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Higher-yielding currencies were off to a good start this Asian session even while Japanese banks were closed for National Foundation Day.

Some yen pairs gapped up over the weekend while the safe-haven dollar is lagging behind as well.

  • Japanese banks closed in commemoration of National Foundation Day

Major Events/Reports:

BOJ Governor Kuroda set for 2nd term?

Brace yourselves for more aggressive easing efforts as the Japanese government announced its plans to reappoint BOJ head honcho Kuroda for another full term.

Prime Minister Abe noted that he has confidence in Kuroda’s leadership and ability to revive the Japanese economy. His official appointment is slated for later this month and there probably won’t be any roadblocks in confirmation from the Diet, so it’s another five years with Kuroda-man!

For now, there has been no word on who will be his deputy governors as the terms of Iwata and Nakaso end in mid-March. Rumor has it that Masayoshi Amamiya who has drafted measures involving QQE and negative interest rates is one of the contenders.

A bit of risk appetite

After U.S. markets closed in the green last Friday and the government reopened from a brief shutdown, a bit of risk-taking carried on at the start of this week. Equity indices are mixed, though:

  • S&P ASX 200 is down 17.3o points to 5,820.70 (-0.30%)
  • China’s A50 index is up 65.46 points to 13,016.46 (+0.51%)
  • The Hang Seng is up 138.58 points to 29,629.50 (+0.41%)

Commodities are also in positive territory:

  • Gold is up to $1,325.50 per troy ounce (+0.75%)
  • Silver is up to $16.435 per troy ounce (+1.83%)
  • WTI crude oil recovered to $59.89 per barrel (+1.17%)
  • Brent crude oil is up to $63.44 per barrel (+1.05%)

Major Market Mover(s):

USD & JPY

The prospect of seeing another half-decade of QQE from Governor Kuroda weighed on the yen early in the session while jitters ahead of U.S. inflation data kept a lid on dollar gains.

EUR/USD is up to 1.2291 (+0.34%), GBP/USD is up to 1.3852 (+0.21%), USD/CHF is down to .9376 (-0.17%), and USD/JPY is down to 108.64 (-0.13%)

EUR/JPY is up to 133.55 (+0.19%), GBP/JPY is up to 150.49 (+0.05%), CAD/JPY is up to 86.48 (+0.03%), and AUD/JPY is flat at 85.01 (0.00%)

Watch Out For:

  • 8:15 am GMT: Swiss CPI m/m (-0.1% expected, previous reading was flat)
  • 9:50 am GMT: BOE MPC member Vlieghe’s testimony on household debt at the Resolution Foundation
  • 4:30 am GMT: BOE MPC member McCafferty to be interviewed by Iain Dale