Mar. 3: Asian session
Asian shares fell amid escalating geopolitical tension over Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin won parliamentary backing to send troops into its southern neighbor. North Korea fired two fired two short-range missiles off its east coast. In addition, official gauge of Chinese manufacturing dropped to an 8-month low. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid by 1%. Japanese Nikkei is down by 1.5%.
USD/JPY opened with a gap down at 100.48 after closing at 101.78 on Friday. Yen, Swiss franc and gold rose as safe havens. Commodity currencies gapped lower on the increased risk aversion. AUD/USD opened at $0.8900, but then rose by 30 pips as China stock exchanges stabilized. Expectations of the RBA policy meeting on Tuesday are also supportive for the Aussie – policy stance is likely to remain neutral. NZD/USD opened at $0.8955 and has been trading sideways in the $0.8975/40 range since then.
EUR/USD opened with a gap down at $1.3758 after closing in the $1.3800 area on Friday. At the moment of writing the single currency recovered to $1.3780. GBP/USD opened with a gap down at $1.6710 after closing in the $1.6740 area on Friday. Sterling has already recovered to $1.6750.