- AU AIG construction index down from 53.1 to 51.2 in March
- Japan’s average cash earnings (y/y) rose by 0.4% vs. 0.5% expected, 0.3% previous
- Japan’s leading indicators dip from 104.9% to 104.4% in February
What pre-NFP lull? The major currencies came alive during the Asian session after the U.S. fired dozens of missiles into Syria in response to the government’s alleged chemical attacks.
U.S. launched missiles in Syria – The biggest story of the hour is the U.S. launching missile strikes against Syria.
According to the Defense Department, two U.S. warships – the USS Ross and the USS Porter – fired 59 Tomahawk missiles from the Mediterranean Sea and into the Shayrat Airfield in Western Syria.
This comes a day after the Syrian government allegedly launched chemical attacks consistent with Sarin gas poisoning in the province of Idlib, which killed at least 83 people including 30 children.
The airfield is where the U.S. believes the Syrian government fired the chemical weapons.
U.S. allies were quick to laud the move, with Australia PM Malcolm Turnbull saying that they “strongly support the swift and just response of the United States,” while the U.K. government believes that the attack is an “appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack.”
Not everyone is impressed, however. Russia, though warned of the attack beforehand, believes that the strikes against Syria represented an act of “aggression against a sovereign state.”
Assad’s ally also called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Viktor Ozerov, the head of the Russian Federation Council’s defense committee, shared that “This [the attack] could be viewed as an act of aggression of the US against a UN nation.” Duhn duhn duhn.
The Asian bourses, which started the day on a strong note following a positive Wall Street close, turned lower while safe-haven bonds, gold, yen, and even oil popped higher.
The moves weren’t sustained though. Profit-taking soon ensued as the move was seen as a one-time deal and not the start of a broad-based military campaign.
Nikkei capped the session higher with 0.22% after falling to a four-month low, while the Shanghai index gained 0.25%. Meanwhile, Hang Seng is down by 0.59% and Australia’s A SX 200 is down by 0.13%.
Commodity prices also turned higher during the session. Gold is currently up by 1% to $1,265.85, Brent crude oil is up by 1.04% to $55.46, and U.S. crude oil prices is up by 1.20% to $53.32.
JPY – The low-yielding yen shot higher at the news of the U.S. launching the missile strikes, but it soon lost some of its momentum as traders took their positions out ahead of the NFP report.
USD/JPY fell to 110.11 before recovering to 110.50, EUR/JPY dropped to 117.32 before closing at 117.52, and GBP/JPY hit session bottom at 109.68 before rising back up to 109.89.
AUD and CAD – High-yielding comdolls like the Aussie and Loonie got hit by overall risk aversion, but soon took advantage of higher gold and oil prices.
AUD/USD dropped to .7515 before recovering to .7531 while USD/CAD shot up to 1.3434 before falling back down to 1.3405. AUD/JPY also recovered from its 82.80 low to trade at 83.24 while CAD/JPY fell to 82.11 before popping back up to 82.45.
Watch Out For:
- 5:45 am GMT: Switzerland’s unemployment rate expected to remain at 3.3%
- 6:00 am GMT: German industrial production (-0.1% expected, 2.8% previous)
- 6:00 am GMT: German trade balance (19.4B expected, 18.5B previous)
- 6:45 am GMT: French government budget balance
- 6:45 am GMT: French industrial production (0.5% expected, -0.3% previous)
- 6:45 am GMT: French trade balance (-4.9B expected, -7.9B previous)
- 7:00 am GMT: Switzerland’s foreign currency reserves
- 7:30 am GMT: U.K. Halifax house price index (0.2% expected, 0.1% previous)
- 8:00 am GMT: Italian retail sales (-0.1% expected, 1.4% previous)
- 8:30 am GMT: U.K. manufacturing production (0.3% expected, -1.9% previous)
- 8:30 am GMT: U.K. goods trade balance (-10.9B expected, -10.8B previous)
- 8:30 am GMT: U.K. construction output (0.1% expected, -0.4% previous)
- 8:30 am GMT: U.K. industrial output (0.2% expected, -0.4% previous)
- 9:00 am GMT: BOE’s Mark Carney to give a speech in London