pound selling while an upbeat figure could keep it supported, as this would remind traders that a couple of BOE MPC members voted to hike interest rates.

See also:

U.S. Session Recap

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