Article Highlights

  • U.S. ISM manu PMI up from 53.2 to 53.7 vs. 54.2 consensus
  • U.S. construction spending showed 0.1% rebound in Feb
  • U.S. total vehicle sales up from 15.3M to 16.4M
  • Australia building approvals down by 5.0%
  • NZ Prime Minister Key: Country can reduce gov’t debt to 20% of GDP
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You can’t win ’em all, can you? The Greenback ended higher against some major currencies, such as the British pound and the Japanese yen, but lost to the Swiss franc and the Canadian dollar. Data from the U.S. economy was also mixed, as the ISM manufacturing PMI showed an improvement from 53.2 to 53.7 but fell short of the 54.2 consensus. Construction spending posted a 0.1% rebound in February instead of staying flat while total vehicle sales surged to 16.5 million.

Earlier today, Australia reported a massive 5.0% decline in building approvals, way worse than the estimated 1.7% drop and enough to erase most of the 6.9% increase seen in the previous period. It didn’t help the Aussie that credit rating agency Fitch released a survey that showed that Australian investors are still wary of external risks to the economy, particularly the potential slowdown in China.

Meanwhile, NZD/USD drew a bit of support from NZ Prime Minister Key’s comments regarding the progress made on track to cut the government debt to just 20% of the country’s GDP. However, traders decided to book profits once the pair formed a reversal candlestick right on the .8700 major psychological resistance, triggering a sharp selloff below the .8600 mark.

No other major reports are up for release in today’s Asian trading session, which means that most forex pairs could be sensitive to risk sentiment. The downbeat outlook for the Japanese economy now that the sales tax hike has been implemented could continue to weigh on the yen. Stay on your toes!

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