A slew of data releases didn’t stop market players from turning to risk sentiment during the Asian session.
- Japan’s bank lending (y/y) down from 2.1% to 2.0% in March
- Japan’s core machinery orders gains by 2.1% vs. 2.6% decrease expected, 8.2% jump in January
- Japan’s PPI (y/y) up by 2.1% as expected in March
- Australia’s Westpac consumer sentiment down by 0.6% vs. 0.2% uptick in March
- China’s CPI (y/y) down from 2.9% to 2.1% in March
- China’s PPI (y/y) slips from 3.7% to 3.1% in March
China’s data releases
A report from the world’s second largest economy saw consumer prices easing in the month of March.
China’s CPI rose by 2.1% from a year earlier in March, which is slower than February’s 2.9% growth AND the 2.6% uptick that analysts had expected. Turns out, costs increased at a softer pace for both food and non-food prices.
China’s statistics bureau isn’t too worried, though, saying that the softer figures merely reflect the easing of prices after the Lunar New Year holidays. In addition to that, additional tariffs on U.S. products like soybeans and cars are also expected to boost prices.
It wasn’t just consumer prices that eased a little. China’s factory prices also grew at a slower pace for the fifth consecutive month after hitting a four-year high in February. Prices rose by 3.1% from a year earlier in March after rising by 3.7% in February.
Risk-takers take a chill pill
Asian session market players mostly shrugged off today’s data releases and focused instead on risk sentiment. And this time around, some traders are selling higher-yielding bets.
There’s no definite catalyst for the weaknesses, but it’s possible that investors are taking profits from yesterday’s risk-taking bonanza. After all, China and the U.S. still have to iron out a lot of things before they come up with trade deals that satisfy their interests.
Whether it’s concerns over the U.S.-China trade conflict or good ‘ol profit-taking from the previous sessions‘ gains, Asian session players found it a bit more difficult to sustain their bullish sentiments.
- Nikkei is down by 0.20% to 21,751.7
- Australia’s A SX 200 is down by 0.37% to 5,825.1
- Hang Seng is up by 0.75% to 30,960.7
- Shanghai index is up by 0.90% to 3,219.070
Commodities also reflected the slight against riskier bets:
- Gold is up by 0.13% to $1,341.14
- Brent crude oil is down by 0.38% to $70.72
- U.S. WTI is down by 0.35% to $65.33
Major Market Mover(s):
AUD and NZD
Higher-yielding currencies like the comdolls took the heaviest hits on overall cautiousness in the markets.
AUD/USD is down by 9 pips (-0.11%) to .7751
AUD/JPY is down by 20 pips (-0.24%) to 82.98
GBP/AUD is up by 36 pips (+0.20%) to 18293.
NZD/USD is down by 9 pips (-0.13%) to .7349
NZD/JPY is down by 20 pips (-0.25%) to 78.69
GBP/NZD is up by 44 pips (+0.23%) to 1.9291
The euro was immune to the bad vibes and extended its gains from the previous session. If you recall, the common currency received a boost from hawkish remarks from ECB member Nowotny.
EUR/USD is up by 7 pips (+0.06%) to 1.2362
EUR/GBP is up by 4 pips (+0.04%) to .8718
EUR/AUD is up by 32 pips (+0.20%) to 1.5949 and
EUR/CAD is up by 13 pips (+0.08%) to 1.5581
EUR/NZD is up by 41 pips (+0.24%) to 1.6820
Watch Out For:
- 8:00 am GMT: Italy’s retail sales (0.3% expected, -0.5% previous)
- 8:30 am GMT: U.K.’s manufacturing production (0.2% expected, 0.1% previous)
- 8:30 am GMT: U.K.’s goods trade balance (-12.0B GBP expected, -12.3B GBP previous)
- 8:30 am GMT: U.K.’s construction output (0.7% expected, -3.4% previous)
- 8:30 am GMT: U.K.’s industrial production (0.4% expected, 1.3% previous)
- 11:00 am GMT: ECB’s Draghi to give a speech in Frankfurt