Forex Asia Review – Australian and New Zealand dollar lifted by risk sentiment

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EURUSD opened the Asian session at 1.4508 retracing after being lifted to a month high in the U.S. session due to improved risk appetite due to better than expected U.S. consumer spending data and news of a merger between two large Greek banks. Risk remained on as Asian stocks gained for the fourth straight day and helped support EURUSD but currency markets were quiet and the pair traded a range between 1.4508 and 1.4526.


GBPUSD opened 1.6408 and was flat most of the quiet Asian session remaining above 1.6394. EURGBP opened at 0.8839 and also traded in a tight range keeping below 0.8852.


USDJPY opened Asia at 76.85 and rose to 76.97 before falling gradually throughout the session after poor economic data. Japan retail sales rose less than expected by 0.7 percent, forecast was for 1 percent. Household spending came in a bit stronger than the market had expected, but still fell from year-ago levels reflecting the slower job market and the steady decline in disposable income. Employment reversed the small gain in June to fall 40,000 and push the unemployment rate up to 4.7 percent despite expectations of an unchanged 4.6 percent.


AUDUSD extended its advance from the prior session and climbed to a three week high to peak at 1.0684. With risk sentiment on, risk and commodity-linked currencies like the aussie benefitted. The AUD dipped briefly after Australian building approvals fell more than expected to 1.0 percent against a forecasted 2.0 percent increase. The pair recovered quickly buoyed by rising Asian equity markets.


NZDUSD continued to rise in the Asian session lifted by risk appetite and surged to 0.8534 from the open of 0.8462 after New Zealand building consents jumped by 13 percent in July beating the previous month 1 percent fall.


Gold was little changed during the quiet Asian session. The metal opened Asia at $1,788.72 and edged up slightly to $1,800.52 before dipping to $1,790.92 as risk appetite remained strong during the session with rising stocks in the Asian bourses.