Asian equities begun the week mostly higher following last week’s strong drive by Wall Street as the rise in energy sector stocks kept the market afloat with the S&P500 having its best week since March. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.9% following further reports that the much touted sales tax hike would be postponed and exporters relished the weaker JPY. The ASX 200 finished flat as a decline in commodities balanced out any upside momentum. The Shanghai Composite finished flat while the Hang Seng gained 0.4% thanks to industrial and consumer names.
In fx, the USD strengthened across the board after Fed Chairman Yellen commented that a hike is approaching in the foreseeable future. Elsewhere over the weekend we saw David Cameron’s pro EU campaign been given a boost as a survey of 600 economists showed that 9/10 saw adverse effects from leaving the EU while bookmakers have increased the odds of Cameron leaving parliament from 10/1 to 2/1 as the infighting regarding the EU referendum intensifies. Overall the GBP did not respond positively to the weekend’s news and continues to trade lower against the USD after finding a wall at 1.4700.
In commodities, the strengthening USD has weighed down the sector as we see Gold retesting the 1200 after shedding more than 100USD this month, while crude has come off its bets levels as it looks to regain its composer for a move higher.
Today’s key data is as follows:
- German Prelim CPI m/m expected at 0.3%
- Spanish Flash CPI y/y expected at -1%
- KOF Economic Barometer expected at 102.9
- Current Account expected at -17.4B
- RMPI m/m expected at 2.2%
- Household Spending y/y expected at -1%
- ANZ Business Confidence previously at 6.2
- Building Approvals m/m expected at -2.8%
- Current Account expected at -19.3B