Asian Session – Dollar tests 106 yen as China GDP lifts risk sentiment.
This article is originally referred from XM Investment Research Desk.
Better-than-expected data out of China boosted risk sentiment in Asian trading today following a more muted start to the day after last night’s terrorist attacks in France. News that a truck driver drove through crowds in Nice, killing 84 people, briefly lifted the yen on safe-haven trading.
The dollar eased to just above 105 yen in early Asian trading from a high of 105.93 yen yesterday. But positive indicators from the world’s second largest economy helped the dollar break above 106 yen in late session for the first time in three weeks.
China’s GDP expanded at a slightly faster annual rate of 6.7% in the second quarter compared to expectations of 6.6%. The figure is unchanged from the first quarter as property investment and government spending offset rapidly declining private investment. However, with signs of a slowdown in property investment towards the end of the second quarter, growth in the second half of the year may not be as strong.
Industrial output and fixed asset investment data were also released today. Industrial production was up 6.2% year-on-year in June, up from 6% in the previous month and above estimates of 5.9%. But fixed asset investment slowed further in June, from 9.6% in May to 9.0% in June, which was below estimates of 9.4%. Retail sales continued to grow at a healthy pace, quickening from 10.0% to 10.6%.
The Chinese yuan was steady in onshore trading and kept within its recent trading range at around 6.6830 per dollar.
Gold prices slid for a second day as improved risk appetite drove demand towards equities. Fading expectations of a Fed rate hike failed to provide much support and gold prices were down 0.2% at $1331 an ounce in today’s Asian session.
Three more Fed policymakers on Thursday reiterated the need for caution and patience when it comes to raising US rates following the global uncertainty created by the UK’s Brexit vote. Equities were boosted however, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 hitting fresh record highs yesterday.
The pound extended yesterday’s gains to rise to 1.3480 dollars in Asian trading today before easing to around 1.3355 in late session. Sterling shot up yesterday after the Bank of England surprised markets by not delivering a rate cut. The Bank strongly signalled that monetary policy will be eased in August but the unexpected move still gave a short-term boost to the pound.
Looking ahead to the rest of the day, the Eurozone’s final inflation reading for June and UK construction output will be the main data in the European Session, while in the US session, the latest retail sales and CPI figures for the US will be watched.
Original Source: XM Investment Research Desk