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FX Traders Brace in Defensive JPY, USD Positions as Syrian War Looms

By , Currency Strategist
27 August 2013 10:08 GMT

INTRADAY PERFORMANCE UPDATE: 09:50 GMT

MAJORS

AUD

CAD

CHF

EUR

GBP

JPY

NZD

(vs USD)

-0.90%

-0.22%

+0.08%

-0.21%

-0.39%

+0.72%

-0.90%

Dow Jones FXCM Dollar Index (Ticker: USDOLLAR): +0.21% (+0.73%prior 5-days)

ASIA/EUROPE FOREX NEWS WRAP

Investors across the globe have been scrambling for “risk-off” defensive positioning overnight after US equity markets began to tumble yesterday afternoon amid signs of potential international military conflict in Syria.

Whereas the Japanese Yen had struggled during the US session yesterday morning despite signs of a struggling US economy midyear, the tone changed quickly yesterday afternoon after US Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement on recent events in Syria. With reports focused on potentially join military action by the US and various European countries, investors have picked up the Franc, the US Dollar, and the Japanese Yen as safe havens.

Certainly, the possibility of war is a dent to already fragile market confidence as investors grapple with the potential for the Federal Reserve to taper QE3 in September. As such, the biggest losers are the yield-rich (relatively speaking) commodity currencies, as investors cut ties with investments deemed risky.

While the risk-off tone is likely to stay in place for today’s session, the lingering question is whether or not the US Dollar can take back ground against the Japanese Yen. The first such opportunity will be in the form of the US Consumer Confidence (AUG) report at 10:00 EDT/14:00 GMT. In light of recent consumption developments, there is a chance that confidence slipped further this month, which could further damage the USDJPY on the day (down by -0.72% at the time this report was written).

AUDJPY 5-minute Chart: August 27, 2013 Intraday

FX_Traders_Brace_in_Defensive_JPY_USD_Positions_as_Syrian_War_Looms_body_Picture_1.png, FX Traders Brace in Defensive JPY, USD Positions as Syrian War Looms

Taking a look at European credit, a continued shift into ‘safer’ credit positions has proven to be a negative influence on the Euro on Tuesday. The Italian 2-year note yield has increased to 1.968% (+3.4-bps) while the Spanish 2-year note yield has increased to 1.723% (+1.4-bps). Likewise, the Italian 10-year note yield has increased to 4.391% (+1.7-bps) while the Spanish 10-year note yield has increased to 4.443% (+0.4-bps); higher yields imply lower prices.

Read more: Pressure on Yen Could Rise if Inflation Slows amid Weaker Growth

ECONOMIC CALENDAR – UPCOMING NORTH AMERICAN SESSION

FX_Traders_Brace_in_Defensive_JPY_USD_Positions_as_Syrian_War_Looms_body_x0000_i1028.png, FX Traders Brace in Defensive JPY, USD Positions as Syrian War Looms

See the DailyFX Economic Calendar for a full list, timetable, and consensus forecasts for upcoming economic indicators. Want the forecasts to appear right on your charts? Download the DailyFX News App.

--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, Currency Analyst

To contact Christopher Vecchio, e-mail cvecchio@dailyfx.com

Follow him on Twitter at @CVecchioFX

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27 August 2013 10:08 GMT