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Aug. 12: Asian session


Asian shares rose amid optimism that geopolitical risks are receding. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.4% after surging 1.2% yesterday, the most since June 19.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators staked out positions for a long-term agreement on the Gaza Strip. Ria Novosti said Russia is ready to mediate between Ukraine and separatist rebels, quoting Russian Security Council head Nikolai Patrushev. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said yesterday there would be an international humanitarian mission to the city of Luhansk under the auspices of the Red Cross, involving the US, the European Union and Russia. In the Middle East, President Barack Obama gave full US support for Iraq’s president to form a new government hours after embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rejected stepping aside for a successor.

USD/JPY edged up to 102.35. EUR/USD is trading in the $1.3370 area, a bit above yesterday’s low. GBP/USD slid to $1.6756, the lowest level since the beginning on June.

AUD/USD consolidates in a narrow $0.9240/70 range. Australia released a bunch of upbeat data in the session: NAB business confidence came out at 11 vs. prior 8, while HPI rose by 1.8% vs. expected 1.1%. NZD/USD was the biggest loser of the session, falling to $0.8410.Kiwi now holds just a bit above the May low. Gold price consolidates around $1307.40.

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