Article Highlights

  • Canadian manufacturing sales up by 1.0% vs. 0.3% estimate
  • Canadian wholesale sales stay flat in Nov 2013
  • Australia’s Westpac consumer sentiment index up from -4.8% to -1.7%
  • Australia prints stronger than expected quarterly CPI
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Commodity currencies took center stage in the past few trading hours, as Canada and Australia both released top-tier reports. Data from Canada came in mixed, with the manufacturing sales figure beating expectations of a 0.3% uptick and showing a 1.0% jump while wholesale sales stayed flat instead of rising by 0.3% in November 2013. Overall, this resulted to a Loonie selloff, pushing USD/CAD to the 1.1000 area.

As for Australia, data has been surprisingly stronger than expected. The Westpac consumer sentiment index improved from -4.8% to -1.7% in January, reflecting a lower degree of pessimism. The quarterly CPI report showed a 0.8% increase in price levels, higher than the estimated 0.5% rise.

Up ahead, we have the BOJ monetary policy statement and press conference. No actual changes to interest rates and bond purchases are expected, but don’t forget to keep close tabs on the central bank’s economic assessment and outlook. Any hints that the BOJ is ready to ease further in order to counter the expected drag from the sales tax hike could result to yen weakness. Stay on your toes!

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