There were no fresh catalysts to rock the markets, so Asian session traders were all over the place in the last couple of hours.
Which currencies gained and which one lost ground? Here’s a list of the notable events.
- Japan’s household spending (y/y) slips by 1.6% vs. +1.6 expected, +2.8% previous
- U.K.’s BRC retail sales monitor (y/y) up by 0.1% vs. 0.6% expected, -0.2% previous
- RBA keeps interest rates at 1.50% as expected in November
RBA keeps rates steady as expected
As expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept its interest rates at a record low of 1.50% for another month in November. That’s the 27th consecutive month, yo!
As in last month, RBA members are still worried over household consumption amidst low income growth, high debt levels, and falling asset prices.
Despite that, Governor Lowe and his team now believe that the economy will grow by around 3.5% in 2018 and 2019, higher than last month’s 3.00% estimate.
RBA peeps also felt more optimistic over employment, now saying that the jobless rate is expected to slip to 4.75% in 2020 instead of the 5% estimate last month.
Today’s numbers gave us a sneak peek of what members would print in the quarterly statement on Friday at 12:30 am GMT.
Mixed risk sentiment
Positive sentiment from the U.S. session spilled over into the Asian bourses, but risk-taking was limited by ongoing U.S.-China trade war concerns as well as jitters ahead of the closely-watched U.S. elections.
- Nikkei is up by 0.94% to 22,103.9
- A SX 200 is up by 0.54% to 5,851.3
- Shanghai index is down by 1.05% to 2,637.351
- Hang Seng is down by 0.15% to 25,894.7
Commodity prices were also mixed, with gold slipping on the back of dollar strength while crude oil benchmarks extended their gains from the previous session.
- Gold is down by 0.15% to $1,2289.47 per troy ounce
- Brent crude oil is up by 0.30% to $72.87 per barrel
- U.S. WTI is up by 0.45% to $62.94 per barrel
Major Market Mover(s):
Not surprisingly, a bit of risk-taking dragged the safe-haven yen lower against its major counterparts.
USD/JPY is up by 11 pips (+0.09%) to 113.29; EUR/JPY is up by 11 pips (+0.08%) to 128.21; GBP/JPY is up by 28 pips (+0.19%) to 147.87; CHF/JPY is up by 5 pips (+0.04%) to 1.14461, and AUD/JPY is up by 8 pips (+0.10%) to 81.69.
There were no direct catalysts to support the move but it’s possible that the high-yielding Kiwi, which saw strong gains last week, extended its bullish run in a relatively risk-friendly trading environment.
NZD/USD is down by 11 pips (-0.17%) to .6651; NZD/JPY is down by 3 pips (-0.03%) to 75.35; AUD/NZD is up by 28 pips (+0.26%) to 1.0841; GBP/NZD is up by 66 pips (+0.34%) to 1.9624, and EUR/NZD is up by 33 pips (+0.19%) to 1.7147.
Optimism over a Brexit transition deal carried over to the Asian session and extended the pound’s bullish momentum.
GBP/USD is up by 15 pips (+0.11%) to 1.3052; GBP/CHF is up by 21 pips (+0.16%) to 1.3117; EUR/GBP is down by 8 pips (-0.09%) to .8737; GBP/AUD is up by 20 pips (+0.11%) to 1.8101, and GBP/CAD is up by 23 pips (+0.13%) to 1.7116.
Watch Out For:
- 7:00 am GMT: Germany’s factory orders (-0.4% expected, 2.0% previous)
- 8:15 am GMT: Spain’s services PMI (51.9 expected, 52.5 previous)
- 8:45 am GMT: Italy’s services PMI (52.1 expected, 53.3 previous)
- 8:50 am GMT: France’s final services PMI to remain at 55.6?
- 8:55 am GMT: Germany’s final services PMI expected to maintain 53.6 reading
- 9:00 am GMT: No changes expected from Euro Zone’s 53.3 services PMI
- 10:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s PPI (0.4% expected, 0.3% previous)