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There was no one headline to rule market price action, so Asian session traders were all over the place in the past couple of hours.

  • New Zealand’s retail sales up by 1.1% in Q2 2018 vs. 0.4% expected, 0.3% previous
  • New Zealand’s core retail sales up by 1.4% vs. 0.8% expected, 0.6% previous
  • Australia’s MI leading index falls flat after 0.1% increase in June
  • Australia’s construction work done increases by 1.6% in Q2 2018 vs. 0.7% expected, 2.4% previous
  • Japanese all industries activity index down by 0.8% vs. -0.7% expected, 0.1% previous

Major Events/Reports:

PBoC won’t use strong stimulus

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) dashed hopes of small and medium businesses late yesterday when it shared that it won’t use “strong” stimulus to support the economy.

Ji Zhihong, head of the PBOC’s financial markets department, encouraged financial institutions not to cut off loans, and promised improved coordination with other agencies to help provide liquidity and assistance to businesses that need it.

Meanwhile, Li Bo, head of PBoC’s monetary policy department, assured that they’re not using the yuan as a weapon in the U.S.-China trade war. Instead, Bo shared his confidence over keeping the yuan “basically stable at a reasonable equilibrium level.

Mixed market sentiment

Optimism from the previous session kept Nikkei bulls busy for most of the session.

Meanwhile, Australia’s stock markets took hits as Prime Minister Turnbull said no to his Cabinet members resigning after yesterday’s party drama.

China’s markets were a bit more mixed after officials dashed speculations of major support from the PBoC.

  • Nikkei is up by 0.54% to 22,339.4
  • A SX 200 is down by 0.14% to 6,270.5
  • Hang Seng is up by 0.51% to 27,895.5
  • Shanghai index is down by 0.52% to 2,719.721

Commodity prices also showed mixed price action, with gold slipping while crude oil prices took advantage of a generally risk-friendly trading environment.

  • Gold is down by 0.09% to $1,194.76
  • Brent crude oil is up by 0.04% to $72.81
  • U.S. WTI is up by 0.09% to $66.11

Major Market Mover(s):

AUD

A strong quarterly construction report did little to support the Aussie after the bears pounced on news that Chinese officials aren’t as committed to providing stimulus as many had thought.

AUD/USD is down by 13 pips (-0.18%) to .7353; EUR/AUD is up by 33 pips (+0.21%) to 1.5736; GBP/AUD is up by 47 pips (+0.27%) to 1.7553; AUD/NZD is down by 30 pips (-0.27%) to 1.0971, and AUD/CHF is down by 15 pips (-0.20%) to .7238

JPY

With no major data to shift existing economic themes, the low-yielding yen extended its losses against its higher-yielding counterparts.

USD/JPY is up by 14 pips (+0.13%) to 110.43; GBP/JPY is up by 33 pips (+0.23%) to 142.53; EUR/JPY is up by 15 pips (+0.12%) to 127.78; NZD/JPY is up by 22 pips (+0.29%) to 74.01, and CHF/JPY is up by 26 pips (+0.24%) to 112.18.

Watch Out For: