Article Highlights

  • Nikkei ended 0.98% lower at 14,288.23
  • Japanese Finance Minister: Corporate tax cut possible
  • IMF downgraded 2014 growth forecast for Australia
  • IMF upgraded New Zealand GDP estimates for 2014 and 2015
  • German import prices down by 0.6%
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It’s all about risk aversion, fellas! Most major currencies edged lower to the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen, as news of the ongoing conflict in Russia and Ukraine dominated the airwaves. The Nikkei posted a 0.98% loss for the day, pushing yen pairs lower. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso mentioned that a corporate tax cut is still a possibility, depending on how the recently implemented sales tax hike affects overall spending and growth.

Meanwhile, the IMF announced downgrades for its Australian GDP forecasts, citing that the economy could grow by 2.6% in 2014 and by 2.7% in 2015. Their previous estimates were at 2.8% and 2.9% respectively. As for New Zealand, the IMF upgraded its growth forecasts from 3.0% to 3.3% this year and from 2.4% to 3.0% for next year.

Earlier today, Germany reported a 0.6% decline in import prices, reviving concerns of deflation in the euro zone. No other reports are lined up for the rest of the London trading session, as risk aversion is set to stay in the markets for the rest of the day. Do stay tuned for any potential changes in sentiment though!

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