Forex today was mainly driven by broad-based US dollar weakness after Trump fired Tillerson, which sparked a fresh round of political upheaval in the US. As a result, risk-off sentiment extended into Asia, with the Yen regaining ground once again amid the balance sheet taper comments delivered by the BoJ Chief Kuroda.

Meanwhile, the Antipodeans got a lift from stronger Chinese industrial and fixed asset investment figures. However, the Kiwi pared gains towards the Asia closing, as downbeat NZ current account data continued to weigh.

Main topics in Asia

RBA’s Kent: “No reason why RBA moves have to be 25 basis point increments”

RBA’s Kent has been hitting the wires with comments as follows …

BoJ Meeting Minutes: more of the same, no plans to act

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) is out with their Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes from the central bank’s January discussion.

Pennsylvania special election: Exit polls put Democrats in lead

Exit polls of the Pennsylvania special election show Democrats are putting on a good show in a red house district. 

China data dump: Industrial production – a huge beat, Retail sales miss estimates

China’s Jan/Feb (combined) retail sales YoY, the number came in at +9.7 vs 9.8% exp and 10.2% last, with industrial output YoY at 7.2% and 6.2% exp and 6.6% last.

BoJ’s Kuroda: We are not in a stage of debating specifics on exit strategy

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) Governor Kuroda is on the wires now, via Reuters, making a scheduled speech in the Japanese Parliament.

BoJ’s Kuroda: Yields in Japan stable at a low level, one result of YCC policy

More comments flowing in from the BoJ Chief Kuroda, as he continues to speak in Parliament on the monetary policy programme.

Democrats hold slim lead in Pennsylvania, race will likely head to recount – Huffington Post

Democrat Conor Lamb holds a narrow lead of 0.3 percentage points, or 579 votes over Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone late Tuesday with 99 percent of precincts reporting, a result that will likely end in a recount. 

Key Focus ahead

With the Chinese data dump out of the way, the focus now remains on the ECB President Draghi’s speech at the ECB conference hosted by the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability, in Frankfurt. Also, of note remains the Eurozone employment and industrial production data for fresh trading impetus while the UK docket remains empty.

In the NA session, the US retail sales and PPI data will be closely eyed amid other minority reports. The US EIA crude stockpiles data will also remain in focus for any impact on oil prices and the Loonie.

On early Thursday, New Zealand will release its Q4 2017 GDP figures, which will set the tone for the Asian markets.

EUR/USD – Bull case strengthens, eyes Draghi speech, US retail sales data

The common currency nudged higher in Asia, pushing the EUR/USD to a four-day high of 1.2412, courtesy of turbulence in Washington and increased fears of full-blown US-China trade war.

GBP/USD looking to extend rally past 1.40 as Brexit fears wane

The GBP/USD is maintaining an elevated position on the week despite risk aversion taking a beating on US political woes.

US: Retail sales to increase 0.3% m/m in February – Barclays

The Barclays Research Team is out with a brief preview of today’s US retail sales data due on the cards at 1230 GMT.

NZ Q4 2017 GDP preview – NAB

Analysts at the National Australia Bank (NAB) offers a sneak peek at what to expect from New Zealand Q4 2017 GDP data due out early Thursday.


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