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It was a mixed trading day for Asian session traders, as equities and risk sentiment saw a bit of recovery while commodities and comdolls continued to take hits.

  • Japan’s current account narrows down from 1.70T JPY to 1.48T JPY in December
  • U.K’s RICS house price balance maintains 8% growth
  • Australia’s NAB business confidence slips from 8 to 6 in Q4 2017
  • China’s trade surplus trimmed down from 362B CNY to 136B CNY in January

Major Events/Reports:

China’s trade numbers

Data from the world’s second largest economy showed a lower trade surplus than market players had been expecting.

China’s statistics bureau reported a trade surplus of 136B CNY in January, which is slower than the expected 328B CNY figure and December’s 362B CNY surplus. Not only that, but it also marks the smallest surplus since a deficit back in February 2017!

Strong imports growth might have something to do with the narrow surplus. Strong domestic and global demand kept exports afloat, boosting it 11.1% higher from a year earlier in January against December’s 10.9% uptick and expectations of a 9.6% growth.

This helped temper doubts that demand would slow down on a stronger yuan and potential trade tensions with China’s major trading partners *cough* U.S. *cough*.

As strong as exports were, however, it was still no match for imports. Shipments shot up by a whopping 30.2%, as Lunar New Year celebrations and a colder-than-usual winter in some parts of China boosted demand for food and commodities such as coal. Analysts had only expected a 9.8% increase after December’s 4.5% growth.

Unfortunately for the commodity-related currencies, market players mainly focused on the headline miss and caused a bit of bad moments for the Asian session bulls.

Major Market Mover(s):

AUD and NZD

China’s headline data miss didn’t do the high-yielding Aussie any favors today. Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar continued to take hits after the RBNZ surprisingly lowered its growth forecasts in the previous trading session.

AUD/USD is down by 11 pips (-0.14%) to .7810;
AUD/JPY is down by 6 pips (-0.07%) to 85.43, and
AUD/CAD is down by 18 pips (-0.19%) to .9809.

NZD/USD is down by 48 pips (-0.67%) to .7187;
NZD/JPY is down by 45 pips (-0.57%) to 78.63, and
AUD/NZD is up by 59 pips (+0.55%) to 1.0864.

Watch Out For:

  • 5:00 am GMT: Japan’s Economy Watchers’ sentiment (53.7 expected, 53.9 previous)
  • 7:00 am GMT: Germany’s trade balance (21.5B EUR expected, 22.3B EUR previous)
  • 8:45 am GMT: Germany’s Bundesbank President Weidmann to give a speech in Frankfurt
  • 9:00 am GMT: RBA Governor Philip Lowe to give a speech in Sydney
  • 9:00 am GMT: ECB’s economic bulletin
  • 12:00 pm GMT: BOE’s Super Thursday (Read Forex Gump’s trading guide!)