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Turnaround Tuesday for the U.S. markets translated to Whatever Wednesday for Asian session traders, who saw mixed price action across the board.

  • Australia’s AIG construction index up from 52.8 to 54.3 in January
  • Japan’s leading indicators slips from 108.3% to 107.9% in December
  • Japan’s average cash earnings (y/y) hits 0.7% vs. 0.6% expected, 0.9% previous
  • EU wants power to restrict UK’s single market access during Brexit transition

Major Events/Reports:

Japan’s cash earnings report

Average monthly cash earnings of Japanese workers inched up by 0.4% for the month of December, representing the fifth straight month of increase for the report.

However, adjusting those wages for inflation actually shows a 0.2% dip from a year earlier in 2017 as gas and electricity prices ticked higher.

This presents another hurdle for the Bank of Japan (BOJ). For newbies out there, you should know that falling real wages could lead to even less household spending, which would make the BOJ’s goals of achieving 2.0% inflation even harder to achieve.

Mixed risk sentiment

There weren’t a lot of fresh catalysts to price in, so Asian session players only saw muted follow through from the previous session’s risk-taking party.

  • Nikkei is up by 1.35% to 21,902.7;
  • Australia’s A SX 200 is down by 0.53% to 5,861.5;
  • Hang Seng is up by 1.26% to 30,981.7, and
  • Shanghai index is down by 0.81% to 3,343.44.

Commodity prices weren’t any clearer.

  • Bargain hunting pushed gold prices 0.37% higher to $1,329.07;
  • Brent crude oil inched 0.15% higher to $67.35, and
  • U.S. oil prices slipped by 0.02% to $63.89.

All eyes will be on the lower-tier releases from Germany and the U.K., as well as any updates on Brexit negotiations and the U.S. government budget deadline.

Major Market Mover(s):


The New Zealand dollar failed to find support from better-than-expected jobs data printed earlier. Word around the hood is that Kiwi’s higher rates, along with tepid inflation, will be enough to spur the RBNZ into jawboning the currency in its statement due later today.

NZD/USD is down by 33 pips (-0.45%) to .7307;
NZD/JPY is down by 57 pips (-0.71%) to 79.85;
NZD/CHF is down by 37 pips (-0.54%) to .6832, and
AUD/NZD is up by 20 pips (+0.18%) to 1.0786.


Not even the recovery in risk appetite and speculations of easier policies from the BOJ was enough to stop the low-yielding yen from rising across the board.

USD/JPY is down by 28 pips (-0.26%) to 109.27;
AUD/JPY is down by 48 pips (-0.55%) to 86.13;
EUR/JPY is down by 18 pips (-0.14%) to 135.40, and
GBP/JPY is down by 19 pips (-0.12%) to 152.59.

Watch Out For:

  • 7:00 am GMT: Germany’s industrial production (-0.7% expected, 3.4% previous)
  • 7:45 am GMT: France’s trade balance (-4.8B EUR expected, -5.7B EUR previous)
  • 8:00 am GMT: Switzerland’s foreign currency reserves
  • 8:30 am GMT: U.K.’s Halifax house price index (0.2% expected, -0.6% previous)
  • 9:00 am GMT: Italy’s retail sales (-0.1% expected, 1.1% previous)