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The Asian bourses put on a brave face and traded with cautious optimism despite fresh concerns over the U.S. – China trade war.

  • New Zealand’s trade deficit widens sharply in October
  • BOJ’s core CPI (y/y) up by another 0.6% vs. 0.5% expected and previous
  • Saudi Arabia oil output hits record high in November

Major Events/Reports:

NZ trade data miss

A report printed earlier showed New Zealand clocking in a trade deficit of 1,295 million NZD in October, much higher than the 840 million NZD gap in the same month last year and the 850M NZD figure that markets had expected.

Exports jumped by 6.6% from a year ago, as fruit and mechanical machinery sales improved.

Imports also rocketed by an annualized rate of 14.1% to an all-time high of 6.16B NZD, however, thanks to higher purchases of crude oil and fuels and electrical machinery and equipment.

Not surprisingly, New Zealand’s weak trading prospects brought the Kiwi bears to the yard.

Cautious optimism in the markets

There weren’t a lot of fresh game-changing catalysts during the Asian session, so traders mostly tried to extend the risk-taking vibe seen during the U.S. session. If you recall, a round of bargain-hunting had pushed U.S. equities higher.

Risk-taking remained muted, however, thanks to Trump sharing that he’ll likely go ahead and slap on the scheduled additional tariffs on China’s goods anyway on January.

  • Nikkei is up by 0.55% to 21,931.0
  • A SX 200 is up by 0.01% to 5,721.7
  • Shanghai index is up by 0.42% to 2,586.745
  • Hang Seng is down by 0.09% to 26,351.6

Commodities traded slightly lower as improved demand for the dollar dragged on gold prices a bit. Meanwhile, a record oil output from Saudi Arabia weighed on crude oil benchmarks during the trading session.

  • Gold is down by 0.05% to $1,221.6
  • Brent crude oil is down by 0.08% to $60.48
  • U.S. WTI is down by 0.17% to $51.49

Major Market Mover(s):

NZD

With not a lot of other catalysts to move the markets, the Kiwi’s decline after the release of New Zealand’s weak trade data was more pronounced during the session.

NZD/JPY is down by 6 pips (-0.08%) to 76.83; GBP/NZD is up by 21 pips (+0.11%) to 1.8932; EUR/NZD is up by 17 pips (+0.10%) to 1.6748, and AUD/NZD is up by 13 pips (+0.12%) to 1.0677.

CAD

Another day, another opportunity to track oil prices! Yep, the Loonie was dragged lower along with Black Crack prices!

USD/CAD is up by 6 pips (+0.04%) to 1.3257; CAD/JPY is down by 5 pips (-0.06%) to 85.64; EUR/CAD is up by 17 pips (+0.12%) to 1.5026; GBP/CAD is up by 20 pips (+0.12%) to 1.6985, and AUD/CAD is up by 12 pips (+0.12%) to .9579.

Watch Out For:

  • 11:00 am GMT: U.K.’s CBI realized sales (10 expected, 5 previous)