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There were not a lot of fresh catalysts during the Asian session, so some traders took advantage and took profits ahead of today’s top-tier events.

  • NZ GDP jumps by 1.0% vs. 0.7% expected, 0.5% in Q1 2018
  • PM Shinzo Abe wins party leadership election

Major Events/Reports:

New Zealand’s GDP

Thanks to a light economic calendar, Asian session market players focused on New Zealand’s latest GDP report.

The economy posted a 1.0% growth in Q2 2018, which is stronger than both the expected 0.7% uptick and Q1’s 0.5% increase. That’s the fastest increase in TWO years, yo! If you recall, the RBNZ had only seen a 0.5% growth for the quarter.

The annualized reading clocked in at 2.8%, which is also faster than Q1’s 2.7% growth and the 2.5% gain that many had expected.

Turns out, 15 out of 16 industries showed expansion, with the service sector contributing the most to the economy.

The report was a welcome break for investors who were concerned about the recent weakening of investor sentiment reports lately.

Markets take a chill pill

There were not a lot of major economic reports printed during the Asian session. However, after days of gains, some traders might have taken profits ahead of the top-tier events scheduled in the next couple of hours.

  • Nikkei is up by 0.10% to 23,696.9
  • A SX 200 is down by 0.35% to 6,166.8
  • Shanghai index is down by 0.12% to 2,727.530
  • Hang Seng is down by 0.02% to 27,400.6

Commodity prices were a little more uniform in direction, with gold benefiting from a bit of dollar weakness while crude oil benchmarks also extended their gains from the previous session.

  • Gold is up by 0.13% to $1,205.51 per troy ounce
  • Brent crude oil is up by 0.47% to $79.66
  • U.S. WTI is up by 0.31% to $71.22

Major Market Mover(s):

NZD

Not surprisingly, Kiwi bulls made pips rain in the pip streets after New Zealand printed a stronger GDP than markets had expected.

NZD/USD is up by 29 pips (+0.44%) to .6643; NZD/JPY is up by 28 pips (+0.38%) to 74.52; NZD/CAD is up by 41 pips (+0.48%) to .8583; EUR/NZD is down by 63 pips (-0.36%) to 1.7582; GBP/NZD is down by 72 pips (-0.36%) to 1.9795, and NZD/CHF is up by 29 pips (+0.46%) to .6424.

AUD

The Aussie, which had risen strongly in the past couple of trading sessions, saw some pullback against its major counterparts.

AUD/USD is down by 6 pips (-0.08%) to .7257; AUD/JPY is down by 13 pips (-0.16%) to 81.41; EUR/AUD is up by 29 pips (+0.18%) to 1.6094; GBP/AUD is up by 30 pips (+0.16%) to 1.8120, and AUD/CHF is down by 6 pips (-0.08%) to .7018.

Watch Out For:

  • 6:00 am GMT: Switzerland’s trade balance (2.41B CHF expected, 2.26B CHF previous)
  • 7:30 am GMT: SNB’s monetary policy decision
  • 8:30 am GMT: U.K.’s retail sales (read our trading guide if you’re planning on trading the release!)