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The Morning Market Wrap

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  • Major Asian stock indexes ended the session lower after yesterday’s slump on Wall Street.
  • Chinese and Japanese markets were closed today for holidays.
  • Retail sales data from Australia came in slightly better than expected. March retail sales came in at 0.4% on a monthly basis, against expectations of 0.3% month-on-month and the previous reading of 0.2% month-on-month.
  • The Reserve Bank of New Zealand released its latest Financial Stability Report today.
  • Governor Adrian Orr says that New Zealand’s financial system is well placed to handle the higher interest rate environment and international financial disruption.
  • New Zealand’s labor market report for Q1 showed the addition of new jobs and a lower-than-expected unemployment rate.
  • Data from NZ, combined with the RBNZ’s lack of stability concerns, increase the chances of a RBNZ rate hike at its next meeting. That is scheduled for May 24.  
  • NZD/USD rose on the session to highs just above 0.6250.
  • Bank of Korea Governor Rhee spoke in an interview saying, amongst other points, that it’s a little bit premature to talk about a policy pivot.
  • Across major FX the USD lost ground against a higher JPY, CHF, EUR and GBP. AUD and CAD lagged.
  • Investors are awaiting a decision on interest rates in the US.
  • In addition to the Fed decision, today will see the release of the ADP report and the ISM index for services, as well as data on US oil inventories.

Crude oil scored a weak session yesterday. OIL.WTI quotes are on track to test support at the round $70 level. Source: xStation5

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