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The Greenback continued to extend its gains as traders caught up to the previous session’s trends. Meanwhile, the Aussie failed to find support from a strong jobs release.

  • AU MI inflation expectations retains 3.7% growth in December
  • AU HIA new home sales inches up by 0.7% vs. 1.6% growth in November
  • AU adds net of 34.7K in December vs. 13.2K expected, 63.6K previous
  • AU jobless rate inches up from 5.4% to 5.5%
  • Japan’s industrial production revised lower from 0.6% to 0.5%

Major Events/Reports:

Australia’s jobs report

Data from the Land Down Under saw the unemployment rate surprisingly rising from 5.4% to 5.5% in December. That’s the highest rate since September, yo!

Details reveal that a net of 34,700 workers had found jobs for the month, which is higher than the expected 13,200 uptick but is almost half the upwardly revised 63,600 increase in November.

Apparently, part-time employment rose by 19,500 for the month, which eclipsed the 15,100 net increase in full-time jobs filled.

In addition to that, the labour force participation rate went up from 65.5% to 65.67%, which not only beats expectations of a 65.4% rate, but also marks the highest rate since January 2011.

Last but not the least is the total monthly hours worked, which inched 0.2% higher for the month.

Overall risk appetite

A strong performance by U.S. equities in the previous session as well as hawkish statements from Fed members translated to overall risk appetite during the Asian session.

  • Nikkei jumped by 0.61% to 24,012.9;
  • Australia’s A SX 200 slipped by 0.05% to 6,011.5;
  • Hang Seng is up by 0.12% to 32,021.7, and the
  • Shanghai index is up by 0.25% to 3,453.278.

Commodity prices were a little bit more mixed. Gold, which took hits from a bit of dollar strength, dipped by 0.05% to $1,326.00.

On the other hand, anticipation of a favorable U.S. crude oil inventories report and concerns over rebel attacks in Nigeria kept oil prices supported.

  • Brent crude oil is up by 0.19% to $69.54 and
  • U.S. WTI is up by 0.25% to $64.22.

Major Market Mover(s):


A lack of market-moving catalysts pushed the Greenback higher against its major counterparts in the early Asian trading session. Higher-yielding currencies caught some bids, however, when risk appetite soon gripped the markets.

EUR/USD fell to a low of 1.2164 before recovering to 1.2180;
USD/JPY popped up to 111.48 before slipping back to 111.35, and
USD/CHF rose to .9659 before slipping back to .9653.


The Aussie initially spiked higher on a better-than-expected headline unemployment rate, but it lost most of its intraday gains when traders digested that part-time employment rose faster than full-time jobs.

AUD/USD shot up to .7997 before levelling at .7953;
AUD/JPY popped up to 88.94 before slipping to 88.73, and
AUD/NZD shot up to 1.0987 before sliding to 1.0952.

Watch Out For:

  • 7:00 am GMT: China’s GDP (q/y) (6.7% expected vs. 6.8% previous)
  • 7:00 am GMT: China’s fixed asset investment (ytd/y) (7.1% expected, 7.2% previous)
  • 7:00 am GMT: China’s industrial production (y/y) to remain at 6.1%?
  • 7:00 am GMT: China’s retail sales (y/y) (10.1% expected, 10.2% previous)
  • 8:00 am GMT: Bundesbank President Weidmann to give a speech in Frankfurt