The political stalemate in Greece is still pushing investors to the safe haven greenback in Asian trading as the US Dollar index which measures the USD against a basket of 6 weighted currencies was up 0.14%, valued at 81.55. The USD was enjoying a good run, up against all major currencies at the time writing (4.55amGMT), most notably up 0.28% against its Australian cousin – the commodity linked AUD, now valued before the parity level at 0.9909 and up 0.25% against fellow safe haven currency – the JPY, trading at 80.39.
Yesterday was a mixed day for the Euro. The continuing failure of Greece to form a government that supports austerity reforms fueled global investor concerns that Greece would be forced to leave the 17 member state Eurozone and abandon the Euro. Positive economic data from Europe with GDP and economic sentiment published yesterday saw a spike in the Euro, but as talks continue without a resolution, investor concerns saw a fleeing of the Europe in Asian markets. – The EUR/USD was down 0.13%, trading at 1.2713 and focus will still be very much on Greece throughout the day.
In Japan, core machinery orders dropped 2.8% for March, a little less than the market expectations for a 3.5% drop, but still it was enough to spark selling in equities markets so far in Asian trading. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plummeted 2.54%, Australia’s S&P/ASX200 dropped 1.96%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index declined 1.05%.
Expect some good volatility in the USD/JPY pairing today as the U.S. will release official data on building permits and housing starts later this afternoon, followed by Federal Reserve data on industrial production. Meanwhile in Japan, gross domestic product growth figures will be released. But again, keep an eye out on Greek events to move the markets.
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