Mar. 24: Asian session
Risk sentiment remains positive and Asian markets grow despite the downbeat China data. China HSBC manufacturing PMI for March hit an 8-month low at 48.1 (vs. expected 48.7 and 48.5 in February). What’s more, China premier Li said Chinese economy faces downward economic pressure. HSBC also said China is expected to launch a series of measures to stabilize growth. MSCI Asia Pacific minus Japan added 1.1%, while Nikkei 225 rose by 1.7%. USD/JPY pushed higher, but faced some resistance at 102.50.
Commodity currencies remain surprisingly resilient despite the increased China woes. AUD/USD came under the bearish pressure in early Asia, but found support at $0.9050 and rebounded towards the $0.9100 mark. NZD/USD consolidates around $0.8540, about 100 pips below the last week’s peak at $0.8640.
EUR/USD traded up from $1.3786 to $1.3807. Watch a bunch of euro area PMI indices today. GBP/USD trades slightly above the 1-month low of $1.6470.