US bourses ended the session sharply lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index snapping its longest monthly winning streak since 1959. US government bond yields eased after Tuesday’s rally, while the USD index rose earlier in the session on Fed Chair Powell’s Tuesday remarks before shifting lower as the session progressed. Weaker than expected macro data released may have limited early gains in the Greenback as Chicago PMI dropped to a six-month low and pending home sales slumped -4.7% m/m. Also of note, Q4 GDP was unrevised from the prior reading +2.5%. Elsewhere in the FX markets, Sterling was the laggard after the EU released their draft Brexit agreement which included the possibility of Northern Ireland staying in the customs union, while the Japanese Yen remained the outperformer among the G10’s. Elsewhere, oil prices recovered off the worst levels with US crude futures settling at $61.64 (-$1.37).
Following the US close, White House Spokeswoman Sanders said Communications Director Hope Hicks is resigning.
Before the Asian open, Australia’s AiG performance of manufacturing index dropped to 57.5 iN February, while the CBA manufacturing PMI rose to 55.6. Meanwhile, Australia’s CoreLogic house prices dropped 0.3% m/m in February. Elsewhere, New Zealand’s terms of trade index gained 0.8% (f/c +0.5%) q/q in Q4.
After sharp declines on Wall Street, Asian stocks mostly tracked losses, while markets in South Korea were closed today for Independence Movement Day. Investors were also digesting a basket of data out of the APAC region. China’s Caixin manufacturing PMI rose to 51.6 (f/c 51.3). Meanwhile, Australian private capex unexpectedly fell 0.2% (f/c +0.9%) q/q in Q4, which saw the Aussie Dollar plunge to session lows across the board. Japanese capital spending climbed 4.3% (f/c +3.0%) y/y and excluding software rose 4.7% (f/c +2.7%) y/y, while the final February manufacturing PMI saw a slight rise to 54.1. We also saw remarks from BoJ board member Kataoka, who warned against a premature exit from easy policy, he said Japan is still quite some distance from considering a shift from easy policy, adding a premature move from easy policy could push Japan back into deflation. Speaking in Japanese parliament, BoJ Governor Kuroda said prices and wages remain weak despite a solid real economy, adding persistent deflationary mindset among the public is partly behind weak prices and wages. Kuroda stated inflation expectations are exiting from a weak phrase due to the output gap improving. Meanwhile, Japanese PM Abe said BoJ Governor Kuroda has conducted the correct monetary policy although 2% inflation is not yet achieved, adding he expects the BoJ to carry out monetary policy to hit 2% price goal.
Looking ahead, at 06:00 GMT, we get the Irish manufacturing PMI, followed by Swiss GDP at 06:45 GMT. Next at 07:00 GMT, we get Swiss consumption indicator, Turkey’s manufacturing PMI and UK nationwide house prices, followed by Sweden’s manufacturing PMI at 07:30 GMT. Then at 08:00 GMT, we get Spanish GDP and the Dutch & Norwegian manufacturing PMIs, followed by Spain’s manufacturing PMI and Swiss retail sales at 08:15 GMT. We then get manufacturing PMIs from Switzerland at 08:30 GMT, Italy at 08:45 GMT, France at 08:50 GMT, Germany at 08:55 GMT and the Euro Zone and Greece at 09:00 GMT and Italian unemployment, followed by UK manufacturing PMI, net consumer credit, net lending, mortgage approvals and money supply at 09:30 GMT. At 10:00 GMT, we get Euro Zone unemployment and Denmark’s PMI survey. On the auction front, Spain sells €4.5-4.5 Bln 2021, 2022 & 2028 bonds and €0.25-0.75 Bln 2030 inflation-linked bonds at 09:30 GMT, France sells €7.0-8.0 Bln 2026, 2028, 2041 & 2018 OATs at 09:50 GMT and the UK sells £2.75 Bln 2023 Gilts at 10:30 GMT. Also of note, we look for possible comments from Riksbank’s Ingves at 07:00 GMT.