ASIA-PAC MARKET WRAP: Asia began week on the front-foot, although gains were capped ahead of the central bank policy meetings this week including the Fed

Asia equity markets began the week mostly positive after last Friday’s gains on Wall St and better than expected US NFP jobs data, although the upside in Asia-Pac bourses were contained ahead of this week’s central bank-heavy roster. ASX 200 (+0.1%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.4%) were higher with strength in commodity-related stocks in Australia just about keeping the index afloat, while focus was on AWE shares which rallied over 15% after Co. was subject to a take-over offer. Hang Seng (+0.6%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.5%) were also in the green after the PBoC resumed liquidity operations, although a miss on inflation data over the weekend somewhat capped the advances. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower amid the positive risk tone in the region and absence of the BoJ in the market under its massive bond buying program.

FX markets began mostly quiet on tentativeness ahead of the week’s main risk events including a widely anticipated hike from the Fed and accompanying dot plot forecasts. Nonetheless, USD/JPY and JPY crosses extended on last week’s gains with the pair at a near 1-month high, while antipodeans were also firmer with NZD underpinned on the announcement of the next RBNZ Governor and as support at 0.7500 held for AUD/USD. Elsewhere, GBP/USD briefly reclaimed the 1.3400 handle to the upside as it nursed Friday’s post-Brexit-breakthrough slump which some had attributed to ‘buy the rumour sell the fact’, while focus was also on Bitcoin which gained 20% to hit limit up as futures trading of the cryptocurrency began on the CBOE today. 

11 Dec 2017 - 05:47- Important- Source: RANsquawk

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