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A pretty active start for the Asian session players, as the euro and Kiwi popped higher while the Loonie fell along with crude oil prices.

  • Japan’s service producer price index up by 0.9% vs. 0.5% expected and previous in April
  • Oil prices drop as Saudi Arabia, Russia contemplate raising oil production
  • Italy’s Mattarella rejects Eurosceptic pick for next PM

Major Events/Reports:

Italy’s Mattarella rejects Eurosceptic pick

Over the weekend Italian President Sergio Mattarella rejected Paolo Savona – a vocal critic of the European Monetary Union – as Economy Minister.

Savona had been the pick of populist parties 5-Star Movement and the League as they try to form a coalition government. If you recall, Italy has been without a government since elections on 4 March ended in a hung parliament.

Giuseppe Conte – the PM-in-waiting – called for Mattarella’s impeachment after his decision and the prospect of fresh elections and maybe a constitutional crisis limited the euro’s gains.

Also read: A Quick Primer On Italy’s Political Situation

Generally upbeat sentiment

Unlike in the last couple of days, there were plenty of catalysts to push the Asian bourses and commodity prices around during the Asian session.

Traders were specifically optimistic over the possibility of a U.S.-North Korean meeting, and the combination of Mattarella’s news and a bit of profit-taking in safe haven longs also helped boost risk sentiment.

  • Nikkei is up by 0.09% to 22,471.8
  • A SX 200 is down by 0.07% to 6,007.8
  • Hang Seng is up by 0.56% to 30,758.5
  • Shanghai index is up by 0.18% to 3,146.849

Commodity prices didn’t share the optimism. Risk-taking dragged on gold prices, for example, while global oil production updates weighed on the Black Crack.

  • Gold is down by 0.23% to $1,298.76
  • Brent crude oil is down by 1.52% to $74.97
  • U.S. WTI is down by 1.82% to $66.17

Major Market Mover(s):

CAD

The oil-related Loonie took the heaviest hits on news that Saudi Arabia and Russia might be planning on upping their oil production game despite the U.S. not hitting the breaks on its own production.

EUR/CAD is up by 86 pips (+0.57%) to 1.5217
NZD/CAD is up by 44 pips (+0.49%) to .9020
AUD/CAD is up by 42 pips (+0.43%) to .9836

NZD

Higher-yielding currencies like the Kiwi took advantage of the overall risk-friendly theme in the markets.

NZD/USD is up by 27 pips (+0.39%) to .6946
NZD/CHF is up by 31 pips (+0.46%) to .6888
GBP/NZD is down by 42 pips (-0.22%) to 1.9120

EUR

Euro bulls shrugged off political uncertainty in favor of some profit-taking as well as pricing in a Eurosceptic getting rejected from a key government post.

EUR/USD is up by 56 pips (+0.48%) to 1.1718
EUR/JPY is up by 57 pips (+0.44%) to 128.25
EUR/GBP is up by 29 pips (+0.33%) to .8788
EUR/CHF is up by 64 pips (+0.55%) to 1.1620

Watch Out For:

  • U.K.’s markets out on Spring Day holiday