Mar. 31: Asian session
Asian shares rose. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.5%. Japanese Nikkei rose by 0.65%.
USD/JPY opened with a small gap up at 102.94, but then edged a bit down. Japanese preliminary industrial production fell by 2.3%. US dollar strengthened a bit before Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks and ahead of figures tomorrow that may show US manufacturing strengthened this month.
Commodity currencies are retracing from the Friday’s highs in Asia. AUD/USD extends the correction from the recent peak of $0.9300. Aussie found support at $0.9220 as of writing. Aussie is seen under pressure ahead of the tomorrow RBA meeting (no policy changes expected). NZD/USD follows the Australian counterpart, weakening from the Friday’s high of $0.8695 to $0.8660. NZ business confidence came below the forecast in March (67.3 vs. previous 70.8). Gold has slightly recovered from the Friday’s low of 1285.
EUR/USD is trading in the $1.3750 area after opening with a gap up at $1.3762. On Friday the single currency dipped to $1.3700 and formed a “hammer”. Euro’s under pressure ahead of the central bank’s meeting this week. GBP/USD opened with a gap up at $1.6654, but then slid down by 20 pips.