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With not a lot of data on the docket, Asian session forex traders turned to Australia’s retail sales release and continuation of previous sessions’ themes for volatility.

  • Japan’s markets out on Culture Day holiday
  • Australia’s AIG services index down from 52.1 to 51.4 in October
  • Australia’s retail sales flat in September vs. 0.4% gain expected, 0.5% decline in August
  • China’s Caixin services PMI clocks in at 51.2 vs. 50.8 expected, 50.6 previous

Major Events/Reports:

Australia’s retail sales miss

Data from the Land Down Under printed earlier today saw retail sales showing no growth for the month of September.

Retail sales clocked in at 0.0% when market players were expecting a 0.4% gain after last month’s 0.5% decline.

Apparently, sales dropped for other retailing (-1.7%), household goods retailing (-0.4%), and clothing, footwear and personal accessories (-0.7%) while food retailing (+0.6%), cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food (+0.3%) and department stores (+2.1%) saw improvements.

The report didn’t go well with investors who were already concerned that Australian Industry Group (AIG)’s services PMI report printed earlier in the day hinted of slowdown in September.

Keep calm and carry on?

With uncertainty over the next Fed Chairman pick over and done with and tax reform concerns still a tossup, traders are now focusing on the next possible catalyst – the NFP report. This is probably why the dollar’s price action remained muted for most of the session.

That didn’t stop equities traders from making their moves, though! Word around the hood is that equities traders are pretty impressed with earnings reports so far and are optimistic ahead of the weekend:

  • Nikkei is up by 0.12% to 6,956.51;
  • Australia’s A SX 200 is up by 0.53% to 22,539.12
  • Hang Seng is up by 0.30% to 28,605.00, but
  • China’s A50 is down by 0.44% to 12,734.14 despite China’s strong PMI release.

Major Market Mover(s):

AUD

The Aussie took the most hits across the board on the back of weaker-than-expected AIG services PMI and retail sales releases.

AUD/USD is down by 34 pips (-0.44%) to .7685;
AUD/JPY is down by 39 pips (-0.44%) to 87.65;
GBP/AUD is up by 82 pips (+0.49%) to 1.7005, and
EUR/AUD is up by 60 pips (+0.40%) to 1.5169.

NZD

After days of losing pips, the New Zealand dollar looked like a bargain for those who priced in overall dollar weakness and China’s upbeat Caixin services PMI report.

NZD/USD is up by 6 pips (+0.09%) to .6921;
NZD/JPY is up by 4 pips (+0.05%) to 78.91, and
AUD/NZD is down by 58 pips (-0.52%) to 1.1104.

Watch Out For:

  • 9:30 am GMT: U.K.’s services PMI (53.3 expected, 53.6 previous)