Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Risk-off extends into Asia, a host of US data eyed

FXStreet (Mumbai) - Risk-off sentiment weighed across the financial markets in Asia amid heightening geopolitical risks surrounding Middle-East and global terrorism threats. Investors therefore gave up riskier assets such as the equities and flocked to traditional safe-havens – gold, the yen, euro and Swiss franc.

Key headlines in Asia

Japan to grow by 0.5%-1.5% in 2016 - Moody's

BOJ minutes: Economy likely to grow at slower pace in FY 2017

AUD/USD: M&A flows possibly supportive today - Westpac

Dominating themes in Asia - centered on JPY, AUD, NZD

The US dollar extended weakness for the second straight session, with no major catalyst behind the downside bias other than a technical correction. However, mixed US macro data released on Monday added to the ongoing USD retreat. Moreover, markets preferred to park their funds into safe-havens and hence gave up the risk-currency, the greenback. The US dollar index drops -0.10% to 99.58.

In response to the rising demand for safe-haven assets, the yen was strongly bid against the US dollar and rose to fresh weekly highs at 122.26, before easing slightly to 122.40 levels, where it now wavers. The EUR/USD pair also benefited from the renewed risk-aversion wave and trades around 1.0655, recording a 0.13% gain so far. While gold was the best performer among the safe-havens, rising 0.26% to $ 1078.

The Antipodeans shrugged off the risk-off markets and climbed higher in Asia, extending its recovery from multi-month lows. The commodity-currencies rejoiced the rebound in the commodity prices, with gold prices reverting to $ 1080 while the US oil gains 0.62% and nears $43. Copper prices recover to $ 2.06 on Comex. The Aussie ignored the downbeat construction data and now trades near monthly highs at 0.7265 levels. While the Kiwi advances 0.29% to 0.6575.

The Asian stocks extended previous losses, with Japan’s benchmark, the Nikkei now losing -0.38% to 19,849. While mainland China’s benchmark, the Shanghai Composite steadies around 3,620 points. Australia’s S&P ASX index drops -0.40% to 5,204. While Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declines -0.41% to 22,494.

Heading into Europe & the US

There is nothing much to report in term of economic data in the upcoming European session, except for the second-tier data in the UK BBA mortgage approvals.

Besides, RBA Assistant Governor Debelle will be on wires, speaking at FX Week Europe's annual conference, in London. While the UK Chancellor George Osborne will present Autumn Forecasts Statement later today in Westminster, with markets expecting amid concerns the Treasury to miss its 2015-16 fiscal targets.

Looking ahead, today’s US calendar is fuller, wrapping up the holiday-shortened week. The US traders will be away on a Thanksgiving Day-break from tomorrow until Monday. The US durable goods data will kick-off a fuller US calendar followed by Core PCE index, personal spending, new home sales and finally revised consumer sentiment will bring an end to the swarm of data releases.

The macro data from the US are expected to have negligible impact on the US dollar as a Dec Fed rate hike is a done deal now. Only on a horribly weak durable goods order print could raise concerns over the Fed rate hike options. However, the NFP report next week is likely to hold greater significance and determine the chances of a Dec rate rise, as the Fed remains more concerned about the US labor market conditions.

EUR/USD Technicals

Valeria Bednarik, Chief Analyst at FXStreet noted, “The technical picture is still neutral-to-bearish according to the 4 hours chart, as the price remains unable to advance beyond a mild bearish 20 SMA, whilst the technical indicators have recovered from near oversold levels, but remain below their mid-lines.”

“In the 1 hour chart, the price advances above a bullish 20 SMA, but has met sellers around its 100 SMA, while the technical indicators aim higher above their mid-lines. Some follow through beyond 1.0690 could see the pair advancing up to 1.0760, where the dominant bearish trend is expected to resume. “
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