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29.10.2013 07:00

Asian session: The yen rose

The yen rose against all of its 16 major peers after data in Japan showed retail sales grew more than economists estimated and the unemployment rate dropped before the nation’s central bank holds a meeting this week. Retail sales rose 1.8 percent last month from August, the statistics bureau said in Tokyo today. That exceeded the 0.5 percent increase predicted by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The unemployment rate slid to 4 percent in September from 4.1 percent the previous month, according to a separate report.

Japan’s currency halted a two-day slide versus the dollar as falling Asian stocks boosted demand for haven assets and futures traders trimmed bearish bets on the currency to the least in a year.

The euro rose to a two-month high versus the pound before a report due today that may show stronger consumer sentiment in France, Europe’s second-largest economy. Consumer confidence in France probably increased to 86 this month, matching the level reached in February, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before today’s data.

The Aussie dollar fell after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said the currency will probably be “materially lower.” The RBA’s Stevens said the Australian currency’s level isn’t supported by costs and productivity in the economy. It’s quite likely that, at some point, the Australian dollar will be “materially lower” than currently, he said in a speech in Sydney.

EUR / USD: during the Asian session the pair traded in the range of $ 1.3770-90

GBP / USD: during the Asian session, the pair fell to $ 1.6065

USD / JPY: during the Asian session the pair fell to Y97.45

In Europe, the data calendar is relatively lighter today, starting out with Spain's Sep retail sales index at 0700 GMT. Then, at 0930, the Bank of England's September money and credit data are due. These figures will probably show further signs that the housing market was heating up, ahead of the October launch the Help to Buy scheme, but overall credit growth will probably have remained subdued. Mortgage approvals are expected to have risen to 66,000 in September, still a long way short of the 100,000 plus levels seen before the onset of the financial crisis. Data releases today start with ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7:45

a.m. ET (1145 GMT, followed by September retail sales and September producer price index, both to be released at 1230 GMT. Other postponed data to be released include the August business inventories report at 1400 GMT. At 1255 GMT, 26-Oct Redbook Average is then due followed by the 1300 GMT release of the August US S&P/Case-Shiller housing index. Housing prices have lately begun to pick up due to increased demand and short supply, though this could begin to hurt sales in the coming months without any speedier improvement in the economy.

At 1400 GMT, there's US 3Q Housing Vacancies and Oct Oct Consumer Confidence. Also today, the Federal Open Market Committee starts its 2-day meeting and will be releasing its latest policy statement Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ET, although nobody is expecting any fireworks after the lackluster September jobs report. With a coming change in leadership, and a potentially sizable impact to growth still to be reported due to the shutdown, it is looking less likely the Fed will make any changes to policy in the near-term.

Market Focus

  • The eurozone started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to PMI survey data
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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