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There were no top-tier reports printed during the Asian session, but the Donald kept the party going with his comments earlier today.

  • AU Westpac consumer sentiment improves by 0.1% vs. 2.8% growth in December
  • Japan’s core machinery orders increase by 7.6% vs. 10.2% expected, -18.3% previous
  • Japan’s PPI (y/y) shows 2.3% uptick vs. 2.4% expected, 3.0% previous
  • Japan’s tertiary industry activity up by 1.9% vs. 0.9% expected, -1.2% previous

Major Events/Reports:

Trump talks Huawei, trade, and Fed

In a 30-minute interview with Reuters, the Donald kept volatility alive by sharing his thoughts on a wide variety of issues.

His optimism over trade talks with China was particularly notable, as he said that trade talks with Beijing were under way by telephone, and that U.S. and Chinese officials are likely to hold more meetings.

He also shared that he could intervene in the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co. executive Meng Wanzhou if he thinks it’s “necessary.” The POTUS added:

“If I think it’s good for the country, if I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.”

Last but not the least, Trump talked about the Fed. Specifically, he said that it would be “foolish” if the Fed raises its rates next week, as the administration would “need accommodation” in its trade battles.

Overall risk appetite

Trump’s updates on China’s trade talks, his aversion to another Fed rate hike, and his positive tweet about an update regarding China all contributed to a risk-friendly trading environment during the Asian session.

  • Nikkei is up by 1.91% to 21,551.8
  • A SX 200 is up by 0.61% to 5,641.5
  • Shanghai index is up by 0.20% to 2,599.164
  • Hang Seng is up by 1.54% to 26,169.3

The bulls’ party also hit the commodities markets, with gold getting support from a bit of dollar weakness and crude oil benchmarks finally pricing in OPEC’s decision to extend its production cut deal in 2019.

  • Gold is up by 0.14% to $1,224.76 per troy ounce
  • Brent crude oil is up by 0.58% to $60.83 per barrel
  • U.S. WTI is up by 0.56% to $52.23 per barrel

Major Market Mover(s):

AUD and NZD

AUD/USD is up by 16 pips (+0.22%) to .7220; AUD/JPY is up by 24 pips (+0.29%) to 81.92; AUD/CHF is up by 13 pips (+0.18%) to .7168, and EUR/AUD is down by 18 pips (-0.11%) to 1.5687.

NZD/USD is up by 19 pips (+0.27%) to .6892; EUR/NZD is down by 26 pips (-0.15%) to 1.6433; GBP/NZD is down by 16 pips (-0.09%) to 1.8144; NZD/JPY is up by 28 pips (+0.36%) to 78.20; NZD/CHF is up by 17 pips (+0.24%) to .6843, and NZD/CAD is up by 17 pips (+0.18%) to .9220.

JPY

USD/JPY is up by 9 pips (+0.08%) to 113.46; GBP/JPY is up by 32 pips (+0.23%) to 141.89; EUR/JPY is up by 22 pips (+0.17%) to 128.51; CAD/JPY is up by 14 pips (+0.17%) to 84.81, and CHF/JPY is up by 14 pips (+0.12%) to 114.27.

Watch Out For:

  • 9:00 am GMT: Italy’s quarterly unemployment rate (10.3% expected, 10.7% previous)
  • 10:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s industrial production (0.2% expected, -0.3% previous)