Heading into the much-awaited US-China phase one trade deal signing ceremony due later on Wednesday at 1630 GMT, markets remained on the edge in Asia, as the safe-havens – gold and the yen drew bids at the expense of the higher-yielding assets such as the regional equities, Wall Street futures and emerging currencies. Gold prices extended the recovery mode and rose 0.40% to regain the 1550 handle.
Across the G10 fx board, most majors maintained tight trading ranges amid a broadly subdued US dollar and in absence of risk appetite. However, GBP/USD looked better-off, as it held onto its recovery gains above 1.3000. EUR/USD continued to probe the 1.1135/40 resistance area amid ongoing US-EU trade conflict.
Meanwhile, the anti-risk yen traded better bid above 110.00 vs. the US dollar, as the losses in Treasury yields kept USD/JPY under pressure. The Antipodeans, on the other hand, traded modestly flat, with the bias leaning to the downside. The prospects of disappointment on the US-China trade deal details due to be released in the day ahead weighed on the OZ currencies, as the Aussie battled 0.6900. The Canadian dollar was undeterred by the outcome of the Democratic debate on the USMCA trade deal and oil-price weakness.
Main Topics in Asia
Key Focus Ahead
The main event risk for the EUR, GBP traders in the European session ahead remains the UK December Consumer Price Index (CPI) data due at 0930 GMT. Also, of note remains that Eurozone Industrial Production and Trade Balance data, dropping in at 1000 GMT.
The NA session is an eventful one, with the US-China phase one trade deal signing ceremony to steal the show amidst the release of the US Producer Price Index (PPI) data at 1330 GMT. The speech by the Fed official Harker also remains in focus ahead of the Fed’s Beige Book publication at 1900 GMT.
Meanwhile, the developments around the imminent US-China trade deal will continue to remain the main market driver.
EUR/USD has regained some poise in the last 12 hours or so but is still trapped in a bearish channel amid the increasing fears of the EU-US trade war. The euro, however, may find some love if the Eurozone Industrial Production data blows past expectations.
GBP/USD looks to extend the bounce towards 1.3050 ahead of the UK CPI report, as broad-based US dollar weakness and bullish technical set up underpin the sentiment around the spot.
While the path of least resistance for the USD/CHF pair is to the downside, a break lower toward 0.96 could be preceded by a minor bounce.
The UK is expected to report an annual inflation level of 1.5% for December 2019. Odds for a rate have risen considerably, implying high volatility for the CPI figures.