Mar. 19: Asian session
Asian stocks were mixed on Wednesday ahead of the outcome of the FOMC first policy meeting under its new chief Janet Yellen. The Fed is widely expected to continue to reduce the QE size by $10 billion. Traders are also focused on the Fed’s forward guidance, with many expecting the cancellation of a 6.5% unemployment threshold. China concerns remain a negative factor for the risk sentiment. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose by 0.2%, while Nikkei 225 added 0.3%.
Currency markets had a calm session. USD/JPY consolidates, capped at 101.60 and supported by the 101.30 mark. Data showed Japan trade deficit unexpectedly widened to 1.13 trillion. According to a Reuters poll, released today, 7 out of 16 economists expect the BoJ to ease further in July.
Commodity currencies are trading under a slight bearish pressure. AUD/USD retraced lower to $0.9115 after testing the $0.9135 resistance (200-day MA) to the upside at the very beginning of the session. NZD/USD followed the Aussie, retracing from the yesterday’s high of $0.8640 towards the $0.8600 mark.
EUR/USD remains in a sideways $1.3950/3880 range, hanging at $1.3920 as of writing. GBP/USD sits at $1.6590 following the yesterday’s dip to $1.6545. Great Britain will release a bunch of employment data and monetary policy minutes at 9:30 GMT.