Dec. 13: Asian session
USD/JPY jumped up to 103.87, the highest point since 2008, as the yield spread between US Treasuries and Japanese government bonds approached the widest level since April 2011 before the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan both conduct policy meetings next week. The speculation that the Fed will start QE tapering this month was fueled by the upbeat American retail sales figures released yesterday.
Asian markets were mostly flat, but Japanese Nikkei 225 rose by about 0.9% on yen’s rapid decline. Australian and New Zealand dollars are trading under a bearish pressure on Friday. RBA Governor Glenn Stevens has once again reiterated his desire for a weaker currency, pulling the Aussie down. AUD/USD sank to $0.8920 late Thursday and is now swinging in the $0.8960/15 range. The next support for the Aussie lies at $0.8885 – late-August low. NZD/USD dropped by more than 60 points in the early Asia with no visible reasons, but found support at $0.8180 and recovered above $0.8200. New Zealand business manufacturing index increased to 56.7.
EUR/USD continues yesterday’s decline and is testing levels at $1.3740. GBP/USD is trading on the downside at $1.6335, but below Thursday’s low at $1.6320.