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The Aussie and yen were the biggest movers, as forex traders priced in a weak report from Australia while preparing for today’s FOMC meeting minutes.

  • China’s markets out on a week-long holiday
  • 9:30 am GMT: U.K.’s labor market reports. Read how you can trade the event on Forex Gump’s latest trading guide!
  • Australia’s wage price index up by 0.6% vs. 0.5% expected and previous
  • Japan’s flash manufacturing PMI slips from 54.8 to 54.0 in February
  • Japan’s all industries activity grows by 0.5% as expected vs. 1.0% uptick in November

Major Events/Reports:

Australia’s data releases

In the absence of bigger catalysts, Asian session forex traders had more time to digest a huge miss in Australia’s construction report.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), construction work plunged by 19.4% in Q4 2017, which is a heck of a lot weaker than the expected 9.8% drop and offset Q3’s 16.6% increase.

Apparently, the total building work done popped up by 0.2%, while engineering work done fell by a whopping 35.4%.

Analysts point out that the dip was understandable given the large LNG structures imported in Q2 and Q3, but it seems the huge headline miss was enough for some of the bears.

Meanwhile, a separate release showed wage prices rising by 0.6% (instead of the expected 0.5%) in Q4 2017. This puts seasonally adjusted wages up by 2.1% from a year earlier and marks the second consecutive quarter of wage gains.

Aussie traders weren’t impressed, however. See, 0.6% is still too close to its historic lows and hardly makes a case for an RBA rate hike over the next couple of months.

Caution ahead of today’s catalysts

High-yielding bets traded mixed today as market players brace for potential market-movers. Specifically, the U.K. will print its labor market numbers, the euro zone will release PMI reports, and the Fed will publish its latest meeting minutes.

Asian bourses traded with mixed results:

  • Nikkei is down by 0.07% to 21,909.9;
  • Australia’s A SX 200 is up by 0.35% to 5,924.5, and
  • Hang Seng shot up by 0.45% to 3,199.159.

Meanwhile, commodities extended their selloffs and didn’t stand a chance against the bears:

  • Gold is down by 0.20% to $1,326.66;
  • Brent crude oil is down by 0.55% to $64.66, and
  • U.S. WTI is down by 0.71% to $61.10.

Major Market Mover(s):


Australia’s weaker-than-expected data releases, combined with overall risk aversion and dollar domination, weighed on the Aussie across the board.

AUD/USD is down by 25 pips (-0.31%) to .7857;
EUR/AUD is up by 49 pips (+0.32%) to 1.56945;
GBP/AUD is up by 57 pips (+0.32%) to 1.7802, and
AUD/CHF is down by 17 pips (-0.23%) to .7361.


Increased dollar demand was most visible on USD/JPY, which showed more reaction to higher U.S. Treasury yields and expectations of a hawkish FOMC meeting minutes. And with no other major catalysts on the docket, other yen crosses followed suit.

USD/JPY is up by another 42 pips (+0.40%) to 107.75;
EUR/JPY is up by 46 pips (+0.34%) to 132.86;
GBP/JPY is up by 52 pips (+0.35%) to 160.69, and
CAD/JPY is up by 27 pips (+0.32%) to 85.11.

Watch Out For:

  • 8:00 am GMT: France’s flash manufacturing PMI (58.1 expected, 58.4 previous)
  • 8:00 am GMT: France’s flash services PMI (59.1 expected, 59.2 previous)
  • 8:30 am GMT: Germany’s flash manufacturing PMI (60.6 expected, 61.1 previous)
  • 8:30 am GMT: Germany’s flash services PMI (56.9 expected, 57.3 previous)
  • 9:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s flash manufacturing PMI (59.2 expected, 59.6 previous)
  • 9:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s flash services PMI (57.7 expected, 58.0 previous)
  • 9:30 am GMT: U.K.’s government borrowing (-11.5B GBP expected, 1.0B GBP previous)
  • 9:30 am GMT: U.K.’s labor market reports. Read how you can trade the event on Forex Gump’s latest trading guide!