FXStreet (Bali) - Moves in Asia were quite subdued, with the Kiwi ending as the worst performer, followed by some late Yen weakness too, with the rest of G10 currencies consolidating.
AUD/USD was kept in a tight range between 0.9345-60, NZD/USD fell as low as 0.8355 on poor ANZ business confidence (6th consecutive month of fall) but bids emerged to take the kiwi back up towards 0.8365-70. USD/JPY tested offers above 103.80 after finding an intraday base at 103.65, which follows a deeper dip earlier on Thursday at 103.53 on safe-haven flows. EUR/USD and GBP/USD were almost unchanged from NY closes.
In terms of fundamentals, plenty of Japanese data to report. Overall household spending y/y for July was the big surprise, falling by 5.9% vs -3% expected, with FinMin Aso being quoted via Bloomberg late on the day noting that bad weather has negatively impacted consumer spending. With regards to the jobless rate for July, it worsened to 3.8% vs 3.7%, with the job-to-applicant ratio for July unchanged at 1.10. Inflation figures were pretty flat from previous month, offering no much clues. Retail trade for July stood at +0.5% y/y vs -0.2% exp, while industrial production for July, disappointed at +0.2% m/m (preliminary) vs +1.0% exp.
Other headlines included Reuters reporting that Putin ordered pro-Russia rebels to provide humanitarian corridor for encircled Ukraine troops to exit. Out of Europe, we saw German finance minister Schaeuble upping the rhetoric saying monetary policy can only buy time, while ECB’s Nowotny said that concern about inflation, unemployment is shared. In Australia, private sector credit m/m for July came at +0.4% vs +0.5% exp. In New Zealand, building permits for July came at +0.1% m/m, with both ANZ activity index and business confidence showing a significant decline. In the UK, hometrack housing survey for August was +0.1% m/m, while GfK consumer confidence for August stood at +1 vs -1 exp.
Some final observations ahead of Europe. Traders' main focus will be on Europe's inflation figures. Also expect volumes to be thinner-than-usual in US hours due to Monday's labour day in US and Canada, which will undoubtedly see traders take advantage of a long weekend, thus less trading activity is to expect. Lastly, be aware that most reports seem to suggest that month end fixings at 4pm London will see USD selling.