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Session Recap: Yen sells as new BoJ head enigma dissipates

Asian traders enjoyed an early lively session, with risk headlines coming from varies angles. Firstly, the Japanese Yen was sold off in an aggressive fashion after weekend reports were unanimous in confirming that Mr. Kuroda, a dovish BoJ candidate, is the pick by Japan's PM Mr. Abe to become the new head of the BoJ. After a sizeable gap at the opening, Yen crossses have stabilized somewhat lower, but still struggling to fill up the lost ground.

Meanwhile, the British Pound found no friends in Asia either, being dumped to fresh multi-year lows vs the US Dollar after the Asian community reacted to last Friday's news over the UK economy being downgraded by Moody's rating agency to Aa1 from AAA. Once Tokyo opened, the Sterling managed to adjust the price slightly higher, as 'bargain-hunters' saw potential risk reward on a cheap GBP.

The Australian Dollar had a poor performance as well, with today's decline being a result of a downbeat China's HSBC manufacturing PMI, which came almost 2 basis points lower-than-expected at 50.4 vs 52.2. The Euro, in the meantime, is peacefully awaiting the Italian election results, with prices frozen just below the 1.32 area.

Main headlines in Asia (in chronological order)

- Kuroda leading the race for BoJ chief

- USD/JPY higher on new BoJ chief headlines

- Japan’s main opposition party says ‘hard to oppose nomination’ of Kuroda to BOJ head

- BoJ combo Kuroda-Iwata positive for USD/JPY - Nomura

- GBP/USD, sellers salivating after 2010/2013 range breakout

- UK downgrade to open up additional GBP downside - HSBC

- Italian elections a potential risk event for the euro - NAB

- First Italian exit polls at 2pm London time - Wetpac

- HSBC PMI in China surprises to the downside

- AUD/USD prints lower lows on bad Chinese data

- Japan's Kuroda headlines only confirms expectations - Societe Generale

- Italian election rumour: Grillo getting more votes than expected

- Wall Street Journal article: Bernanke’s Visit to Congress Key for Currencies

Forex: GBP/USD sinks beneath 1.5100

Cable has continued in early Asia-Pacific Monday the collapse initiated during late Friday after the announcement of the rating agency Moody's of the downgrade to the UK, setting new lows since July 2010 at 1.5069, ahead of the area in 1.5050 where market sources reported options barrier protection. The pair recovered to 1.5128 last, still losing -0.24% for the day, and -1.25% from Friday highs. UK BBA mortgage approvals at 09:30 GMT will be only risk event for the London session ahead directly related to Pound, data that has been picking up steam since mid last year.
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Forex: EUR/USD climbs to session highs, around 1.3215/20

The single currency is navigating session highs at the end of the Asian session on Monday, as risk appetite is prevailing despite the softer result from the flash manufacturing PMI in China for the month of February...
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