July 16: Asian session
Asian stocks held stubbornly steady on Wednesday after China reported economic growth that was just ahead of market expectations, enough to prompt a sigh of relief from investors, but little else. China’s GDP added 7.5% in Q2 on the annual basis vs. 7.4% expected. The data confirmed the world’s second biggest economy has stabilized after a shaky start to the year but still left the global outlook cloudy, particularly given recent weakness in the euro zone.
US dollar strengthened as the market players focused on the Fed Yellen’s comment that rates could rise more quickly should the labor market continue to improve at a rapid pace. USD/JPY rose to 101.75. EUR/USD slid to 1.3556. GBP/USD edged down to $1.7130.
Australian and New Zealand’s dollars were both under pressure during the Asian session. Despite a slightly better-than-expected China’s GDP, retail sales data was slightly below the forecast. NZD/USD fell below the $0.8700 mark, extending the recent bearish correction. After a lower-priced dairy auction overnight, the New Zealand’s CPI came out lower than expected (+0.3% vs. +0.4% expected), increasing pressure on the kiwi. AUD/USD weakened into the $0.9330 area, approaching the July support at $0.9320.