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Forex today was a quiet affair in Asia this Wednesday, with most majors stuck to tight trading range even though the hopes of a US-China trade deal kept the broader market sentiment buoyed. The US dollar recovered ground vs. its major peers in tandem with the US Treasury yields while the Asian stocks tracked the Wall Street indices higher. In contrast, the safe-haven gold traded on the back foot around $ 1460.

Among the G10 currencies, the Aussie emerged as the main laggard amid poor Australian Construction data and Westpac’s dovish RBA expectations in 2020. The bank said that RBA is seen cutting rates twice next year while it could introduce quantitative easing as well. The spot shed 15-pips and hit session lows near 0.6770 on the forecast. The Kiwi also slid in sync with its OZ peer, the AUD, as dismal Chinese Industrial Profits data added to the weight. Meanwhile, USD/CHF and USD/JPY posted small gains, in light of reduced demand for the anti-risks – Japanese yen and Swiss franc. USD/JPY hovered near two-week tops of 109.19 almost throughout the Asian session.  

Heading into Europe, both the EUR/USD pair and GBP/USD keep the bearish tone intact, as the EUR bears eye a break below the 1.10 handle while Cable targets 1.2800.  

Main Topics in Asia

NZ Trade Balance for October: Annual NZ$-5.04B vs -5.33B prior

RBNZ’s Orr: A few large banks having access to offshore funding is “something we have to watch”

US Pres. Trump: Holding up deal with China, it has “got to be good”

US unveils plan to shield telecoms networks from ‘foreign adversaries’ – SCMP

NAFTA ministers to meet in washington on wednesday – Politico

US should rethink its China policy so both countries can benefit – SCMP

China’s Industrial Profits plunge 9.9% YoY in Oct, Aussie little changed

Japan’s LDP Official: Japan Govt striving for JPY 10-trillion extra budget

UK election: Conservative’s lead over Labour narrows one point to 11 points – YouGov poll

Source: EU’s Barnier pledges to prioritize UK trade deal post-Brexit – FT

Sources: There is a major push to get deal done and Phase One deal text is being finalized – WSJ

Key Focus Ahead

The European economic calendar continues to remain a thin-showing so far this holiday-shortened week, as there is nothing of note lined up for release except for the German Import Price Index (due at 0700 GMT) and Swiss ZEW Survey, dropping in at 0900 GMT. The UK is absolutely data-empty, as the pound traders will keep a close eye on the YouGov MRP poll on the UK election due later on Wednesday at 2200 GMT.

In contrast, the NA session is data-loaded heading into the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, with plenty of event risks from the US, including the durable goods, Core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Price Index, Jobless Claims and Personal Spending dropping in at 1330 GMT. And its not over yet, the US Pending Homes Sales data will be reported at 1500 GMT just ahead of the US EIA Crude Stocks Change figures due at 1530 GMT. Markets will also await the release of the Fed’s Beige Book at 1900 GMT.

Despite the barrage of US data, the US-China trade deal updates will continue to steal the show and emerge as the main market driver.

EUR/USD: Volatility gauge hits record low, focus on US data

EUR/USD’s ATM volatility has hit record lows and the S&P 50 VIX has dropped to seven-month lows.  Volatility will likely spike if the US-China trade talks falter.  The US personal and corporate spending numbers will take precedence over the Q3 GDP numbers.  

GBP/USD bears the burden of latest UK election polls amid broad USD strength

GBP/USD stays on the back foot amid shrinking lead of Tories in December election polls. The Conservative manifesto, comments from leaders gain criticism. Trade optimism seems to have favored the greenback ahead of a busy calendar.

US Q3 GDP Second Estimate Preview: Stronger than predicted US growth

Annualized GDP expected to be unchanged at 1.9% in the Reuters survey. Business investment was moribund in the third quarter. Stronger consumer spending in recent statistics may provide a boost to GDP.

US October Durable Goods Orders Preview: The revival in business investment is not yet in sight

Durable goods orders expected to fall for the second month. Non-defense capital goods to spending to shrink for the third month. Ex-transport orders predicted to rise in the report’s only positive.