FX Update – January 3 – Risk Off & Weak EZ Data


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By: Stuart Cowell


The Yen, and to a lesser degree, the Dollar have rallied amid a dash for safe havens following US air strikes that killed the head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard’s overseas unit. The news also saw gold prices rally by over 1%, and oil prices by over 3%, while stock markets, richly valued after recent gains (Apple shares traded above $300 for the first time yesterday, for instance), declined.

Out of the main currencies, AUDJPY has, not surprisingly, been the biggest mover, with the cross showing about a 1% decline soon after the London interbank open. AUDJPY, which has rallied strongly amid the recent risk-on phase in global markets, dove to a two-week low to breach 75.00 and trade at 74.94. The Cross is down by over 2% from the highs seen on Monday. USDJPY plunged under 108.00 to a two-month low, at 107.90, while AUDUSD fell to a two-week low at 0.6935. The New Zealand Dollar, and most developing-world currencies, also declined, while the Canadian Dollar held up relatively well on the back of the rise in oil prices.

Elsewhere, EURUSD and EURJPY fell to respective one- and three-week low, at 1.1152 and 120.35. Cable and GBPJPY hit four- and eleven-day lows respectively. In stock markets, S&P 500 futures are showing a 1% loss after the cash version of the index hit fresh record highs on Wall Street yesterday. The MSCI Asia-Pacific index turned negative after opening strongly, correcting from 18-month highs. In Europe the GER30 trades down some 1.8% at 13,186.

EURUSD came under further pressure, breaching 1.1140,  as German jobless numbers rose 8K, more than anticipated, French inflation jumped to 1.6% y/y in December, from 1.2% y/y in the previous month and Eurozone loan growth decelerated as loans to non-financial corporations declined to 2.6% from 3.1% in October.

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