Jan. 9: Asian session
US dollar remains strong versus its main counterparts as the signs of improvement in the labor market (ADP said US private employers added a bigger-than-expected 238K jobs in December, the strongest increase in 13 months) support expectations the American economy will be strong enough for the Fed to end bond purchases this year. USD/JPY is trading in the 104.80 area after reaching 105.12 yesterday.
Asian shares wavered on Thursday after a lackluster performance on Wall Street overnight. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.2% after snapping a five-day losing streak on Wednesday. Despite the yen's weakness, Japan’s Nikkei benchmark shed 1.4%, giving up some of its 1.9% bounce in the previous session.
Australian and New Zealand dollars are trading under pressure for a third consecutive day. AUD/USD dipped to $0.8865 before bouncing to $0.8880. AUD weakened in the Asian trade despite the strong retail sales figures (+0.7% m/m vs. forecasted +0.5%). Australia has also released pretty neutral building approvals data (-1.5% m/m). NZD/USD hit a daily low of $0.8240. New Zealand building consents rose above the forecast by 1.1%. China inflation figures came a little bit below the forecast with CPI rising by 2.5% y/y and PPI falling by 1.4%.
EUR/USD edged up to $1.3586, while GBP/USD is trading in the $1.6450 area.