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With not a lot of economic data to price in, Asian session forex traders got busy with the Senatorial race in Alabama. Meanwhile, other major currencies stayed in tight ranges ahead of the FOMC statement.

  • Douglas Jones pulls upset victory, becomes first Democrat to win in 25 years
  • South Korea considers cryptocurrency gains tax
  • New Zealand’s food price index slips by 0.4% vs. 1.1% dip in October
  • AU Westpac consumer sentiment jumps by 3.6% vs. 1.7% decrease in November
  • Japan’s core machinery orders up by 5.0% vs. 3.1% uptick expected, 8.1% decline previous

Major Events/Reports:

Douglas Jones wins Alabama seat

For the first time in 25 years, Alabama has voted a Democrat into the Senate. In a state where the Donald won by as much as 28 points, an estimated 49.6% voted for Democrat Douglas Jones and defeated the 48.7% who voted for Roy Moore.

Aside from making it even harder to pursue Republican-backed policies down the road, it also puts more pressure on the lawmakers to pass a tax bill before Jones steps in on December 26.

Not surprisingly, the upset victory weighed on the dollar as it dealt a blow to the GOP’s already razor thin 52-48 majority in the U.S. Senate.

Mixed risk sentiment

Asian equity prices took some hits today on industry-specific news and a bit of risk aversion from Douglas Jones’ Senatorial race win.

  • Nikkei is down by 0.56% to 22,737.50;
  • Australia’s A SX 200 is down by 0.01% to 6,012.70;
  • China’s A50 is down by 0.11% to 13,040.89, though
  • Hang Seng is up by 0.32% to 28,886.00.

Commodity prices saw a bit of lift, however. Gold popped up on general dollar weakness, while crude oil prices continued to find support from a closure of a North Sea pipeline.

  • Gold rose by 0.34% to $1,245.90;
  • Brent crude is up by 1.01% to $63.98, and
  • U.S. crude oil prices is up by 0.72% to $57.55.

Major Market Mover(s):

USD

The Greenback took a step back against its major counterparts after Douglas Jones pulled an upset victory and damaged the GOP’s majority in the Senate.

EUR/USD is up by 15 pips (+0.13%) to 1.1757;
GBP/USD is up by 7 pips (+0.05%) to 1.3324;
USD/JPY is down by 8 pips (-0.07%) to 113.47, and
USD/CHF is down by 22 pips (+0.22%) to .9901.

Watch Out For:

  • 7:00 am GMT: Germany’s final CPI to remain at 0.3%?
  • 7:00 am GMT: Germany’s wholesale price index (0.2% expected, 0.0% previous)
  • 9:00 am GMT: Italy’s industrial production (0.7% expected, -1.3% previous)
  • 9:30 am GMT: U.K.’s average earnings (3m/y) (2.5% expected, 2.2% previous)
  • 9:30 am GMT: U.K.’s claimant count change (3.3K expected, 1.1K previous)
  • 9:30 am GMT: U.K.’s unemployment rate (4.2% expected, 4.3% previous)
  • 10:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s employment change (q/q) to remain at 0.4%?
  • 10:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s industrial production (0.0% expected, -0.6% previous)