Article Highlights

  • New Zealand markets out on Waitangi Day holiday
  • AU MI inflation gauge up by 0.6% vs. 0.5% reading in December
  • Japan’s average cash earnings (y/y) up by 0.1% vs. 0.4% expected, 0.5% previous
  • AU retail sales slips by 0.1% vs. 0.3% uptick expected, 0.1% previous
  • AU ANZ job ads jumps by 4.0% vs. 2.2% decline in December
  • China’s Caixin services PMI slips to 53.1 vs. 53.6 expected, 53.4 previous
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Whether it’s due to Super Bowl or uncertainty over the week ahead, forex price action barely saw action during the Asian session. Here’s what’s up!

Major Events:

Australia’s retail sales – Data from the Land Down Under reflected a 0.1% decline in retail sales for the month of December against the 0.1% improvement in November.

Not only did the figure miss the expected 0.3% uptick, but it also marks the first contraction in retail sales since July 2016. This translates to an annualized growth of just 3.0%, down from November’s 4.2% increase.

A closer look tells us that it was sales of household goods (-2.3%) and “other” retailers (-0.2%) that saw the most decline, at least enough to offset gains in sales of food (+0.5%), clothing, footwear and personal accessories (+1.4%), and restaurants and takeaway good services (+0.2%).

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) was quick to reassure, however, that the quarterly sales volumes, which eliminates price fluctuations and accounts for 30% of household consumption gained by a nice 0.9% in Q4 2016. This helps take worries off about Australia possibly falling into a technical recession after seeing negative growth in Q3.

Overall risk appetite – The Asian bourses traded with cautious optimism ahead of another week with Trump. If you recall, Trump moving to roll back regulations in Uncle Sam’s financial sector boosted equity prices, which also supported major Asian exchanges such as Nikkei.

Nikkei is up by 0.10% while the Shanghai index also gained 0.47%, and Hang Seng shot up by 0.64%. Meanwhile, Australia’s A SX 200, which was likely affected by Australia’s retail sales, slipped by 0.12%.

Market Movers:

AUD – The Aussie lost ground against most of its counterparts after Australia’s retail sales report surprised to the downside.

AUD/USD slipped by 7 pips (-0.09%) to .7672, AUD/JPY is down by 16 pips (-0.19%) to 86.22, and AUD/NZD is down by 31 pips (-0.30%) to 1.0477.

Watch Out For:

  • 8:00 am GMT: Germany factory orders (0.6% expected, -2.5% previous)
  • 10:10 am GMT: Euro Zone retail PMI
  • 10:30 am GMT: Euro Zone Sentix investor confidence (16.7 expected, 18.2 previous)

See also:

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