Asian stock markets: Nikkei up 1.10 %, Shanghai Composite gained 0.30 %, Hang Seng rose 1.25 %, ASX 200 rallied 0.90 %
Commodities: Gold at $1227 (+0.18 %), Silver at $17.92 (+0.18 %), WTI Oil at $52.85 (-0.65 %), Brent Oil at $55.65 (-0.55 %)
Rates: US 10-year yield at 2.48, UK 10-year yield at 1.31, German 10-year yield at 0.37
News & Data:
Australia Westpac Consumer Confidence Index (Feb): 99.6 (prev 97.4)
Australia New Motor Vehicle Sales (Jan): 0.6 % (est 0.2 % prev 0.3 %)
South Korea Unemployment SA (Jan): 3.6% (est 3.5% rev prev 3.5%)
PBoC Fixes USDCNY Reference Rate At 6.8632 (prev fix 6.8806 prev close 6.8660)
Asia stocks at 19-month peak, dollar up as Yellen puts March rate hike in play – RTRS
Fed on course to raise interest rates at an upcoming meeting: Yellen – RTRS
The US Dollar appreciated against most currencies following comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Yellen said that a rate hike will be appropriate at one of the Fed's upcoming meetings if employment and inflation evolve in line with expectations. She sees three hikes as possible this year, and stated that waiting too long to tighten would be unwise. She noted that there remains an uncertainty regarding the announced economic policies by US President Trump, and said that she hopes it will be consistent with putting the US on a sustainable trajectory.
USD/JPY failed to extend gains overnight, but remained bid throughout the Asian session. Resistance is now seen at 115, while support lies at 114.00 and 113.20.
The Australian Dollar is still struggling with 0.77 resistance, but is holding relatively well given the broad USD strength. In Asia, it consolidated in a 0.7655-80 range.
The Euro remains under pressure after weak economic data yesterday and on-going political concerns. Major support now lies at 1.0450 in EUR/USD, and it is likely it will test that level in the near-term.