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With not a lot of major data on the docket, Asian session forex traders focused on Australia’s weak GDP report and concerns over a possible U.S. government shutdown.

  • Australia’s Q3 GDP up by 0.6% vs. 0.7% expected, 0.9% previous
  • Bitcoin clears $12,000 mark, makes new record highs
  • Dollar dips on government shutdown concerns

Major Events/Reports:

Australia’s GDP report

Data from the Land Down Under printed earlier saw the economy growing by 0.6% in Q3 2017. Not only is this softer than the expected 0.7% uptick, but it’s also lower than Q2’s 0.9% growth.

Annual figures suggest that the economy had grown by 2.8% from a year earlier in Q3, faster than the 1.8% increase seen in the previous quarter. Oh, and that’s also the fastest growth since June 2016!

Apparently, the stronger growth in non-dwelling construction and inventories was not enough to offset weaker domestic demand and trading activities.

Non-dwelling construction added 0.9% to growth (against 0.4% drag in Q2); exports added 0.4% (vs. 0.6% previous), and inventories contributed 0.2% (vs. 0.6% drag last quarter). Government spending, on the other hand, made no contribution to growth this time.

U.S. government shutdown concerns

Just as Senate Republicans are patting themselves on the back for their last-minute tax bill version, market players are now turning to them again for assurances that the government won’t shut down when funding expires on Friday.

If you recall, threats of a shutdown escalated last week after the Donald – via Twitter, of course – attacked top Democrats in Congress and caused said lawmakers to pull out of a planned White House meeting.

With government funds expiring on Friday, the Senate must get at least 8 Democrats on the boat to authorize federal spending for the next fiscal year. Word around the hood is that the GOP is working on a stopgap measure to extend the vote, but some are already not liking the uncertainty.

Major Market Mover(s):

AUD

The Australian dollar took a hit across the board after Australia’s latest GDP report surprised to the downside.

AUD/USD is down by 24 pips (-0.32%) to .7584;
AUD/JPY is down by 56 pips (-0.65%) to 85.10;
GBP/AUD is up by 44 pips (+0.25%) to 1.7716, and
AUD/NZD is down by 72 pips (-0.65%) to 1.0993.

USD

Overall risk aversion could have boosted the low-yielding Greenback today, but concerns over a partial government shutdown kept the bulls at bay.

EUR/USD is up by 17 pips (+0.14%) to 1.1843;
USD/CHF is down by 7 pips (-0.07%) to .9867;
USD/JPY is down by 39 pips (-0.35%) to 112.22.

Watch Out For:

  • 7:00 am GMT: Germany’s factory orders (-0.2% expected, 1.0% previous)
  • 8:15 am GMT: Switzerland’s CPI (0.0% expected, 0.1% previous)
  • 9:10 am GMT: Euro Zone retail PMI