Feb. 3: Asian session
- Asian shares declined
- Lower liquidity, higher volatility
Asian shares declined as strains in emerging markets show little sign of abating. Chinese official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dipped from December’s 51 to 50.5 in January. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.3%. Japanese Nikkei again led the way with a loss of 1.5% and fell to November lows. Liquidity is lower than usual because of Chinese banks are closed due to the ongoing Lunar New Year holiday.
USD/JPY recovered to 102.40. AUD/USD opened with a bullish gap at $0.8770, faced resistance a bit above this level and then weakened to $0.8750. Aussie has had quite a calm session despite a bunch of statistics from Australia and the downbeat China PMI. RBA is widely expected to leave rates unchanged on the tomorrow’s meeting. NZD/USD strengthened to $0.8115. Kiwi is supported by expectations of an RBNZ rate hike in March.
EUR/USD is little changed in the $1.3480 area near the 10-week low after its fall on Thursday and Friday. GBP/USD is consolidating above $1.6400.