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FOREX: US Dollar Higher as Asian Stocks Slump on Nuclear Crisis Fears

FOREX: US Dollar Higher as Asian Stocks Slump on Nuclear Crisis Fears

2011-03-28 07:31:00
Ilya Spivak, Sr. Currency Strategist
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Overnight Headlines

  • US Dollar Outperforms as Asian Shares Fall on Nuclear Crisis Fears
  • Japanese Yen Fails to Capitalize on Risk Aversion, Falls vs. the Majors

Critical Levels

CCY

SUPPORT

RESISTANCE

EURUSD

1.3984

1.4157

GBPUSD

1.5909

1.6101

The Euro and the British Pound declined in overnight trade, down as much as 0.5 and 0.3 percent respectively against the US Dollar, as the greenback pushed broadly higher on safe-haven demand (see below). We have booked profits on our NZDUSD short position and are looking to enter short EURUSD.

Asia Session: What Happened

GMT

CCY

EVENT

ACT

EXP

PREV

3:00

CNY

Industrial Profits YTD (YoY) (FEB)

34.3%

-

49.4%

23:01

GBP

Lloyds TSB Business Barometer (MAR)

1

-

3

The US Dollar outperformed, adding as much as 0.3 percent on average against the majors as shares fell across Asian bourses, boosting demand for the safety-linked currency. The MSCI Asia Pacific regional benchmark stock index fell 0.7 percent, with the decline chalked up to renewed concerns about Japan’s battered Fukishima Daiichi nuclear power plant as workers struggle to stabilize the site. While two of the plant’s reactors have been brought under control, four others are still volatile. It also remains to be seen whether any of the reactor cores are broken and leaking, which could lead to a full-scale meltdown. The Japan-centric nature of the selloff was perhaps the reason behind broad-based selling of the Japanese Yen, which failed to take up its usual safe-haven role alongside the greenback, falling as much as 0.6 percent on average against its top counterparts.

Euro Session: What to Expect

GMT

CCY

EVENT

EXP

PREV

IMPACT

13:00

EUR

ECB’s Trichet Speaks on EMU Competitiveness

-

-

Low

16:00

EUR

ECB’s Bini Smaghi Speaks on EU Economy

-

-

Low

With virtually nothing of note on the economic calendar, risk sentiment is poised to take over as the top driver of currency market price action. With that in mind, stock index futures point to cautious indecision, with traders seemingly unwilling to commit to a directional bias as a host of uncertainties make for a clouded landscape ahead.

On the economic front, the EU leaders’ summit concluded on Friday failed to address the immediate dangers of sovereign crisis in Portugal and Spain, while a busy calendar of US data is forecast to show performance in the world’s leading consumer market may be softening. Indeed, the positive trend in US economic data surprises based from December was snapped two week ago. In the meantime, the full impact of Japan’s Tohoku earthquake on global recovery remains a mystery.

The geopolitical landscape is not much more encouraging with unrest continuing to spread across the Middle East, boosting crude oil prices to the detriment of global growth, while Angela Merkel’s CDU/FDP coalition has lost a key state election to erode stability at the helm of Europe’s key economic engine. In the near term, US Personal Spending and Income figures will come into focus late into the session.

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