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Risk appetite was the name of the game during the Asian session, as a lack of fresh catalysts inspired investors to extend the risk-friendly vibe from the previous session.

  • Japan’s services producer price index up by 0.6% vs. 0.7% expected and previous
  • Australia’s HIA new home sales slips by 0.7% vs. 2.1% decline in January

Major Events/Reports:

Australia’s new home sales

Data from the Land Down Under saw fewer new homes sold for a second consecutive month in February.

According to Australia’s Housing Industry Association (HIA), new home sales fell by 0.7% following a 2.1% decline in January. Not only does this mark the first back-to-back decline since September, but this also puts the annualized decrease to 1.4%. Yipes!

Despite the headline weaknesses, HIA shared that the weaknesses were concentrated on Queensland and Western Australia. The firm expects home sales trend to bottom out in late 2019 before seeing modest growth.

Trade war fears continue to ease

With no fresh catalysts to move the major currencies around, Asian session took their cues from the risk-taking during the U.S. session.

  • Nikkei is up by 2.23% to 21,228.2;
  • Australia’s A SX 200 is up by 0.07% to 5,823.5;
  • Hang Seng is up by 0.91% to 30,826.5, and
  • Shanghai index is up by 0.97% to 3,164.020.

Even commodity prices got on the risk appetite train.

  • Gold is up by 0.04% to $1,354.10;
  • Brent crude oil is up by 0.36% to $70.32, and
  • U.S. WTI is up by 0.60% to $65.86.

Major Market Mover(s):

Risk-taking did NOT work out well for the low-yielding yen today, as traders focused on buying higher-yielding currencies.

USD/JPY is up by 22 pips (+0.21%) to 105.62;
EUR/JPY is up by 36 pips (+0.27%) to 131.51;
GBP/JPY is up by 40 pips (+0.27%) to 150.34, and
CAD/JPY is up by 24 pips (+0.30%) to 82.30.

Watch Out For:

  • 6:00 am GMT: Germany’s import prices (-0.3% expected, 0.5% previous)
  • 7:00 am GMT: Spain’s flash CPI (y/y) (1.5% expected, 1.1% previous)
  • 8:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s M3 private loans (y/y) (3.0% expected, 2.9% previous)
  • 8:30 am GMT: BOE’s FPC meeting minutes