Asian stock markets: Nikkei up 0.95 %, Shanghai Composite gained 0.05 %, Hang Seng rose 0.30 %, ASX 200 rallied 1.20 %
Commodities: Gold at $1247 (-0.25 %), Silver at $18.43 (-0.35 %), WTI Oil at $53.70 (-0.20 %), Brent Oil at $56.30 (-0.10 %)
Rates: US 10-year yield at 2.46, UK 10-year yield at 1.19, German 10-year yield at 0.28
News & Data:
Australia Trade Balance Jan: AU$ 1.3bn (Prior 3.511b)
Australia Exports Jan (MoM): -3% (Prior 5%)
Australian Imports Jan (MoM): 4% (Prior 1%)
Australia Building Approvals Jan (MoM): 1.8% (Prior -1.20%)
Australia Building Approvals Jan (YoY): -12.0% (Prior -11.40%)
PBoC Fixes USDCNY Reference Rate At 6.8809 (prev fix 6.8798)
Fed's Kaplan: If inflation heats up, Fed would have to raise rates more dramatically
Fed's Brainard: Rate hike will likely be appropriate soon
The US Dollar strengthened across the board, as the market is increasingly expecting a rate hike by the Fed this month. Comments made by FOMC members during the past few days have been quite hawkish, and the market saw this as signal that the central bank may hike rates earlier than expected. A few weeks ago, most participants did not expect to see a hike until June.
The largest moves have been seen in USD/JPY and USD/CAD. USD/JPY rallied from 111.60 to 114.15, and a test of 115.50 resistance seems likely in the near-term. USD/CAD is also looking increasingly bullish. Following the break above 1.3210, there is not much resistance until 1.3385. Should that resistance be cleared as well, the pair could test 1.36 again soon.