At the mid-point of today’s Asian session, we have had cautious trade in Asia ahead of today’s US Non-Farm Payrolls report. The highlight of today’s session has been Chinese Manufacturing PMIs which were mixed.
First up, the official Manufacturing PMI came in lower than expected at 50.4 vs. Exp. 51.0, causing AUD/USD to come under pressure. A potential reason for a lower than expected reading, could be due to the NBS increasing their sample size from 820 firms to 3,000 firms. Second to be released was the final reading for Chinese HSBC Manufacturing PMI which came in better than expected at 52.3 vs. Exp. 52.0, hitting a two year high. Following the release of the data, HSBC’s China Chief Economist commented that he sees increasing signals of a sustained growth recovery in coming months. Chinese equity markets are trading in the red weighed by the disappointing official Chinese PMI number. The ASX 200 is once again experiencing gains, pushed higher by rising iron ore prices with Chinese iron ore import prices currently at USD 152.50 per ton.
In the FX market, JPY weakened against the USD with USD/JPY hitting multi year highs. EUR/JPY has been the outperformer hitting a high of 125.03, the highest since May 2010. Elsewhere, the NZD/USD was supported by comments from RBNZ’s Wheeler that NZ needs to return to fiscal surpluses and reduce public deficit. Last but not least, EUR/USD spiked through barriers at the 1.360 level to reach the highest level since November 2011.
Looking forward, US Non-Farm Payrolls is scheduled later today at 1330GMT/0730CST, where there are expectations that 165,000 jobs will be added.
As of 0252GMT:
ASX200 (+0.82%), Nikkei 225 (+0.35%), Shanghai Comp. (-0.39%), Hang Seng (-0.39%), KOSPI (-0.71%)
Print 02:59, 01 Feb 2013 - Asian News - Source: RANsquawk
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