During the week we’ve been seeing supportive policy and supportive comments out of China:

  • the People’s Bank of China injected 800m+ yuan in open market operations
  • China's Premier Li Qiang said the economy was on the improve, March is even better than in January and February

Today we had

  • PMIs remaining solidly in expansion (see bullets above)
  • And promises of further economic support from the Vice Finance Minister (see bullets above)

China’s yuan moved lower up until Thursday but today jumped to a new high for the week. Albeit helped along by flows back out of USD.

usdcnh 31 March 2023

Also in the news today were plenty of data from Japan. Retail sales and industrial output coming in better than expectations, while Tokyo CPI was slightly above expectations on all three measures (headline, core, and core-cor, see bullets above). The unemployment rate ticked up but from, and to, a still very low level.

From Australia we had reports of construction sector firms entering liquidation with reasons cited including rising input costs, supply chain delays, labour shortages, and a drop in demand for new homes in 2023. Rapidly rising interest rates are also playing a role, of course.

In geo-politics the headline was that the Turkish parliament ratified Finland's membership of NATO. This clears the way for the country to join the alliance. Sweden’s pending membership is not clear yet.

In local US politics, former President Trump will be indicted. He has indicated, through his lawyers, he’ll be turning himself in on April 4 in New York.

Apart from the yuan USD/JPY was a mover, scaling as high as over 133.40 before retracing back below 133.00. Its not far below as I post. EUR, AUD, NZD, GBP, CAD have all climbed against the USD with varying degrees of retracement. Adding small to their Thursday gains.

Asian equity markets:

  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 +0.82%

  • China’s Shanghai Composite +0.29%

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng +1.85%

  • South Korea’s KOSPI +1.05%

  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 +0.71%