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00:00 Australia Conference Board Australia Leading Index May +0.3% 0.0%
01:30 Australia NAB Quarterly Business Confidence Quarter II 2 -1
The yen weakened against most major peers on bets Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting this week will endorse the Bank of Japan’s monetary easing that aims to stoke 2 percent inflation. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said the G-20 probably won’t call for a tapering of stimulus in nations including Japan. The BOJ doubled monthly bond purchases to more than 7 trillion yen ($70 billion) in April, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged the central bank to take steps to overcome deflation. Japan’s policies are well understood by G-20 members, Deputy Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said in a Bloomberg Television interview.
The euro traded near a six-week high versus the yen after Greek lawmakers approved austerity measures that clear the way for the next batch of bailout loans. In Europe, Greek lawmakers passed a bill that puts thousands of state workers on notice for possible dismissal, a victory for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras that clears the way for the country’s next bailout installment. The vote came hours before German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble arrives in Athens for a one-day visit.
Demand for the dollar was limited after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled the central bank’s asset purchases, which tend to debase the currency, hinge on economic performance. If the economy improved faster than expected, and inflation rose back “decisively” toward the central bank’s 2 percent target, “the pace of asset purchases could be reduced somewhat more quickly,” Bernanke said yesterday. The Fed would also be prepared to increase the pace of purchases “for a time, to promote a return to maximum employment in a context of price stability.”
EUR / USD: during the Asian session the pair fell to $ 1.3085
GBP / USD: during the Asian session the pair fell to $ 1.5170
USD / JPY: during the Asian session the pair rose to Y100.20
The European calendar gets underway when the ECB board gathers in Frankfurt for the regular mid-month council meeting. Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen is unlikely to be at the mid-month meet, as he and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde will appear on a panel in Vilnius from 0800GMT. The European data calendar kicks off at 0800GMT with the release of the EMU May current account data. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble will make a statement at the German-Greek chamber of industry and commerce, in Athens, at 1000GMT. Schaeuble and Greek Finance Minister Giannis Stournaras will give a joint press conference in Athens at 1445GMT.
There is a full calendar on both sides of the Atlantic Thursday, with the second leg of Fed Chair Bernanke's semi-annual testimony to Congress again the stand out feature. There is a raft of UK data expected at 0830GMT, with the June Retail Sales numbers the main release. After a spike higher in retail sales volumes in May, up 2.1% on the month, retailers are expected to have small to non-existent gains in June, which would still result in firm Q2 sales growth, despite the 1.1% monthly fall in April. Analysts are looking for a hike of 0.2% on month. Other UK data expected at 0830GMT include the June CML Mortgage Lending data, the June BOE Capital Issuance, BOE Trends in Lending and the June SMMT Auto Production Data.
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