Dec. 20: Asian session
Asian stocks fell, led by Chinese shares amid concern funding costs for the nation’s lenders will remain high even after the central bank injected cash into the financial system. Japanese Nikkei 225 edged down as investors booked profits before the long weekend in Japan.
USD/JPY rose to 104.45. Yen declined after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady and voted unanimously to maintain its pledge of increasing base money, or cash and deposits at the central bank, at an annual pace of 60 trillion yen ($576 billion) to 70 trillion yen. But the BOJ slightly tweaked its view on the outlook to signal that it was mindful of the potential pain on the economy from an increase in the national sales tax in April next year. Investors are now waiting for Governor Kuroda’s comments on how the Fed’s tapering could affect the BOJ's decision on if and when it might next expand stimulus.
AUD/USD tested $0.8889, but then returned to $0.8870. NZD/USD tested $0.8712, but then returned by 20 pips lower.
EUR/USD slid to $1.3631. GBP/USD is trading a bit on the downside, in the $1.6360 area.