Mar. 18: Asian session
- Risk sentiment improved post the Crimea referendum
- Markets await for the Fed on Wednesday
Asian markets rose on Tuesday: risk sentiment has improved as the threat of immediate military conflict in Ukraine receded. Investors, however, remain cautious ahead of the US Federal Reserve policy meeting on Wednesday. The Fed is expected to continue reducing its monthly asset purchases by an additional $10 billion. MSCI Asia-Pacific index added about 0.3%. Nikkei 225 index rose by 1.1%, recovering from a six-week low hit on Monday. USD/JPY is hovering in the 101.70/95 range, up from the recent lows at 101.20.
The improvement in risk sentiment pressured gold prices. XAU retraced from the Monday’s 6-month high of $1389 to $1360. Commodity currencies are trading under a slight bearish pressure. AUD/USD returned back below the $0.9080 mark after having spiked at $0.9110 on the release of the RBA minutes. RBA policy meeting showed the bank expects the cash rate to stay at the current levels for some time, though the currency still remains high by historical standards. NZD/USD followed a similar sort of pattern and is trading around $0.8560 as of writing.
EUR/USD is trading a little higher around $1.3930. EUR remains resilient despite the data on Monday showing a dip in euro zone inflation. GBP/USD sits at $1.6630.