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Thanks to a lack of fresh catalysts and most of the Asian markets taking a holiday today, Asian session traders ended up extending the previous session’s forex themes.

  • China’s markets still out on Spring Festival holidays
  • BOJ’s Kuroda nominated for a second term
  • Kuroda: must maintain powerful easing for the time being
  • RBA’s Lowe prefers lower AUD exchange rate
  • New Zealand’s business NZ manufacturing index rises from 51.1 to 55.6 in January

Major Events/Reports:

Kuroda nominated for a second term as BOJ Governor

As widely expected, the Japanese government nominated Haruhiko Kuroda for another five-year term as Bank of Japan (BOJ)’s top boss. If you recall, Kuroda’s current term is set to expire in April.

This time around the government also nominated two new deputies. Masazumi Wakatabe is a vocal advocate for aggressive monetary easing and has called for ramping up monetary policy support back in December.

Meanwhile, Masayoshi Amamiya is a veteran central banker who has a rep of being creative with his approaches.

The nominations still need approval by both houses of parliament, though they’re expected to be a shoo-in given that the ruling coalition holds a comfortable majority.

Japan’s markets cheered at the nominations, as they represent Abe’s confidence that Kuroda’s leadership can help push inflation higher.

Overall risk appetite

With not a lot of new reports to process, Japanese markets, precious metals, and crude oil prices remain supported throughout the session.

  • Nikkei is up by 1.20% to 21,723.4;
  • Gold is up by 0.38% to $1,358.4;
  • Brent crude oil is up by 0.36% to $64.71, and
  • U.S. WTI is up by 0.49% to $61.70.

Major Market Mover(s):

USD

A lack of fresh catalysts kept the pressure on the Greenback for most of the trading session.

USD/JPY is down by another 41 pips (-0.39%) to 105.71;
USD/CHF is down by 27 pips (-0.29%) to .9193;
EUR/USD is up by 42 pips (+0.34%) to 1.2549, and
GBP/USD is up by 37 pips (+0.26%) to 1.4137.

Watch Out For:

  • 7:00 am GMT: Germany’s wholesale price index (0.2% expected, -0.3% previous)
  • 9:30 am GMT: U.K.’s retail sales (0.5% expected, -1.5% previous)