Risk sentiment was the name of the game during the Asian session, as market players focused on catching up to their counterparts from the previous sessions.
- New Zealand’s credit card spending up by 1.0% vs. 0.5% expected, -0.3% previous
- Australia’s MI inflation expectations slip from 3.7% to 3.6%
- Australia’s home loans down by 0.2% vs. 0.3% decline expected, -1.0% previous
- China’s foreign direct investment (ytd/y) retains 0.5% growth in March
- World Bank upgrades China’s GDP forecast from 6.4% to 6.5% in 2018
Escalating war concerns
With not a lot of top-tier reports published from the major economies, Asian session investors focused on pricing in escalating tensions between the U.S. and Russia over recent attacks in Syria.
Get up to speed on the issue with our list of economic catalysts (which we should really call “cataLIST”)!
If you’re all caught up, you should know that just a few hours ago U.K.’s Theresa May ordered British submarines in the Mediterranean to move within missile range of Syria. This comes after Trump threatened Russia that missiles “will be coming” to Syria.
Naturally, equity indices didn’t appreciate the prospect of a war:
- Nikkei is down by 0.12% to 21,661.9
- Australia’s A SX 200 is down by 0.15% to 5,796.1
- Hang Seng is down by 0.60% to 30,827.8
- Shanghai index is down by 0.60% to 3,188.969
That didn’t stop oil traders from pricing in higher crude oil prices, though!
- Gold is down by 0.16% to $1,350.68
- Brent crude oil is up by 0.50% to $72.28
- U.S. WTI is up by 0.58% to $67.10.
Major Market Mover(s):
There were no U.K.-related catalysts during the Asian session, so it’s likely that pound traders FOMO’d and merely extended its moves from the previous sessions.
GBP/USD is up by 8 pips (+0.06%) to 1.4182
GBP/JPY is up by 21 pips (+0.14%) to 151.57
GBP/AUD is up by 26 pips (+0.14%) to 1.8295 and
GBP/CHF is up by 15 pips (+0.11%) to 1.3589.
Threats of an actual war were shrugged off by Kiwi bulls, who benefited from the spotlight turning away from trade war-related news.
NZD/JPY is up by 14 pips (+0.17%) to 78.71
NZD/CHF is up by 12 pips (+0.16%) to .7057 and
NZD/CAD is up by 13 pips (+0.14%) to .9269
Watch Out For:
- 6:30 am GMT: U.K. MPC member Ben Broadbent to give a speech in Sydney
- 6:45 am GMT: No changes expected from France’s final 0.5% CPI
- 9:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s industrial production (0.1% expected, -1.0% previous)
- 11:30 am GMT: ECB’s monetary policy meeting accounts