Asian Session Forex Recap – Feb. 18, 2016

  • Australia unemployment rate inches up from 5.8% to 6.0%
  • Australia employment change clocks in at -7.K vs. 12.9K expected, -0.8K previous
  • China’s January CPI misses estimates

Asian session forex traders woke up ready to take on risks, as they shrugged off weak Australian and Chinese data in favor of oil price increases.

Major Events:

Australia’s employment data – Data from the Land Down Under reflected a 7,900 decrease in jobs in January, worse than the expected 13,000 uptick. A closer look reveals that full-time work fell by 40,600 while 32,700 part-time workers lost their jobs. And with labor participation rate steady at 65.2%, the unemployment rate also ticked higher from 5.8% to 6.0%. That’s the first increase since July 2015 and the highest since September last year!

China’s CPI and PPI reports – Consumer prices in the world’s second-largest economy hit a five-month high in January, missing 1.9% growth estimates at 1.8% after rising by 1.6% in December. Some aren’t impressed though, saying that a 4.1% seasonal increase in food prices right before the Lunar New Year holidays. Hard to dispute that given that non-food prices remained at 1.2%.

The producer prices report also reflected grim prospects, as it declined by 5.3% in January from a year earlier. Analysts had expected a 5.4% decrease after December’s 5.9% downtick. Apparently, the decline in commodity prices and weak demand are forcing producers to cut their prices to stay competitive. Luckily for forex bulls, market players mostly shrugged off the news and concentrated on commodities today.

Oil prices rally – As I mentioned in my U.S. session recap, oil players are loving the idea of Iran agreeing to an oil production cap. While the oil-producing giant has yet to make any commitments after saying that freezing production levels is “illogical,” risk-traders are all over the markets with optimism. This is probably why by mid-day break Nikkei was up by 2.77%, Shanghai was up by 0.44%, Hang Seng was up by 2.13%, and Australia’s ASX was up by 2.12%. Oil prices also got more boosts with U.S. oil gaining another 1.61% at $31.16 while Brent crude oil is up by 0.78% to $34.77.

Major Currency Movers:

AUD – Australia’s worse-than-expected employment numbers didn’t do the Aussie any favors. AUD/USD is down 14 pips (-0.20%), EUR/AUD is up 28 pips (+0.18%), and AUD/NZD is down by 55 pips (-0.51%).

Watch Out For:

  • 7:00 am GMT: Switzerland trade data (2.67B CHF surplus expected vs. 2.54B CHF figure last month)
  • 9:00 am GMT: Euro Zone current account (22.3B EUR expected vs. 26.4B EUR previous)

See more:

U.S. Session Forex Recap

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