May 26: Asian session
Asian stocks rose for a third day, touching a 6-month high, after an increase in US home purchases boosted confidence in the world’s largest economy and billionaire Petro Poroshenko had a decisive win in Ukraine’s presidential election. MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.3%. USD/JPY is trading just below 102.00.
AUD/USD sits in a tight range around $0.9240 – slightly above the last week’s lows at $0.9210. NZD/USD trades under pressure at $0.8530 (minimum levels since the end of April). New Zealand April trade balance disappointed, coming below the forecast at +534M (vs. expected +634M). Gold price consolidates in the narrow $1290/94 range.
EUR/USD has come close to $1.3600 before the ECB President Mario Draghi speaks at a forum in Portugal amid speculation the ECB will expand stimulus in June. Exit polls of the European Parliamentary elections indicate that although hat left-center and right-center parties will still hold a majority of seats, Euroskeptic groups who oppose the European Union are definitely gaining ground. GBP/USD edged up to $1.6845. The US and UK financial markets are closed today for public holidays.