The first trading day for the new year here in Asia has been a rise for the US dollar almost across the board.

The yen did show some very early hours strength after the huge weekend earthquake in Japan but USD/JPY quickly reversed and hit highs towards 141.70. EUR, NZD, GBP and more notably CHF lost ground. CAD lost a few points against the US dollar but took some solace from a rise in oil prices.

Rising tension in the Middle East, including the US military sinking Houthi ships in the Red Sea, supported the oil price.

Over the weekend from China we had official December PMIs. The manufacturing PMI slumped into deeper contraction. The unofficial, Caixin/S&P Global manufacturing PMI, was released today. It showed a contrary result, rising a little further into expansion from November. AUD/USD lost ground with the stronger USD during the session but has ended little changed after that better Caixin PMI from China.

In regional news there was an ugly political attack in South Korea. The opposition party leader who was stabbed in the neck. According to local police the outcome was not as bad as it could have been, Lee Jae-myung "suffered minor injuries, including a 1 cm laceration on his neck...the bleeding was stopped at the scene, he is conscious, and the amount of bleeding is minimal." The won fell against the USD (alongside broader gains for the dollar, as already noted).

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