Article Highlights

  • Canadian housing starts up from 180K to 192K
  • Australia’s NAB business confidence down from 8 to 7
  • UK BRC retail sales monitor down by 1.0%
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Key hints at RBNZ rate hike
  • BOJ interest rate decision coming up
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Data was relatively light on Monday’s US forex trading session, with only the Canadian housing starts report released then. It showed an increase from 180K to 192K, higher than the estimated 190K figure, enough to lend a bit of support to the Loonie. USD/CAD retreated to the 1.1100 major psychological level right after the release.

Earlier today, the Australian NAB business confidence index showed a decline from 8 to 7, reflecting weaker optimism in the sector. Over in the UK, the BRC retail sales monitor printed a year-over-year decline of 1.0% and pushed GBP/USD to the 1.6650 minor psychological level in today’s Asian trading session. The Kiwi, on the other hand, drew support from New Zealand Prime Minister John Key’s remarks hinting that interest rates will rise to normal levels, setting the tone for the upcoming RBNZ monetary policy statement later on this week.

In the next few hours, the BOJ is set to announce its monetary policy decision. No actual policy changes are expected, but the central bank might highlight the recent weakness in the country’s export industry. Market watchers are also eager to hear what policymakers have to say about the potential impact of the April sales tax increase on overall economic performance and whether this might warrant further easing or not. In any case, do stay on your toes during the event as it could spark a lot of volatility for USD/JPY and the rest of the yen pairs!

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