After wild moves following the Wednesday FOMC statement and especially the subsequent press conference from Chair Powell, markets traded in a much more subdued fashion here in Asia. Japanese markets were once again closed for a holiday, although China was back after its holiday break.

Fresh news flow was basically absent.

On the data front we had international trade numbers from Australia, and also building permits. Neither moved AUD.

From China we had the privately-surveyed April services PMI (Caixin/Markit). This collapsed to its second-worst reading on record. Given the wider spread of lockdowns and restrictions in China over the month, and the slump in the official services PMI that was published over the weekend the poor result was hardly a surprise.

As said above, forex movement was subdued. Most of the majors are little changed. The People’s Bank of China set its onshore yuan reference rate for the first time this week (the aforementioned holidays meant no CNY central rates were fixed this week by the PBOC before today), significantly stronger for the CNY compared to its previous close.

Gold gained further, to US$1900+.

gold fomc 05 May 2022