A lack of top-tier reports didn’t stop forex traders from trading today, as they priced in the possibility of The Donald firing another advisor and North Korea maybe conducting nuclear tests.
- Japans’ revised industrial production lower from -6.6% to -6.8% in January
- Is Trump about to fire U.S. National Security Adviser HR McMaster?
- Activity reported in North Korea’s nuclear facility
Another one bites the dust?
In today’s episode of “The Apprentice: White House Edition”, it looks like the Donald is getting ready to fire another advisor.
The Washington Post cited five sources “with knowledge of the plans” who said that the POTUS has made his decision about firing U.S. National Security Adviser HR McMaster but is comfortable taking his time until “strong” replacement prospects are in place.
The move didn’t help market players who got spooked by recent (we’re talking days ago!) exits of top-level executives like former Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
However, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also clarified that:
Just spoke to @POTUS and Gen. H.R. McMaster – contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the NSC.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) March 16, 2018
So, will Trump get to say “You’re Fired!” another time over the next couple of days? Stay tuned!
Nuclear activity spotted in North Korea
A few hours earlier CNN pointed to new satellite imagery suggesting that North Korea has begun testing one of its nuclear reactors at the Yongbon research facility.
Intelligence analysts share that the emission rising from the reactor’s stack could lead to the experimental light water reactor (ELWR) becoming operational as early as later this year.
The move comes before NoKor leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in meeting next month and Jong-Un’s meeting with the POTUS himself in May.
Mixed market reaction
The prospect of more shakeup in the White House and more nuclear activity in North Korea didn’t sit well with most of the Asian bourses.
- Nikkei is down by another 0.63% to 21,665.8;
- Australia’s A SX 200 is up by 0.21% to 5,947.0;
- Hang Seng is down by 0.31% to 31,442.5, and
- Shanghai index is down by 0.12% to 3,287.261.
Major Market Mover(s):
High-yielding, commodity-related currencies took the heaviest hits on today’s heavy FUD session. The Kiwi, in particular, was pushed even lower by a disappointing business manufacturing index printed in late U.S. trading.
AUD/USD is down by 14 pips (-0.17%) to .7784;
AUD/JPY is down by 47 pips (-0.56%) to 82.44;
USD/CAD is down by 6 pips (-0.04%) to 1.3058;
CAD/JPY is down by 36 pips (-0.44%) to 81.10;
NZD/USD is down by 30 pips (-0.42%) to .7245, and
NZD/JPY is down by 62 pips (-0.80%) to 76.74.
The hot mess that is today’s headlines boosted the low-yielding yen higher across the board.
USD/JPY is down by 42 pips (-0.40%) to 105.91;
EUR/JPY is down by 48 pips (-0.36%) to 130.37;
GBP/JPY is down by 62 pips (-0.42%) to 147.53, and
CHF/JPY is down by 33 pips (-0.30%) to 111.40.
Watch Out For:
- 7:00 am GMT: Germany’s wholesale price index (0.2% expected, 0.9% previous)