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Market Brief: Asian Equities Jittery On Hong Kong Concerns

Asian stocks on today’s Asian session headed south as concerns over protests in Hong Kong continue to weigh down investor sentiment. The Hang Seng Index is down over 2.00% as of this writing at 26,505.4 while the Nikkei is down 0.85% at 23,319.9. Fears were ignited in the Asian equities markets today when reports came out that Hong Kong police described ongoing protests as being on the “brink of a total breakdown.” The government has also suspended classes as tensions mount.

Of course, it also did not help that US President Donald Trump did not provide further insight into their ongoing negotiations with China. He only mentioned that trade deal was “close.” In fact, he even went as far as to say that the US could impose more tariffs if they did not come into agreement with each other.

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Economic Data and Powell Speech on Deck

The biggest story so far in today’s trading is the RBNZ’s decision not to cut rates from 1.00%.

On the economic front, Wespac’s report on consumer sentiment was released overnight and reflected an improvement in economic confidence for November at 4.5% from -5.5% in October. Producer prices in Japan also improved at -0.4% for October from -1.1% the previous month. There was also Australia’s wage price index report which revealed a 0.5% increase in salaries for Q3 2019.

For today, UK CPI, US CPI, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech are scheduled. The headline UK CPI figure is expected to show a 1.6% uptick in prices compared to a year ago. Meanwhile, the core CPI which excludes the price of big ticket items is eyed at 1.7%. At 1:30 pm GMT, the headline CPI figure for October is eyed at 0.3% while the core reading is seen at 0.2%. Then at 4:00 pm, the Fed chair will speak before the Joint Economic Committee.

USDJPY Outlook

Just like USDCHF, USDJPY also looks like it has formed a head and shoulders chart pattern on the hourly time frame. If risk aversion from the Asian session carries over to European trading, we could see the currency pair establish a new weekly low below 108.84. On the other hand, if there are enough bulls in today’s session, USDJPY could test yesterday’s highs at 109.28 or maybe even last week’s highs at 109.46.

USDJPY hourly chart

USDJPY hourly

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