Following Friday’s US Non-Farm Payrolls result, it has been all about Japan to kick off the week. The big news over the weekend was that Tokyo got the official nod to host the 2020 summer Olympics, beating out competition from Madrid & Istanbul. The announcement comes at a critical juncture, when investment into the Japanese economy is sorely needed.
Japan was also in headlines as Prime Minister Abe’s plan to legalize casinos and turn Japan into a gambling destination is starting to gain traction. Additionally, Quarterly Japanese GDP numbers were revised overnight up to 0.9% from 0.6%. Expectations had been for a revision up to 1.0%, but given the existing strong sentiment investors were satisfied with 0.9%. Elsewhere in Asia, China released annual CPI data, which printed in line with expectations at 2.6%, and added to the buzz that took hold of markets overnight.
The news helped boost Japanese indices, with stocks in the tourism and construction sectors performing especially well. By the time the dust in Tokyo had settled, the Nikkei advanced 2.48% and the Topix put on 2.19%.
The optimism in markets and strong performances from local indices helped lead the Yen lower against all of its major peers overnight. The USDJPY tested towards 100.00 briefly, but was unable to take the level. Meanwhile the EURJPY flirted with the 132.00 handle, but was also contained, the pair has struggled with congestion in this area all through the summer, and it seems as though the break above it will take a meaningful leg down in the Euro. The AUDJPY worked its way through the 200-Day Moving Average near 92.00 to touch its highest level since July.
The European session was relatively tame compared to the Asian session, with no top tier data released. However the British Pound did have a strong session as it closed in on 1.5700 against the USD, a level it flirted with in August and June. The GBP held prior gains against the Euro, treading water at its strongest value since late April / early May. The strength in the Sterling was due to comments from the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who commented that the British economy was in the early stages of a recovery. In the bond market, 10-year Gilt yields increased to 2.95%, near the multi-year high of 3.01%. British yields have been on a tear lately as encouraging economic data leads to speculation that the Bank of England will be forced to rein in its simulative measures sooner than Chief Mark Carney has previously said it will.
As the North American session picks up steam this morning Canadian Building permits have given the Canadian Dollar and investors something to chew on. Expectations according to a Reuter’s survey were that Building permits had grown 1.00% in the month of July, the actual number however caught investors off guard, posting gains of 20.7%. This morning’s data in concert with Friday’s strong employment statistics has put the Loonie on the offensive. The USDCAD broke through major support on Friday and is trading at its lowest level in almost 3 weeks as the USD underperforms. Versus the Euro, the CAD has now rallied 11 straight sessions and is near its strongest value against the common currency in almost a month.
Further reading:Get the 5 most predictable currency pairs