The Nikkei ended the session with a 1.94% gain after weakness in the JPY led to an increase in the share prices of exporters. The ASX 200 and Shanghai Comp closed slightly negative at 0.32% and 0.23% respectively.
News from the region was dominated by Australia with RBA Gov Stevens striking a bullish tone by stating that the economy was showing signs of improvement. He was however quick to stifle any AUD strength by stating that the AUD was getting ahead of its self and was overvalued. Should the bashing of the AUD continue, we will likely see the AUD weakening in the medium to long term. The JPY also weakened slightly overnight after BOJ officials stating that a move deeper into negative rate territory is not out of the question.
Us equities finished the day flat as direction is muted due to the upcoming holiday week. The DJIA finished up 0.12%, the S&P 500 up 0.1% and the NASDAQ 100 up 0.37%.
Data out of the US was slightly worse than expected with Existing Home Sales printing -7.1% vs -3%. The negative impact was short lived as Fed`s Lockhart made a bullish statement in which he sees the economy improving and current data suggesting that inflation has stabilised which might prompt the Fed to raise rate in their April meeting.
Data out of the region today is in the form of:
- HPI m/m exp. 0.5%
- Flash Manufacturing PMI exp 51.6
- Richmond Manufacturing Index exp -1
Data out of the EU is plentiful and we should see some volatility in the EUR crosses as markets digest the new data in line with the ECB`s last meeting.
The expected data is as follows:
- French Flash Manufacturing PMI exp. 50.2
- French Flash Services PMI exp. 49.5
- German Flash Manufacturing PMI exp. 50.9
- German Flash Services PMI exp. 55.1
- EU Flash Manufacturing PMI exp. 51.4
- EU Flash Services PMI exp. 53.5
- German Ifo Business Climate exp. 106.1
- German ZEW Economic Sentiment exp. 6.3
- EU ZEW Economic Sentiment exp. 8.2
The GBP has enjoying a recent bout of strength as it bucks its longer term bearish trend, but this could all come to an end if today’s data fails to impress.
The expected Data is as follows:
- CPI y/y exp. 0.4%
- PPI Input m/m exp. 0.4%
- Public sector Net Borrowing exp. 5.4B
- RPI y/y exp 1.3%
Commodities traded flat overnight with crude oil remaining above 41 $/bbl and gold enjoying marginal gains on the back of a pullback in the USD.