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Asia Roundup: Aussie gains on upbeat retail sales, greenback eases as soft U.S. service sector data fans recession worries, Asian shares surge - Friday, October 4th, 2019

Market Roundup

  • RBNZ to Issue Final Decisions on Bank Capital in December
     
  • Australia Aug retail sales rise
     
  • U.S. service sector survey fans recession worries
     
  • Oil set for big weekly loss
     

Economic Data Ahead

  • (0400 ET/0800 GMT) Italy Public Deficit/GDP Q2

Key Events Ahead

  • (0725 ET/1125 GMT) Vice-president of the European Central Bank Luis De Guindos speech

FX Beat

DXY: The dollar index plunged as heightened worries about the U.S. service sector increased expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at the end of this month. The greenback against a basket of currencies traded 0.05 percent down at 98.85, having touched a low of 98.64 on Thursday, its highest since September 25.

EUR/USD: The euro steadied amid growing concerns Germany could slip into a recession. The upside in the major appears fragile as yesterdays data showed Eurozone business growth stalled in September as an ongoing contraction in manufacturing activity is increasingly affecting the services industry. The European currency traded flat at 1.0970 having touched a low of 1.0897 on Tuesday, its lowest since May 2017. Investors’ attention will remain on a series of data out from the Eurozone economies and ECB non-monetary policy meeting, ahead of the U.S. non-farm payroll, unemployment rate, trade balance and Fed officials' speeches. Immediate resistance is located at 1.0994 (50% retracement of 1.1109 and 1.0879), a break above targets 1.1021 (61.8% retracement). On the downside, support is seen at 1.0938 (5-DMA), a break below could drag it below 1.0904.

USD/JPY: The dollar declined, hovering towards a 1-month low hit in the previous session after a soft U.S. service sector survey inflamed worries that pressure from U.S. trade disputes with China and other countries could spill over into the broader U.S. economy and eventually tip it into a recession. The U.S. Institute for Supply Management showed its non-manufacturing activity index declining to 52.6 in September, the lowest since August 2016, and far below expectations of 55.1, from 56.4 in August. The major was trading 0.1 percent down at 106.81, having hit a low of 106.48 the day before, its lowest since September 24. Investors’ will continue to track the broad-based market sentiment, ahead of the U.S. non-farm payroll, unemployment rate, trade balance and Fed officials' speeches. Immediate resistance is located at 107.56 (5-DMA), a break above targets 108.25 (September 13 High). On the downside, support is seen at 106.62 (September 6 Low), a break below could take it near at 106.25 (August 22 Low).

GBP/USD: Sterling rose, extending prior session gains as investors remained unsure whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposal to replace the Irish border backstop was going to change into a final Brexit transition agreement. On Thursday, the British pound rallied to a 1-week high after the head of a group of euroskeptic lawmakers in Johnson’s Conservative Party said the government’s latest Brexit proposals offered the possibility of a tolerable deal. The major traded 0.1 percent up at 1.2346, having hit a high of 1.2413 the day before, it’s highest since September 25. Investors’ attention will remain on the development surrounding Brexit, ahead of the U.S. fundamental drivers. Immediate resistance is located at 1.2400, a break above could take it near 1.2456. On the downside, support is seen at 1.2299 (5-DMA), a break below targets 1.2233 (September 9 Low). Against the euro, the pound was trading down at 88.89 pence, having hit a low of 89.36 on Tuesday, it’s lowest since Sept. 13.

AUD/USD: The Australian dollar surged as domestic retail sales rose in August, suggesting recent interest rate cuts and government tax rebates had helped lift consumer spending. The economy's retail sales climbed 0.4 percent in August after a flat outcome in July. The Aussie trades 0.2 percent up at 0.6754, having hit a high of 0.6759 earlier, it’s highest since October 1. Investors will continue to track overall market sentiment, ahead of U.S. economic releases. Immediate support is seen at 0.6687, a break below targets 0.6635. On the upside, resistance is located at 0.6799 (August 21 High), a break above could take it near 0.6803 (September 25 High).

NZD/USD: The New Zealand dollar rallied to an over 1-week peak after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand deputy governor Geoff Bascand said the central bank will review all of its key proposals for raising bank capital requirements. The Kiwi trades 0.4 percent up at 0.6320, having touched a high of 0.6328 earlier, its highest level since September 25. Investors’ will continue to track broad-based market sentiment, ahead of U.S. economic data. Immediate resistance is located at 0.6348 (September 25 High), a break above could take it near 0.6391 (September 16 High). On the downside, support is seen at 0.6273 (5-DMA), a break below could drag it below 0.6249.

Equities Recap

Asian stocks rose, supported by gains on Wall Street, although the sentiment was cautious ahead of a key U.S. job report that could help determine whether the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates further.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.2 percent.

Tokyo's Nikkei rose 0.3 percent to 21,410.20 points, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rallied 0.4 percent to 6,517.10 points and South Korea's KOSPI declined 0.4 percent to 2,024.49 points

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng traded 1.5 percent lower at 25,713.88 points. Taiwan shares added 0.2 percent to 10,894.48 points.

Chinese markets will be shut for a week.

Commodities Recap

Crude oil prices rose but remained on track for large weekly losses on fears that slower global economic growth will dent fuel demand. International benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.6 percent up at $57.96 per barrel by 0535 GMT, having hit a low of $57.13 the day before, its lowest since August 7. U.S. West Texas Intermediate was trading 0.9 percent higher at $52.73 a barrel, after falling as low as $52.27 on Thursday, its lowest since August 7.

Gold prices surged, extending gains for a fourth straight session as weak U.S. service sector survey deepened concerns over economic growth and bolstered bets of further rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. Spot gold was trading 0.2 percent down at $1,507.53 per ounce by 0552 GMT, having touched a high of $1,519.53 on Thursday, its highest since September 25. U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,513.9 an ounce.

Treasuries Recap

The Australian 10-year government bond yield slumped to 1-month low during Asian session tracking a similar movement in the United States Treasuries amid surging safe-haven demand as global central banks’ are in a policy easing frenzy. The yield on Australia’s benchmark 10-year note, which moves inversely to its price, dipped 3-1/2 basis points to 0.894 percent, the yield on the long-term 30-year bond fell over 3 basis points to 1.512 percent and the yield on short-term 2-year down about 2 basis points lower at 0.631 percent.

By Lactus Fernandes
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