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Mar. 4: Asian session

Asian equity markets paused the decline on Tuesday: the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid by 0.1%, while the Japanese Nikkei is up by 0.38%. Investors hold their breath for news of developments in Ukraine. The threat of a military conflict between western powers and Russia over the Ukrainian region of Crimea hit the stocks on Monday – Moscow’s market lost more than a 10% on threats of sanctions. USD/JPY recovered from the yesterday’s low of 101.20 to 101.70 on Tuesday as safe heaven appeal lowered.

AUD/USD extended the upside to $0.8970 in the early Asia as Australia building approvals overcame the forecasts, rising by 6.8%. However, AUD lost support after the RBA policy meeting. As expected, the regulator left policy rate unchanged at 2.5%. But the bank disappointed the markets with an unexpected reference to the Aussie exchange rate, noting that it is too expensive by historical standards. The idea of overvalued currency was absent in the January rate statement. NZD/USD is trading in a sideways $0.8950/85 range.

EUR/USD opened the day at $1.3730 and had a narrow $1.3728/1.3740 range. GBP/USD is consolidating in the $1.6640/70 range.

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