Article Highlights

  • New Zealand trade balance swung from 110M NZD surplus to 433M NZD deficit
  • Australia construction work done down 3.7% in Q2 vs. estimated 1.9% drop
  • North Korea launches another ballistic missile test
  • Magnitude 6.2 earthquake in Central Italy
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Weak economic data and market jitters from North Korea’s ballistic missile test launch contributed to safe-haven gains in the Asian session.

Major Events:

Downbeat economic data – New Zealand got the ball rolling with downbeat economic data during the wee hours of the session, printing a larger than expected 433 million NZD deficit versus the projected 320 million NZD shortfall. This was spurred by weaker export and import values in July, dragged mostly by slowing meat and dairy shipments.

Over in the Land Down Under, the quarterly construction work done report churned out a 3.7% slump, much worse than the estimated 1.9% decline. However, it’s also worth noting that the previous quarter’s reading was significantly upgraded from the initially reported 2.6% drop to just a 0.3% decline.

News reports weigh on risk-taking – Other headlines discouraged traders from taking on more risk, as North Korea launched another ballistic missile test and a magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit Central Italy. Apparently the missile landed in Japan’s air defense zone, causing Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo “Super Mario” Abe to call it a “reckless act.” So far, the earthquake in Italy has left at least six people dead and tremors were reportedly felt in Rome and nearby cities.

Major Market Movers:

AUD & NZD – The Aussie and Kiwi were hit by the risk aversion train, losing a lot of ground to the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen.

AUD/USD fell from .7623 to a low of .7600 (-0.30%), NZD/USD tumbled from .7303 to a low of .7269 (-0.47%), AUD/JPY dropped from 76.38 to 76.29 (-0.12%), and NZD/JPY is down from 73.17 to 72.92 (-0.34%).

Watch Out For:

  • 6:00 am GMT: German final GDP (downgrade from 0.4% to 0.3% expected)
  • 8:30 am GMT: U.K. BBA mortgage approvals (38.5K expected, 40.1K previous)

See more:

U.S. Session Recap

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