News

Asia Roundup: Aussie eases ahead of inflation report, oil at 5-month peak as U.S. likely to end sanction waivers for Iran oil, Asian shares consolidate amid holiday thinned-trading – Monday, April 22nd, 2019

Market Roundup

  • Oil hits 5-month peak on Iran sanctions report
     
  • Markets consolidate post-holiday trade
     
  • Canadian dollar up as oil prices rally
     

Economic Data Ahead

  • No major economic data releases

Key Events Ahead

  • No significant events scheduled

FX Beat

DXY: The dollar index steadied, supported by the relative strength of the U.S. economy, while trading activity remained subdued as financial markets in Australia, Hong Kong and many major countries in Europe remained closed for the Easter holiday. The greenback against a basket of currencies traded 0.05 percent up at 97.41, having touched a high of 97.49 on Thursday, its highest since Apr. 2. FxWirePro's Hourly Dollar Strength Index stood at 98.44 (Slightly Bullish) by 0400 GMT.

EUR/USD: The euro eased, adding to last week's losses after data on Thursday showed that activity in Germany's manufacturing sector shrank for a fourth straight month in April, stoking fears of an economic slowdown in the Eurozone. The European currency traded 0.05 percent down at 1.1235, having touched a high of 1.1323 on Wednesday, its highest since Mar. 26. FxWirePro's Hourly Euro Strength Index stood at -62.26 (Bearish) by 0400 GMT. Investors’ attention will remain on the U.S. existing home sales, and Chicago Fed National Activity Index, as major EZ markets remain shut on account of Easter Monday. Immediate resistance is located at 1.1287 (Apr. 10 High), a break above targets 1.1331 (Mar. 25 High). On the downside, support is seen at 1.1213 (Mar. 28 Low) a break below could drag it till 1.1176 (Mar. 7 Low).

USD/JPY: The dollar steadied after falling for two straight sessions, following a gradual rise in U.S. 10-year Treasury yields and signs of strength in the economy, including better-than-expected retail sales in March. Data released on Thursday showed U.S. retail sales increased the most in 1-1/2 years in March, suggesting that economic growth picked up in the first quarter after a false start. The major was trading 0.05 percent up at 111.95, having hit a high of 112.16 on Wednesday, its highest since Dec. 20. FxWirePro's Hourly Yen Strength Index stood at 168.20 (Highly Bullish) by 0400 GMT. Investors’ will continue to track the broad-based market sentiment, ahead of the U.S. existing home sales, and the Chicago Fed National Activity Index. Immediate resistance is located at 112.60 (Dec. 20 High), a break above targets 113.24 (Dec. 5 High). On the downside, support is seen at 111.20 (Apr. 3 Low), a break below could take it lower at 110.53 (Mar. 20 Low).

GBP/USD: Sterling consolidated within narrow ranges as major markets remained closed on account of Easter Monday. The major traded flat at 1.2993, having hit a low of 1.2978 on Friday; it’s lowest since Mar. 29. FxWirePro's Hourly Sterling Strength Index stood at 11.46 (Neutral) 0400 GMT. Investors’ attention will remain on the U.S. fundamental drivers, amid a lack of data from the UK docket. Immediate resistance is located at 1.3074 (Apr. 8 High), a break above could take it near 1.3149 (Apr. 1 High). On the downside, support is seen at 1.2960 (Mar. 11 Low), a break below targets 1.2924 (Feb. 5 Low). Against the euro, the pound was trading flat at 86.49 pence, having hit a low of 86.80 on Wednesday, it’s lowest since Mar. 22.

AUD/USD: The Australian dollar plunged to a 10-day low as investors turned cautious ahead of the release of domestic inflation figures this week that could help decide whether the Reserve Bank will slash interest rates later this year. The Aussie trades 0.2 percent down at 0.7136, having hit a low of 0.7135 earlier; it’s lowest since Apr. 12. FxWirePro's Hourly Aussie Strength Index stood at -153.46 (Highly Bearish) by 0400 GMT. Investors will continue to track overall market sentiment, ahead of U.S. economic releases. Immediate support is seen at 0.7116 (Apr. 12 Low), a break below targets 0.7070 (Mar. 29 Low). On the upside, resistance is located at 0.7174 (Apr. 10 High), a break above could take it near 0.7235 (Jan. 11 High).

NZD/USD: The New Zealand dollar declined, as the greenback surged, boosted by the relative strength of the U.S. economy. The Kiwi trades 0.3 percent down at 0.6674, having touched a low of 0.6665 on Wednesday, its lowest level Jan. 3. FxWirePro's Hourly Kiwi Strength Index was at -175.47 (Highly Bearish) by 0400 GMT. Investors’ will continue to track broad-based market sentiment, ahead of U.S. economic data. Immediate resistance is located at 0.6758 (Apr. 9 High), a break above could take it near 0.6799 (Apr. 4 High). On the downside, support is seen at 0.6652 (Jan. 2 Low), a break below could drag it below 0.6585 (Jan. 3 Low).

Equities Recap

Asian shares steadied as recent Chinese economic data eased concerns about the health of the world economy; while trading remains thin with many markets in Asia and Europe closed.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed.

Tokyo's Nikkei rose 0.05 percent to 22,214.41 points, and South Korea's KOSPI plunged 0.1 percent to 2,213.18 points.

Shanghai composite index fell 1.2 percent to 3,231.65 points, while CSI 300 index traded 1.8 percent down at 4,047.07 points. Taiwan shares added 0.1 percent to 10,981.40 points

Commodities Recap

Crude oil prices rallied by more than 2 percent to touch levels since November 2018 after the Washington Post stated that the U.S. is likely to announce all imports of Iranian oil must end or be subject to sanctions. International benchmark Brent crude was trading 2.6 percent higher at $73.78 per barrel by 0422 GMT, having hit a high of $74.28 earlier, its highest since Nov. 1, 2018. U.S. West Texas Intermediate was trading 2.5 percent up at $63.73 a barrel, after rising as high as $65.97, its highest since the Oct. 31, 2018.

Gold prices rebounded after falling to a near 4-month low in the previous session on the greenback's strength following indications that U.S. economic growth picked up in the first quarter. Spot gold was trading 0.3 percent up at $1,279.11 per ounce by 0430 GMT, having touched a low of $1,271.07 in the previous session, its lowest since Dec. 27, 2018. The metal fell 1.2 percent last week, recording its fourth consecutive weekly decline. U.S. gold futures were 0.1-percent higher at $1,277.80 an ounce.

Treasuries Recap

The Japanese government bond benchmark 10-year futures open up 0.08 point


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