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Asia Recap: USD indisputable winner, AUD cheaper

FXStreet (Bali) - The US Dollar kept strengthening against G10 through the Asian session, with the Australian Dollar the worst performer after a disappointing HSBC China PMI.

Main movers

It should not be that surprising that the AUD/USD just hit a fresh 7-week low in Asia, with offers coming in since the early going in Tokyo, with losses accelerating in the tune of 40 pips approximately after the August HSBC PMI in China (preliminary) printed a 3-month low, which surprised the market, after the encouraging signs from last month, when an 18-month high of 51.7 was printed. Today's 50.3 vs 51.5 is much less than meet the eye, and as a result, we get the Aussie being paid around USD 0.9250 after exchanging hands as cheap as 0.9236.

USD/JPY was another pair that saw action in early Tokyo, although nothing compared to the major boost seen on Wednesday as a response to a rather hawkish FOMC minutes, which led the market to speculate on faster rate hikes in the US. Market sources kept reporting Japanese export names selling USD/JPY all the way up towards 104.00 from 103.80, however, there was little interest by Japanese mega-banks to be sellers at this juncture. Today's US jobless claims but most importantly, Yellen's speech at the Jakson Hole Symposium on Friday, should dictate the fate of the next 1 or 2 cents in the pair. The Nikkei reported an interesting story, noting that one of the sources of Yen weakness appears to be yen-selling by the banking and insurance units of government-backed Japan Post Group.

The rest of G10 currencies also saw some 'above-average' moves against the US Dollar. EUR/USD printed new year lows by testing 1.3245 bids, with European PMIs the next focus for traders. GBP/USD kept sinking, recording its lowest at 1.6565 ahead of the UK retail sales. NZD/USD made lower lows until faced with 0.8250 bids, which helped to contain the declines.

Other fundamental news

New Zealand's ANZ job advertisements for July slid to -2.7% MoM vs +3.3%, with Sharon Zollner, Economist at ANZ, noting that "job ads momentum has cooled in recent months." July's net migration numbers came at +4540 vs +4270 prior, some strong number, although this data tends to be ignored. NZ's ANZ consumer confidence index for August stood at -5.4% MoM vs +0.6% the prior month, while New Zealand – Credit Credit card spending for July: +4.5% y/y (prior +7.0%)

In Japan, the Nikkei reported that Japan's government is thinking of a new stimulus package worth 1tln yen for next year's planned (oct 2015) sales tax hike. Meanwhile, Reuters Tankan confidence numbers out of Japan came positive in August. Also in Japan, Japan Flash Markit/JMMA Manufacturing PMI for August came at 52.4 vs 51.5.

In Australia, the conference board leading index for June came at +0.4% MoM vs +0.2%, while the RBA published the FX transaction for July, coming at +433m vs. +1271m prior, which means no signs of intervention by the central bank, a subject that was further clarified by RBA's Stevens yesterday, during his Parliamentary testimony, saying that for now they don't find it useful to intervene.

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