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Chinese and Hong Kong markets were out on holiday today, so Asian session forex traders mostly took cues from the previous trading session.

  • Chinese markets out on Tomb Sweeping Day holiday
  • Australia’s AIG services PMI up from 54.0 to 56.9 in March
  • Australia’s ANZ commodity prices up by 1.2% after 2.8% gain in February
  • Australia’s trade surplus clocks in at 0.83B AUD vs. 0.68B expected, 0.95B previous

Major Events/Reports:

Australia’s trade balance

A report printed earlier saw Australia’s trade surplus narrowing by 13% to 0.83B AUD in February.

This might be lower than the downwardly revised 0.95B reading in January, but it’s still higher than the 0.7B AUD surplus that markets had expected. This puts the annualized surplus to 1.78B AUD, which is way lower than the 4.74B AUD figure seen in February 2017.

A closer look tells us that exports were flat with the decline in non-rural goods sales offsetting gains in sales of rural goods. Interestingly, imports also saw no changes for the month.

Equities take cues from U.S. counterparts

With no fresh catalyst and China and Hong Kong’s markets out on holiday, the rest of the Asian markets took a chill pill and took their cues from the recovery in U.S. markets.

For newbies out there, you should know that market players might be choosing to wait and see if Trump and China do end up implementing their crippling tariff plans.

It also helped escalate tensions that White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow hinted that Trump’s decisions aren’t final. In an interview with Bloomberg news, Kudlow clarified that “None of the tariffs have been put in place yet, these are all proposals,” adding that “There’s at least two months before any actions are taken.

  • Nikkei is up by 1.77% to 21,696.8;
  • Australia’s A SX 200 is up by 0.32% to 5,788.3, and
  • Gold is down by 0.30% to $1,329.02 on the back of improved dollar demand.

Meanwhile, a surprise drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles printed during the U.S. session continued to support the Black Crack:

  • Brent crude oil is up by 0.12% to $68.33, and
  • U.S. WTI is up by 0.16% to 63.64.

Major Market Mover(s):

The better-than-expected surplus provided the Aussie a bit of a lift, but the downside revision and a bit of profit-taking from the previous session eventually pulled the comdoll lower.

AUD/USD is down by 18 pips (-0.23%) to .7698;
EUR/AUD is up by 47 pips (+0.29%) to 1.5955;
GBP/AUD is up by 48 pips (+0.26%) to 1.8288, and
AUD/NZD is down by 15 pips (-0.14%) to 1.0545.

The low-yielding yen lost a few pips as traders took on a bit more risk during the Asian session.

USD/JPY is up by 18 pips (+0.17%) to 106.96;
EUR/JPY is up by 26 pips (+0.20%) to 131.36;
GBP/PY is up by 27 pips (+0.18%) to 150.57, and
NZD/JPY is up by 11 pips (+0.13%) to 78.07.

Watch Out For:

  • 6:00 am GMT: Germany’s factory orders (1.6% expected, -3.9% previous)
  • 7:15 am GMT: Switzerland’s CPI (0.2% expected, 0.4% previous)
  • 7:15 am GMT: Spain’s services PMI (56.2 expected, 57.3 previous)
  • 7:45 am GMT: Italy’s services PMI (53.9 expected, 55.0 previous)
  • 7:50 am GMT: France’s final services PMI to remain at 56.8?
  • 7:55 am GMT: No changes expected from Germany’s 54.2 services PMI
  • 7:55 am GMT: No changes expected from Germany’s 54.2 services PMI
  • 8:30 am GMT: U.K.’s services PMI (53.9 expected, 54.5 previous)
  • 9:00 am GMT: Euro Zone PPI (0.0% expected 0.4% previous)
  • 9:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s retail sales (0.6% expected, -0.1% previous)