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FX Blog- TTN Asian Market UpdateAsian Market Update: EUR/USD hits new record high ahead of jobs data
- Forex: Key forex levels were tested at start of the Asian session, with USD/JPY and EUR/USD testing option barriers at 102.50 and 1.5400 respectively. Traders lacked the firing power to take out these barriers, and took profits on JPY crosses ahead of the U. S. jobs data. EUR/USD hit a new record in Asia after Trichet failed to mention EUR strength at a press conference, sending a signal that the ECB does not seem to be as concerned about the currency as some of the other European officials. New Uridashi issuances created demand for AUD/JPY, which in turn supported AUD/USD.
- The Bank of Japan (BoJ) board was unanimous in its decision to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.50%, as widely expected. BoJ governor Fukui has scheduled a press conference for 6:30 GMT (2:30 ET).
- The Bank of Korea (BoK) left interest rates unchanged at 5.0%, as expected, and said that the domestic economy is maintaining upward momentum. However, they added that the economy has a heightened risk of slowing from the December forecasts. The BoK''s chief also noted that external conditions are getting worse.
- Despite the JPY''s runaway gains, Japanese officials refuse to comment on specific levels. "I would like to refrain from commenting on foreign currency exchange rates," said Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga. "But we will continue to monitor movements in the forex market carefully."
- A South Korea State Agency announced plans to raise $1B in funds to buy U.S. bad loans. The agency may set up a fund with the Asia Development Bank to buy Asia bad debt.
- More evidence that recent RBA rate increases are shaving an impact: (AU FEB AIG PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTION INDEX: 53.9 V 58.3 prior) AIG director Tony Pensabene said the data reflects the mixed and fragile state of the construction industry. â€œAlthough we are seeing a continuation of growth in the total building market, solid conditions in commercial and engineering construction are masking declines in both house and apartment building," he said. "It is clear from the renewed weakness in the residential sector that higher interest rates and the further erosion of housing affordability are taking their toll on activity and preventing the emergence of any sustained recovery."
- Equities: At 23:13 ET Japan''s Nikkei is -2.76%, the S&P/ASX200 is -3.12%, South Korea''s KOSPI is -2.67%, and the Shanghai Composite Index is -1.85%. The S&P futrures contract lost -0.08% between 16:30 ET and 23:16 ET. Asian financials traded sharply lower, and resource stocks provided little support. Exporters led the downside in Tokyo, while miners were sold in Sydney. Australia''s Allco Finance dropped more than -22% after the company failed to reach an agreement on its margin loans, and bankers seized 14% of the company''s stock. Citigroup downgraded the stock to a "sell" rating. Chinese equities are sharply lower, with shares of Ping An Insurance and China Life trading in the red.
- Commodities: Nymex crude oil prices rebounded from early selling, losing -0.05% between 18:00 ET and 23:21 ET, last trading around $105.42/bbl. Spot gold prices are higher by +0.75%, last trading at $984.50/oz, boosted by safe-haven demand.
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