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There were no fresh catalysts during the Asian session, so market players focused on pricing in last week’s movers and a couple of headlines from the weekend.

  • Japan’s flash manufacturing PMI up from 53.1 to 53.3 in April
  • New Zealand’s credit card spending (y/y) up by 7.2% vs. 7.0% growth in February

Major Events/Reports:

North Korea to halt missile tests

Over the weekend North Korea’s state news agency announced that

“From 21 April, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles.”

North Korea also added that a nuclear test center “will be discarded in order to ensure the transparency of the suspension of the nuclear test.

The announcement fell short of the hermit kingdom announcing that it will scrap its nuclear program but, for now, it’s taken positively on top of the lack of fresh geopolitical conflicts related to Syria.

Mixed risk sentiment

The Asian equity indices started with mixed results thanks to Morgan Stanley publishing weak forecasts for iPhones, which is damaging for many of Apple’s Asian suppliers.

  • Nikkei is down by 0.21% to 22,115.4
  • Australia’s A SX 200 is up by 0.66% to 5,880.1
  • Hang Seng is down by 0.36% to 30,310.2
  • Shanghai index is down by 0.11% to 3,068.284

Commodity prices, on the other hand, reflected the overall risk-friendly sentiment on the back of a hawkish FOMC, rising U.S. Treasury yields, and easing of geopolitical and trade war concerns involving the U.S.

  • Gold is down by 0.13% to $1,333.73
  • Brent crude oil is up by 0.56% to $74.02
  • U.S. WTI is up by 0.43% to $68.31

Major Market Mover(s):

The low-yielding yen was crushed by the risk appetite train as it lost pips to its major counteparts.
USD/JPY is up by 22 pips (+0.21%) to 107.84
GBP/JPY is up by 46 pips (+0.31%) to 151.16
AUD/JPY is up by 24 pips (+0.29%) to 82.78
CAD/JPY is up by 22 pips (+0.26%) to 84.53
NZD/JPY is up by 10 pips (+0.13%) to 77.67

Watch Out For:

  • 7:00 am GMT: France’s flash manufacturing PMI (53.4 expected, 53.7 previous)
  • 7:00 am GMT: France’s flash services PMI (56.6 expected, 56.8 previous)
  • 7:30 am GMT: Germany’s flash manufacturing PMI (57.6 expected, 58.2 previous)
  • 7:30 am GMT: Germany’s flash services PMI expected to maintain its 53.9 reading
  • 8:00 am GMT: Euro Zone flash manufacturing PMI to remain at 56.6?
  • 8:00 am GMT: Euro Zone flash services PMI (54.8 expected, 54.9 previous)
  • 10:00 am GMT: Germany Bundesbank monthly report