Forex news for Asia trading Thursday 2 March 2017

A quieter session than the previous here in Asia today. News, data and market movement were all more subdued.

The news flow pretty much kicked off with a speech and following Q&A from Federal Reserve Board of Governors member Lael Brainard. Brainard tends to be toward the more dovish end of the spectrum, her remarks today were awaited to see if whe would be more hawkish in keeping with comments from other Fed officials late Tuesday and into the Asian day on Wednesday. Brainard was perhaps not quite so gung-ho, but did say she thought the US was ready for rate rise "soon" given improved global conditions and continued growth.

Markets responded to her speech by marking the USD higher; USD/JPY (for example) jumped from around 113.75 to above 114 and its consolidated around 114 for the balance of the session. EUR & CHF have also gained against the USD, but the extent of the moves have been small only.

Cable is net little changed on the day but again the range has been small.

Australian data was next, building approvals (a m/m bounce) and trade balance (a smaller than expected surplus - imports up and exports down to a surprising extent; volumes for iron ore & coal dropped significantly.)

The Australian dollar dropped 15 or so points on the data, recovered all its lost ground in the following 90-odd minutes and is dripping back toward lows as I update. NZD/USD, too, is a little lower on the session (RBNZ Governor Wheeler spoke earlier, convered by Greg in the US session).

Gold is little changed, down a few dollars and oil is little changed also.

Regional equities:

  • Nikkei +0.95% (to its highest level since December 2015)
  • Shanghai +0.03%
  • HK +0.36%
  • ASX +1.22%