- China – December Trade Balance came in at a huge +$31.60B (vs. $20.00B expected)
- China – December Export Trade 14.1%Y/Y (Expected +5.0% Y/Y)
- China – December Import Trade 6.0%Y/Y (Expected +3.5% Y/Y)
- Australian Building approvals for November were +2.9% M/M (and up 13.2% Y/Y) vs. Prior -7.6% M/M (+14.5% Y/Y) and against market expectation of +3.0% M/M (+11.6% Y/Y)
- China: New Local Currency Loans came in weaker at 454.3B Yuan vs. expected at 550 Bn
- New Zealand – December ANZ Commodity Price Index +1.0% M/M (vs +1.0% in November)
- Japan – December Official FX Reserve Assets $1268.1B (vs. Nov was -$1270.9B)
- NZ December QV House Prices 5.7% Y/Y (unchanged from November)
- Data – New Zealand November Trade Balance -700M (vs. prior of -718M and -670M expected)
The big news of the day was the Chinese December trade surplus; it came in much higher than expectations at $31.6B (+$20B was expected). The AUD/USD was, of course, an immediate beneficiary, gapping a quarter of a cent higher, progressing to 1.0455 and then consolidating its gains through the afternoon. It had been as low as 1.0494.
USD/JPY was the mover earlier in the day. A headline crossed the wires from the Asahi-Shimbun saying the BOJ was to introduce a 2% inflation target at its next meeting, which, of course, we all know, and the USD/JPY popped 10 points then started to move higher; trading as high as 88.22 into the fix before settling in a 00/15 range for the balance of the day.
EUR/USD was range-bound ahead of the ECB meeting due today in Europe; Cable, too was quiet ahead of the BoE MPC meeting also due today.