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Session Recap: Currencies hold within tight ranges

Markets in Asia traded in a state of semi-paralysis, with well defined range being respected the norm. The Euro continues to hold above the 1.30, the Pound was actually the atypical star after kissing 1.4950 before retracing lower, the Yen saw steady bids ahead of 95.50/60 demand area, while the Aussie hold 1.03, although marginally.

On the fundamental front, the calendar was virtually vacant of any risk headlines, with tepid housing finance / consumer confidence in Australia inflicting a slight downward pressure on the Aussie.

In Japan, the focus is on whether or not the upper house will eventually approve Mr. Iwata as second deputy governor at the helm of the BoJ, decision that may be know at some point during Japan's afternoon time. The appointment of Mr. Kuroda and Mr. Nakaso as governor and deputy respectively, looks like a done deal.

In the equity market, the Nikkei fell 0.32%, Shanghai continues to lose ground by losing 1.16%, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong also tracked Chinese stocks by declining -0.76%.

Main Headlines in Asia

- US stocks close mixed after DJI posts record highs of 14,478.80

- New Zealand Food Price Index (MoM) decreases to -0.3% in Feb from 1.9%

- GBP/AUD prints fresh post-floating record lows sub-1.44

- EUR/USD keeps above 1.3000, looking for new catalysts

- AUD/USD attempting to penetrate 1.03/1.0340 supply area

- Sth. Korean unemployment rate jumps to 3.5% from 3.2% expected

- Australia: Westpac Consumer Confidence (Mar): 2% vs 7.7%

- EUR/JPY, some downside risk after 126.00 failure

- Not difficult for BoJ appointments to be approved - Nomura

- RBNZ next risk event - Rabobank

- GBP/USD prints fresh weekly highs, knocks 1.4950

Abe needs one more vote for Iwata in the upper house to secure his appointment

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Looks as if markets are waiting for something to happen. That something could be the key risk event ahead in the form of US retail sales data, due at 12:30 GMT, 1 hour earlier than usual as the US shifted to daylight saving time this past weekend. This indicator is a market mover by definition, and this time could be no exception, as expectations are high for figure in upper +0.5% range, when previous came in at a tiny +0.1%.
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