March 15th, 2011 06:35:37 GMT

FRANCE DATA: Feb HICP +0.5% m/m, +1.8% y/y after Jan.

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FRANCE DATA: Feb HICP +0.5% m/m, +1.8% y/y after Jan -0.3% m/m/+1.9% y/y
– Below expected; MNI analysts survey median forecast +1.9% Y/Y
– nsa CPI: +0.5% m/m, +1.7% y/y after Jan -0.2% m/m, +1.8% y/y
– sa core: +0.1% m/m, +0.4% y/y after Jan +0.7% y/y
– For more information, please see MNI Newswires

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March 15th, 2011 06:31:01 GMT

IAEA: Told by Japan spent fuel storage pond at reactor on fire, radioactivity released into atmosphere

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  • Dose rates up to 400 millisivert per hour reported at site
  • Fire possibly caused by hydrogen explosion
  • Explosion at NO2 reactor occurred at 06:20 local Japan time

Reactor operator:

  • Resumed pouring seawater into Fukushima Daiichi NO3 reactor
  • Confirms fire put out at Fukushima Daiichi NO4 reactor
  • Pressure at suppression chamber at Daiichi NO2 reactor down after explosion

5 Comments

March 15th, 2011 06:26:49 GMT

EUR/USD lower in Asia as risk aversion picks up sharply

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There has been a marked pick up in general risk aversion as the situation with Japan’s nuclear reactors deteriorates further.  European stocks are set to open sharply lower, DAX around -2.5% and FTSE around -2.7%, according to financial bookmakers.

Against this backdrop EUR/USD sits down at 1.3928 from a North American close Monday around 1.3985, having been as low as 1.3891 at one stage.

Euro zone data due today:

06:30 GMT: French CPI for February expected +0.5% m/m, +1.7% y/y

10:00 GMT:  Euro zone employment Q4

10:00 GMT: German ZEW survey for March; economic sentiment expected 16.0 from previous 15.7.

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March 15th, 2011 05:28:16 GMT

ForexLive Asian market wrap: Nikkei fell by 15% at one stage

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  • Radiation fall-out in Japan becomes more serious with levels 40 times normal detected near Tokyo
  • Nikkei fell almost 7% in the morning session and then another 7% immediately after lunch, before bouncing
  • Risk aversion saw big falls in the JPY crosses
  • Unconfirmed reports of BOJ checking prices saw USD/JPY spike 70 pips over lunch
  • RBA minutes suggest no rate rises in foreseeable future
  • Gold has fallen 1% and Silver is -3%
  • Nikkei -13.5%, HK -3.5%, other markets -2.5% on average

It’s been all about Japan today and the escalating problem of radiation leaking from nuclear power plants. This has had a dramatic effect on investor confidence in Japan and the stockmarket has been sold very heavily.

USD/JPY has been relatively stable despite the turmoil. There have been rumours that the BOJ was checking prices, which caused a shrp 70 pip spike, but overall USD/JPY has drifted lower and the crosses like AUD/JPY have fallen very heavily. Ranges: USD/JPY 81.21/82.03; EUR/JPY 113.22/114.64

AUD/USD started to fall from the outset, after closing in NY at 1.0100. With the Nikkei down by 14%, it’s little wonder that risk aversion was the main play in the FX market and the AUD market is very long. The RBA minutes helped fuel the selling and strong technical and corporate support near .9970 has now been broken. Ranges: .9923/1.0102

EUR/USD followed the lead of EUR/JPY for the most part and has traded a wide 1.3891/1.4000 range.

Cable also played second fiddle, trading 1.6096/1.6184 and EUR/GBP .8621/54

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March 15th, 2011 05:25:31 GMT

BOJ Upgrades Views on Japan Capex, Private Consumption

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TOKYO (MNI) – The Bank of Japan on Tuesday slightly upgraded its
assessment of capital investment and private consumption from the
previous month.

“Business fixed investment is picking up,” the BOJ said in its
monthly economic report for March. “Private consumption is showing signs
of picking up.”

In February, the BOJ said business fixed investment “has started to
pick up” and as for consumption it noted that “demand for some goods has
suffered a reverse after the sharp increase seen previously.”

As a result of the upgraded assessment, the BOJ is also slightly
upgraded its core economic assessment, saying, ” Japan’s economy is
emerging from the current deceleration phase.”

In February, the BOJ said it was moving out a temporary slowdown
“gradually.”

As for the outlook for the economy, the latest economic report
said, “The BOJ has maintained its baseline scenario that Japan’s economy
is expected to return to a moderate recovery path.”

But the BOJ warned, “The damage of the earthquake has been
geographical widespread, and thus, for the time being, production is
likely to decline and there is also concern that the sentiment of firms
and households might deteriorate.”

But the BOJ maintained bright outlook for exports and private
consumption.

“Exports are expected to increase moderately as a trend, reflecting
the improvement in overseas economic conditions,” the latest report
said. “Private consumption is expected to pick up.”

But the BOJ showed its cautious view on production, adding
“basically” in describing future moves.

In February, the BOJ said, “production is expected to increase
modestly.”

On inflation, the BOJ said, “The year-on-year rate of change in the
CPI is expected to become slightly positive in the near future.”

In February, it said, “The year-on-year rate of decline in consumer
prices is expected to slow as a trend as the aggregate supply and demand
balance improves gradually.”

But the BOJ warned, “The base year for the consumer price index is
scheduled to be changed to 2010 in August 2011, and year-on-year figures
retroactive to January 2011 will be revised accordingly.”

“This rebasing is likely to cause the year-on-year rate of change
in the CPI to be revised downward,” it said.

tokyo@marketnews.com
** Market News International Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-5403-4833 **

[TOPICS: M$J$$$,M$A$$$,MMJBJ$,MAJDS$]

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March 15th, 2011 04:28:00 GMT

AUD/USD bounces off .9925

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Looks like the stops weren’t as big as expected or the market got very short in trying to trigger them and now we are seeing a relief rally. I’m not sure which is the case but there’s certainly been lots of volatility.

Technically the AUD/USD looks like it might be trying to make a major break lower but a 3-year bull trend is not broken in one day.

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