Key overnight events:
- The S&P 500 dropped 1.3% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.1% as US stocks slumped from 6-week highs last night, driven by declines in energy stocks.
- Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali Ibrahim Naimi said that the kingdom will not cut production, while his Iranian counterpart Bijan Zanganeh called the proposed Saudi-Russian output freeze “ridiculous” and puts “unrealistic demands” on Iran. Crude oil futures expiring in April fell 4.6%, hitting an overnight low of $31.22/bbl in the process.
- The Fed’s Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said that he remained uncertain over whether this year’s financial market turmoil would slow the US economy and stopped short in providing any clues when asked what the Fed will do in its next meeting in 3 weeks.
- Based on federal funds futures markets, investors are pricing in about a 10% chance of a rate hike in the next FOMC meeting.
- Bank of England Governor Mark Carney acknowledged “Brexit” risks and said the BoE may loosen policy if needed, causing GBPUSD to fall to its lowest levels since 2009.
- Spot 1.4081
- Singapore’s 4Q GDP expanded by 1.8% year-on-year, matching estimates. On an annualized quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP expanded by 6.2%, beating the 4.5% expansion consensus. Over the fourth quarter last year, manufacturing fell an annualized 4.9%, construction gained 6%, while services jumped 7.7%.
- USDSGD continues to remain within its range of 1.4000 – 1.4100 following this morning’s GDP release.
- Singapore banks remain resilient with strong liquidity positions, MAS’ Deputy Managing Director Jacqueline Loh stated at a briefing this morning. She added that MAS’ policy stance remains appropriate and unchanged.
- According to Bank of Singapore, Singapore’s deflation may get even more entrenched as local pump prices have plenty of scope to fall in order to align themselves with the drop in global crude prices.
- Spot 0.7175
- AUDUSD is struggling to break its 200-day moving average resistance of 0.7270, after hitting a high yesterday of 0.7259. It has since pared gains and is back below the 0.7200 handle this morning.
- Australia’s 4Q wage price index rose 0.5% from the previous quarter after a 0.6% increase in 3Q. The median estimate was for a 0.6% gain.
- Spot 1.3813
- The 100-day moving average of 1.3636 continues to provide a strong floor for USDCAD, with the currency pair rising back above the 1.3800 handle.
- In a testimony last night, Finance Minister Morneau stated that the government’s objective remains to balance its budget and reduce its debt-to-GDP. He also added that monetary policy, in general, is losing its ability to provide the same impact it has had previously.
- Spot 6.5358
- The PBOC set its reference rate at the lowest level in almost 3 weeks after data released yesterday showed banks net sold overseas currencies, of about US$70 billion, to their clients for a seventh straight month in January.
- USDCNH rose to a high this morning of 6.5390, its highest since 12th Feb.
- Hong Kong’s 4Q GDP expanded 1.9% year-on-year, missing the 2.2% growth expected, recording its slowest pace since 3Q 2012.
- IMF Managing Director Lagarde said that China will avoid a hard landing.
- Spot 8.6122
- USDNOK was largely unchanged despite the fall in crude oil prices overnight, and has stuck close to its 100-day moving average of 8.6156 over the past few days.
- 8.4465 remains a key support on the downside.