A slight positive theme has breezed through the markets today with most Asian equity markets holding on to gains. The Nikkei 225 retraced some heavy losses seen yesterday amid exporters benefiting by the JPY weakness. Sharp has been one of the top gainers, leading the local market on a Nikkei report, which said the Co. may sell its television factory in China to Lenovo Group. As a reminder, the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting next week will be the next major crucial point for the JPY.
In terms of data, Australian employment change for December has been the primary focus, which came in surprisingly lower than consensus, printing at -5.5K vs. Exp. 4.0K. Consequently, AUD/USD fell 27 pips and continues to trend lower after this release. Interestingly, the disappointing job data has had little impact on the ASX 200, which has been the standout market so far, led higher by technology sectors echoing the US session. Participants are likely to pre-position ahead of the upcoming Chinese data, including Q4 GDP and December Retail Sales tomorrow with expectations that China’s economy has expanded at a pace of 7.8% in Q4 Y/Y (Prev. 7.4%)
Looking forward, economic calendar remains on the light-side, but Japanese Nationwide Department Sales is scheduled to be released at 0530GMT/2330CST.
As of 0238 GMT:
ASX200 (+0.90%), Nikkei 225 (+0.18%), Shanghai Comp. (-0.79%), Hang Seng (+0.11%), KOSPI (-0.36 %)
16 Jan 2013 - 20:39 - Forex Data - Source: RANsquawk
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