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Forex Today: Yen firmer amid cautious Asia; UK wages, German ZEW in focus

The US dollar continued to meander near two-week across its main competitors, as expectations of a dovish Fed statement loom that left the Asian markets unnerved.

Among the Asia-pac currencies, the Aussie failed to take on the recovery above the 0.7110/15 barrier, as downbeat Australian housing data and RBA minutes remained a drag on the AUD. The Kiwi, however, traded firmer above the 0.6850 level amid the recent surge in oil prices. The Yen also gained on moderate risk-aversion, as USD/JPY headed back towards the 111 handle.

Among the European currencies, the Euro tracked the recovery in gold prices while the pound attempted a tepid bounce, but remained capped below 1.3300 amid Brexit uncertainty. Gold prices on Comex extended the recent uptick and traded firmer above the 1305 mark.  

Main Topics in Asia

NZ: Consumer confidence down 5.3 points to 103.8 in March – Westpac

Hardline Tory Brexiteers threaten to Go on Strike if Theresa May carries out vow to delay Brexit by a year – The Sun

EU to agree on Brexit delay date this week – Guardian

Tories demand May departure date in return for passing Brexit deal – FT

RBA  Minutes: Board noted “Significant uncertainties” on the economic outlook

Gold: Bid for third straight day as dollar remains on defensive ahead of the Fed

Australia’s 3-year bond yield drops below RBA cash rate first time since 2016

US Agriculture Sec.: China could triple its purchases of US farm goods as part of trade deal

Oil mildly bid near 2019 highs on OPEC supply cuts

One-month HIBOR hits highest since Jan. 22

USD/INR Technical Analysis: 68.27 is key support, “death cross” confirmed

Key Focus Ahead

There are plenty of event risks on the cards from the EUR calendar, with the UK labor market report and Germany’s ZEW survey to headline. Ahead of these events, the Swiss trade balance figures at 0700 GMT will grab some attention. The UK jobs and wages growth data (due at 0930 GMT) will remain the central focus amid the ongoing Brexit chaos, as the third meaningful vote on PM May’s plan gets canceled. Meanwhile, the German ZEW business survey will drop in at 1000 GMT and could have a major bearing on the common-currency, as Eurozone growth concerns persist.

The NA session is expected to be relatively busy, as the US factory orders and New Zealand’s GDT price index are slated for release at 1400 GMT. Later in the American afternoon, the US API weekly fuel stocks data will be reported at 2030 GMT, followed by New Zealand’s Q4 current account data due at 2145 GMT.

EUR/USD: Value of bearish bets hits 11-month low ahead of the Fed

The focus is on the German ZEW survey indices, scheduled for release at 10:00 GMT.  EUR/USD is currently mildly bid at 1.1349 and could rise well above 1.1367 (78.6% Fib R of 1.1420/1.1176) if the ZEW survey for March prints above estimates.

GBP/USD: Absence of third meaningful vote put the British jobs report on radar

An absence of meaningful vote highlights today’s employment details from the UK that comprises average earnings and unemployment rate details for January and the February month claimant count data.

UK jobs report preview: GBP/USD reaction will be telling for Brexit-related developments

The UK publishes its jobs data on Tuesday, March 19th, at 9:30 GMT. The British labor market is looking good, and that is unlikely to change. The unemployment rate stood at a low level of 4% in December and is expected to remain unchanged in the report for January.

Federal Reserve Preview: Dots before our eyes

The Federal Reserve will conclude its two-day policy setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Wednesday, March 20th. It will issue its rate decision, FOMC statement and Projection Materials at 2:00 pm EDT, 18:00 GMT.


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