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Asia Watch: Dollar Rally, Geopolitical Tensions Impact Trading Sentiment

Asia Dollar Geopolitical Tensions

The Asia session saw a bullish dollar and gold amid geopolitical tensions; central banks held rates, and inflation concerns persisted.

In the wake of a busy US session marked by lower-than-forecasted unemployment claims and a bullish trend in the dollar index (DXY), Asian markets opened cautiously, influenced by a mix of economic data and geopolitical tensions. Here’s a comprehensive outlook for key currencies and commodities in the Asia session:

US Session Recap

Unemployment claims in the US continued their downward trend, printing lower than expected for the second consecutive week, signaling ongoing strength in the labor market. However, persistent inflationary pressures have kept markets on edge, with investors eagerly awaiting signals from the Federal Reserve regarding potential interest rate adjustments. Several FOMC policymakers, including Fed Governor Michelle Bowman, have adopted a more hawkish tone in response to recent economic data.

The dollar index (DXY) surged during the US session, reclaiming the 106 level and reaching as high as 106.18 overnight. This bullish momentum carried over into the Asian markets, with the DXY climbing towards 106.50.

Asia Session Outlook

Japanese Yen (JPY): Japan’s National Core CPI rose 2.6% year-on-year in March, slightly below expectations but still indicating growing inflationary pressures. This data could strengthen the Japanese yen, adding downward pressure on USD/JPY. Additionally, escalating tensions between Israel and Iran have fueled demand for safe-haven assets, including the yen.

Gold (XAU): With geopolitical tensions escalating, gold prices surged to $2,420 per ounce during the Asia session, poised to register their fifth consecutive week of gains as investors flock to safe-haven assets.

Asia Watch: Dollar Rally, Geopolitical Tensions Impact Trading Sentiment

Australian Dollar (AUD): Intense demand for the dollar caused the Aussie to tumble below 0.6370, with further downward pressure expected throughout the day. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept the cash rate target unchanged at 4.35%, citing concerns about inflation and uncertain economic conditions.

New Zealand Dollar (NZD): Like the Aussie, the Kiwi faced significant selling pressure amid strong dollar demand. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) maintained the OCR at 5.50%, emphasizing the need for a restrictive monetary policy stance to address inflationary pressures.

Euro (EUR) and Swiss Franc (CHF): Both the Euro and Swiss Franc weakened against the dollar, with robust demand for safe-haven assets driving USD/CHF lower. The European Central Bank (ECB) kept interest rates unchanged, citing subdued inflation and challenging economic conditions.

British Pound (GBP): Retail sales data from the UK showed a minor increase in March, potentially supporting the pound if sales exceed expectations. However, the Bank of England (BoE) maintained the Official Bank Rate at 5.25%, with inflation remaining a key concern.

Canadian Dollar (CAD) and Oil: Intense demand for the dollar pushed USD/CAD higher, while crude oil prices surged to $86 per barrel amid geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Economic data releases and geopolitical developments drive heightened volatility in the Asia session. Central bank actions and market sentiment will continue to dictate trading dynamics across major currencies and commodities.

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