Additionally there were no major developments from the weekend and this really limits the leads heading into Asian trade. There were some minor headlines on the geopolitical front, with Iraq’s military reclaiming some ground from militants, but this seems to have been balanced out by reports that Ukraine has asked Russia to strengthen border controls.
The major risk currency pairs are relatively unchanged from Saturday morning’s close which confirms sentiment is relatively unchanged from US trade. USD/JPY finally managed to stabilise just under 101.50 after having dropped significantly on Friday on the back of a raft of economic releases out of Japan. The data continues out of Japan today with industrial production and housing starts, with the market expecting a 0.9% bounce in industrial production. Friday’s data showed the main concern for Japan is a sharp decline in household spending. Additionally all other metrics were uninspiring and this is likely to remain an issue in the near term.
As it stands we are currently calling the Nikkei up 0.3% to 15,134. This will see the 15,000 level hold and of course a minor recovery after Friday’s losses.
AUD will be on focus on China data
The ASX 200 is also pointing up 0.3% to 5462 on the last day of the financial year. This will see the local market start the day off with a 13.7% gain for the FY. As a result I wouldn’t be shocked to see a lot of irregular moves today with window dressing and portfolio rebalancing taking place.
On the economic calendar we have the MI inflation gauge, HIA new home sales and private sector credit data due out. AUD/USD has actually remained resilient and held its ground above 0.9400. Of course, the AUD will be in focus this week with the RBA also due out tomorrow. No change is expected from that and the statement is likely to reinforce the ‘period of stability in rates’ stance. Perhaps China’s manufacturing PMIs releases tomorrow will actually carry more weight. These releases will be expected to show further signs of a pickup in China activity.