China shares at 6-1/2 week high

Equity markets embraced the shift by the Fed to an easing bias, with indices extending gains into the Asian session. US indices rose between 0.32% and 0.66% in the Asian morning while the Japan225 index jumped 0.63% and the China50 index 1.56%, rising to the highest level since May 6.

The surge in risk appetite was also felt across currency markets, with the beta-risk Australian dollar gaining 0.11% to 0.6888 versus the US dollar. The gains were helped by broad US dollar weakness which saw USD/JPY tumble 0.3% to 107.78. USD/JPY is flirting with the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement of the rally from January to April at 107.72.

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USD/JPY Daily Chart

Next steps in trade talks

Positive sentiment was also boosted by comments from US trade representative Lighthizer that he will be speaking with China’s Vice Premier Liu before the end of the week, and follow up with a meeting before Trump’s tete-a-tete with Xi at the G-20 summit. The comments were made at a congressional hearing.

USD/CNH looks set to decline for a third straight day today as the pair edged down to the lowest since May 13. The 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of the April-June rally is at 6.8537 while the 55-day moving average is above the 200-day moving average for the first time since March 4.

USD/CNH Daily Chart

Bank of Japan unchanged

The Bank of Japan kept its benchmark rate, policy framework of yield control and asset purchase program unchanged at today’s meeting, as analysts had unanimously expected. The committee was not quite as unanimous with a 7-2 vote in favour of unchanged. One of the dissenters was looking for further easing immediately. The statement reiterated the forward guidance that policy rates will be kept at extremely low levels for an extended period of time, at least through to around spring 2020. The post-meeting press conference is scheduled for 12:30pm Singapore time.

Bank of England hogtied by Brexit

The Bank of England also meets today to decide interest rate policy and is widely expected to keep both rates and its asset purchase facility unchanged as both Brexit and the Tory leadership race cloud the horizon.

Ahead of the Bank of England meet we get to see UK retail sales for May, which are expected to show a 0.5% m/m decline following a flat reading in April. The European calendar is almost bare, with June consumer confidence coming late in the day.

After the Fed meeting yesterday, the US calendar also calms down, with Q1 current account data due (a slight narrowing of the deficit expected) along with the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, which is seen sliding to 11.0 in May from 16.6 last month.



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