Article Highlights

  • AU HIA new home sales up by 0.2% vs. 2.2% decline in January
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Another day, another snoozer for economic reports. Thanks to a lack of data releases, Asian session forex traders just kept pushing the dollar higher against its counterparts.

Major Events:

Australia’s new home sales – The only economic report printed during the Asian session was HIA’s new home sales release.

Data from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) showed a 0.2% increase in home sales in February after slipping by 2.2% in January. Sales of detached houses fell by 0.1% while apartments inched 1.0% higher for the month.

Overall, the numbers are consistent with the nationwide trend of decreasing new detached house commencements for 2016 and 2017.

Dollar domination – With barely any market-moving report printed during the session, market players mostly extended economic themes from the previous session.

That is, they continued to buy the dollar after speeches by several (voting and non-voting) Fed members brought the markets’ focus back to the central bank’s hawkish biases.

It also didn’t hurt that investors remain a bit risk-averse. Equities players in Japan, for example, are staying in the sidelines as their fiscal year comes to an end tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Britain formally invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and speculations that the ECB isn’t as excited to taper its purchases as markets had expected also kept a lid on risk-taking.

Nikkei is down by 0.35%, the Shanghai index is down by 1.12%, and Hang Seng is down by 0.44% even as Australia A SX 200 stayed strong with +0.29%.

Market Movers:

USD – Hawkish speeches by Fed members and a bit of risk aversion reinvigorated dollar bulls into action during the Asian session.

EUR/USD is down by 19 pips (-0.18%) to 1.0752 and USD/JPY shot up by another 30 pips (+0.27%) to 111.27 while AUD/USD is down by 7 pips (-0.09%) to .7665 and NZD/USD is down by 4 pips (-0.06%) to .7027.

Watch Out For:

  • 7:00 am GMT: Switzerland’s KOF economic barometer (105.9 expected, 107.2 previous)
  • 7:00 am GMT: Spanish flash CPI (y/y) (2.6% expected, 3.0% previous)
  • 12:00 pm GMT: German preliminary CPI (0.4% expected, 0.6% previous)