Asian equity markets traded lower as risk sentiment remained weak following yesterday’s release of soft Chinese import figures. Nikkei 225 (-1.6%) underperformed and fell below 18,000 amid broad based losses, while the ASX 200 (-0.2%) was weighed on by the energy sector as crude prices remained near lows. Shanghai Comp. (-0.2%) pared its lacklustre CPI (1.60% vs. Exp. 1.80%) and PPI (-5.90% vs. Exp. -5.90%) inspired losses following gains in material names, after the announcement of domestic output cuts and gains in metal prices.
RBNZ Governor Wheeler stated that additional monetary policy easing seems likely, adding that China's growth outlook is the biggest concern.
PBoC set the CNY mid-point at 6.3408 vs. last close. 6.3429 (Prev. 6.3231). PBoC weakened the fix by most in 2-months.
Newsflow from Europe and the UK remains light overnight.
Antipodeans endured the most price action with NZD/USD initially pressured during early Asia trade following the comments from RBNZ Governor Wheeler that additional easing is likely, while AUD/USD extended on its losses after Westpac raised mortgage rates by 20bps which could result in other banks following suit and increases the likelihood that the RBA may ease in November to support the economy. Elsewhere, USD/SGD declined by more than a point following stronger than expected Singapore GDP (1.4% vs. Exp. 1.3%), although SGD gave back some of its gains after MAS eased policy by reducing the slope of the NEER band.
WTI crude futures remained near 1-week lows below the USD 47/bbl level as the energy complex continued its decline, while gold (+0.33%) rose overnight as the broad weakness in Asian equities supported safe-haven assets with the precious metal also benefiting from weaker CPI figures from China which increased calls for easing measures.
Thousands of Iranian soldiers are said to be based in Syria and preparing for a ground offensive against insurgents in the Aleppo province, according to senior regional official.
Fed's Tarullo (Voter, Dove) said that at this present time, I would not expect it to be appropriate for the central bank to hike rates in 2015.