There were no top-tier reports printed during the Asian session, so forex traders focused on taking a bit more risk across the board.
Kiwi was top boss for the session on top of its strength from the previous day, while the yen lost ground despite concerns over Prime Minister Abe’s position.
- Japan’s PPI (y/y) gains by 2.5% as expected vs. 2.7% growth in January
- Australia’s NAB business confidence dips from 11 to 9 in February
- Australia’s NAB business conditions hits all-time high at +21 in February
- Australia’s home loans slips by 1.1% vs. 0.1% decrease expected, 2.3% dip in December
- Japan’s tertiary industry activity down by 0.6% vs. 0.2% dip expected, 0.0% growth in December
Australia’s data dump
Only the Land Down Under printed reports today and, unfortunately for trend-traders, they came out mixed.
NAB’s monthly business survey showed confidence slipping by 2 points in February. However, NAB Group Chief Economist Alan Oster shared that it might have reflected some of the financial market ruckus we saw in early February.
Meanwhile, business conditions hit a record-high of +21 points for the month. What’s more, the strength is seen across industry groups!
Not everything is unicorns and butterflies, however. Home loans dipped by 1.1% in January when analysts only saw a 0.1% decrease. Owner-occupied housing shot up by 0.1%, which wasn’t enough to cover the 0.3% decrease in the value of investment housing.
Slight dip in equities and commodities
Looks like forex traders were the only ones in the mood to take on risk! The Asian bourses generally ended the day lower on the back of profit-taking ahead of the U.K.’s budget release and the U.S. CPI scheduled today.
- Nikkei is up by 0.03% to 21,831.6;
- Australia’s A SX 200 is down by 0.66% to 5,962.6;
- Hang Seng is down by 0.27% to 31,507.8, and
- Shanghai index is down by 0.23% to 3,319.123
Commodities also didn’t get a reprieve.
- Gold is down by 0.13% to $1,321.32;
- Brent crude oil is down by 0.11% to $64.84, and
- U.S. WTI is down by 0.18% to $61.25.
Major Market Mover(s):
The New Zealand dollar missed the memo on cautious trading ahead of today’s top-tier releases. There were no catalysts for the moves, but the comdoll dominated the forex scene during the Asian session.
NZD/USD is up by 22 pips (+0.31%) to .7316;
NZD/JPY is up by 36 pips (+0.47%) to 77.98;
GBP/NZD is down by 59 pips (-0.31%) to 1.8997;
AUD/NZD is down by 27 pips (-0.25%) to 1.0762, and
EUR/NZD is down by 52 pips (-0.31%) to 1.6853.
Yen traders shrugged off a scandal involving PM Shinzo Abe and sold the yen despite the possibility of Abe’s easy policy direction being put in hot water.
USD/JPY is up by 17 pips (+0.16%) to .9475;
EUR/JPY is up by 16 pips (+0.12%) to 131.42;
GBP/JPY is up by 17 pips (+0.12%) to 148.14, and
AUD/JPY is up by 15 pips (+0.18%) to 83.92.
Watch Out For:
- 6:30 am GMT: No change expected for France’s private quarterly payrolls (0.3%)
- 9:00 am GMT: Italy’s quarterly unemployment rate (11.0% expected, 11.2% previous)
- 10:00 am GMT: U.S. NFIB small business index
- 11:30 am GMT: U.K. Finance Minister Hammond to outline budget plans for the year