- Japanese economy expanded 0.6% in Q1 2015, higher than 0.4% estimate
- Japan’s Q4 2015 GDP downgraded from 0.6% to 0.4%
- Australia’s Westpac consumer sentiment survey showed 6.4% gain in May
- BOE MPC meeting minutes due
Forex traders took a short break from beating up the euro but threw in some last-second punches before the closing bell rang. EUR/USD briefly consolidated above the 1.1100 major psychological support but is now adding to its 58 pips in losses (-0.53%) while EUR/JPY is still fighting to hold steady above the 134.00 handle (-0.32%).
Yen pairs did encounter a bit of volatility from the release of Japan’s preliminary GDP report, which showed a stronger-than-expected 0.6% expansion for the first quarter of 2015. On a downbeat note though, the previous quarter’s reading was downgraded from 0.6% to 0.4%, reflecting a weaker pace of growth than initially reported.
USD/JPY is carrying on with its ascent past the 120.00 handle and is closing in on 121.00 with its 30-pip lead (+0.24%) for the past few hours. GBP/JPY is up 23 pips (+0.11%), AUD/JPY is down 4 pips (-0.05%), and NZD/JPY is up by 10 pips (+0.10%).
In Australia, the Westpac consumer sentiment report indicated that Australians may be back to their jolly old selves, as the index showed a 6.4% jump in confidence for the current month. This wasn’t enough to cheer up AUD/USD though, as the pair is facing a 20-pip loss (-0.27%) and has just broken below the .7900 mark, thanks to the slump in risk appetite.
Up ahead, forex traders could turn their attention to the release of the BOE MPC meeting minutes, which should shed more light on the central bank’s economic assessment and outlook. Bear in mind that they are no longer staying mum about their biases now that the U.K. elections are over so we might be treated to a few candid remarks from the policymakers. In particular, watch out for any hawkish hints from MPC members McCafferty and Weale who kept insisting on hiking interest rates in the past.
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