Article Highlights

  • Chinese non-manu PMI down from 54.6 to 53.4
  • Nikkei closes with 1.98% loss
  • New Zealand Treasury expects RBNZ to hike in March
  • Australian commodity prices down by 9.9% year-on-year
  • Spanish and Italian manufacturing PMIs up for release
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Risk aversion continued to weigh on most higher-yielding currencies in today’s Asian trading session, forcing some weekend gaps to get filled quickly. Data from China showed that the non-manufacturing industry had a weaker expansion in January, as the PMI fell from 54.6 to 53.4, pushing AUD/USD back below the .8750 level. Australian commodity prices chalked up a 9.9% annual decline, worse than the previous 3.6% drop.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar drew a bit of support from comments of Treasury officials who are expecting the RBNZ to hike interest rates in March. Yen pairs edged a bit lower in the past few hours, as the Nikkei posted a 1.98% loss for the day.

In the next few hours, we’ll have the release of the Spanish and Italian manufacturing PMIs, both of which are expected to print small improvements. Also due in today’s London session is the SVME PMI, which might climb from 53.9 to 55.1 and provide a boost for the Swiss franc.

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U.S. Session Recap

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