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Dec. 9: Asian session

Asian stock markets strengthened on Monday, supported by a combination of an upbeat China trade balance, firm US last week’s close on better-than-expected NFP and a weaker yen. Nikkei 225 rose by more than 2% in the Asian trade, while the MSCI's Asia-Pacific (minus Japan) gained 0.95%.

Both Australian and New Zealand dollar gapped higher today as China November trade balance showed a huge $33.8 billion surplus (vs. $21.2 billion expected) on Sunday. China's exports came in well above forecast in November, rising by 12.7% from a year earlier. Today’s figures show China November CPI came at +3.0% (forecast: +3.1%), while PPI came at -1.4% (forecast: -1.5%). However, AUD/USD growth attempts were capped at $0.9130. The pair reversed from here and closed the gap, weakening to $0.9090. NZD/USD weakened to $0.8290 after having faced resistance at $0.8320.

Japanese yen came under a renewed pressure as the markets were disappointed by Japan’s economic growth. Final Q3 GDP growth was revised down from 0.5% to 0.3% quarter-to-quarter and from 1.9% to 1.1% year-on-year. The lower GDP was due to lower private inventory investment and lower capital spending. This bad news support Japanese stocks as increase chances for an additional BOJ easing.  USD/JPY opened with a gap up at 102.90 and is now swinging in the 102.88/103.20 range. EUR/JPY has hit a 5-year high of 141.55. Japan PM Abe will deliver a speech today at 9:00 GMT.

EUR/USD has hit a fresh 1.5-month high of $1.3720 on Monday, while GBP/USD is trading sideways in the $1.6355/25 range. USD/CHF is trading around a 1.5-month low of $0.8909. USD/CAD is consolidating in the $1.0640/60 range. 

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