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28.03.2013 07:27

Asian session: The yen gained

00:01 United Kingdom Gfk Consumer Confidence March -27 -27 -26

00:30 Australia Private Sector Credit, m/m February +0.2% +0.3% +0.2%

00:30 Australia Private Sector Credit, y/y February +3.6% +3.5% +3.4%

The yen gained against all its 16 major peers after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda reiterated policy easing options, damping expectations for novel measures to be unveiled as early as next week. Kuroda told lawmakers today that policy makers need to lower the longer end of the so-called yield curve, and that purchases of risk assets may also be needed. The comments echoed lower house testimony on March 26, when Kuroda pledged to buy more government bonds to reach the BOJ’s inflation goal. The central bank will meet on policy on April 3-4. Kuroda spoke to upper house lawmakers today after telling Japan’s lower house earlier this week he aimed to achieve a 2 percent annual inflation goal in two years.

The euro traded 0.3 percent from a four-month low versus the dollar as traders speculated future European bailouts could include the kind of bank deposit levies imposed on Cyprus. Cypriot banks will open their doors to customers today for the first time in almost two weeks, with new rules curbing access to cash. They’ve been closed since March 16, when the European Union presented a plan to force losses on all depositors in exchange for a bailout. A subsequent agreement shuts Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl (CPB), the nation’s No. 2 lender, and imposes larger losses on uninsured depositors.

Borrowing costs rose in Spain, Portugal and Italy yesterday, with the Italian 10-year yield at its highest relative to German bunds this year.

Italy is still without a government, a month after inconclusive elections. Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani said there was no chance of a broad coalition to end the political deadlock following nearly a week of talks with rival parties. He will report to President Giorgio Napolitano today with the results of his negotiations.

Australia’s dollar slid along with Asian shares.

Revised figures from the U.S. Commerce Department today may show the economy expanded at a 0.5 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, faster than the government’s previous estimate of 0.1 percent growth, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

Tomorrow is a holiday in most of Europe, the U.S., and much of Asia.

EUR / USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $1.2770-90.

GBP / USD: during the Asian session, the pair rose to $1.5150.

USD / JPY: during the Asian session the pair fell to Y93.95.

In Europe, the calendar gets underway at 0700GMT, with the release of the UK Nationwide House Price index. Month-on-month, analysts are looking for a further uptick as the spring buying season gets underway, offering a platform to build on in coming months as government initiatives start to kick in. There is only limited UK data at 0930GMT, with the release of the January Index of Services. Germany retail sales data due at 0700GMT (-0.6% m/m the median, 1.20% y/y) with Eurozone M3 at 0900GMT provides the morning's data interest, with US Q4 GDP and initial jobless claims at 1230GMT. The Chicago Report then due at 1345GMT.

Market Focus

  • The Bank of Japan decided by a 7-2 majority vote to hold the interest rate at -0.10%
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 4.7 million barrels from the previous week
  • Australian unemployment rate stable at 5.6% in June
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